Pot Roast - no idea what to do
So after a few years of marriage I find out my husband loves pot roast. I have never made it and I don't even know if I ever had it (my mother was a non-red meat eater). Can anyone help me out - favorite recipes, techniques etc? Thanks!
I've made dozens of different pot roast recipes over 22 year of marriage, and by far the best one is from Cook's Illustrated. Do you have access to their website? If not, you can also find the recipe here: http://www.recipezaar.com/37554
If you can find the "chuck eye" cut of beef, that's what CI recommends as best. They said 7-bone roasts and top-blade are also good.
There are so many great variations- it's pretty simple to do. I find it always comes out best in a dutch oven or old heavy iron pot. The CI one is a good one to follow- then once you get the idea, you don't really need a recipe. I prefer it with the red potatoes, and also fresh string beans. It's one of those recipes though that is often better the next day, so be sure to make enough for leftovers!
The recipe already posted is a good one. Here's my personal favorite.
Marinate the roast in a bottle of inexpensive French salad dressing (the oil & vinegar kind) overnight.
Next morning, sear it on all sides in a hot Dutch oven or cast iron skillet with a little fat. It should be dark brown all over.
Chop fine a bell pepper, a medium white onion, and 3 or 4 stalks of celery. You can add a clove or two or garlic if you like. Add a couple of teaspoons of salt and of black pepper. Mix together and put on and around the roast.
Cook as instructed, though I don't usually use any liquid, for half the cooking time. Now add vegetables. I'd suggest a few potatoes, a parsnip, a few carrots, some pearl onions, and a nice number of whole mushrooms. But's it's really up to you. Season these a bit, cover again, and cook and until the roast and the vegetables are tender.
Pot roast makes a great crock pot meal that will cook while you are at work. I buy a chuck beef roast that is tied with string. Sorry, I forget the name of the cut, I just look for the string. It needs to be well marbled and a bit fatty. In the morning I dust it with seasoned flour and then brown the cut ends in a saute pan over heat a little hotter than medium but not as hot as medium high on an electric range. Put the seared meat in the crock pot on low. Put a 1/2 - 3/4 cup of water or so in the dirty pan and scrape up any bits. Add to the crock pot. The roast is going to give off plenty of water/juice so don't add much more water to the pot. Cook on low 6-8 hours. Remove roast. Pour juices into a pan. Pour some of the juice into a small bowl with 1/4 c of flour. Whisk the flour/juice smooth. Heat the pan juice to a strong simmer. Whisk in the flour/juice to make gravy. I have a favorite herb mix I add to boost the flavor. You can also add a tablespoon of ketchup. I prefer to let people salt and pepper at the table. We usually serve pot roast with Near East rice pilaf and peas. Or, add some peas to the rice pilaf and serve with carrots. It's a good idea to find out from your husband how he likes his pot roast. He might be used to having it served with mashed potatos. You can cook a pot roast on the stove if you don't have a crock pot but then, for us, it has to be a weekend meal. I agree, leftover pot roast is even better. Pot roast sandwiches are good,too. It's one of our son's favorite meals.
The recipes will vary on your likes and dislikes but let's speak a little to the method. The jfoods do not own a crock pot but you will find many who swear by them on this site. I use an old trusted method of low and slow. It is of absolutely no use on a weekday night (hence the advance of crock pots) and i understand that the low and slow limits my calendar flexibility, but it's a cross I bear.
I use a reynolds cooking bag or a dutch oven. Sear the meat and either cook or do not cook the veggies, your choice. Then add the liquids and seasoning and into a 300-325 oven for hours. Some people wil suggest ketchup, french dressing, wines, beef stocks, etc. you just need to experiment on what you and hubby like.
About one-hour before the total time expires, I take out the meat and slice it and then return it to the oven for the last hour. Why? I screwed up years ago and started cutting the meat to early and it was not tender enough. Instead of throwing it out I continued to slice and returned the sliced meat to the liquid barising. The reult was outstanding. It became a regular process for all braised meats.
I agree with the crock pot...and you can make it in minutes. I just use a quatered onion, a few chunks of celery, a handful of baby carrots (i put garlic in everything) and 6 cups of aujus (two packets of the powdered gravy mix). Let it cook all day on low or 4 -5 hours on high. If you like, throw in a couple of potatoes and the whole meal is right in one pot.