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help me make a pot roast in a clay pot

I bought a 3.5 lb. chuck roast on Friday that I wanted to make for tonight's dinner, but I think I'm running out of time for today. I'm interested in making a tender, fall apart roast with vegetables (carrots, celery, potatoes, maybe some mushrooms), and the recipes I've seen are cooked low and slow - about 225 degrees for close to 4 hours. I was getting ready to make the roast earlier this afternoon from a low and slow recipe, but then I saw my clay pot (Schlemmertofp) that I hadn't used in ages. I used to make roast chickens in that pot, but never made a beef roast. I googled Schlemmertofp as well as Romertopf clay bakers for recipes, but the only one I found was for roast beef cooked at 425 degrees for 2 hours. I was a bit skeptical about success with this recipe, so I researched other clay pot recipes for chuck roast. I didn't find what I was looking for.

Does anyone have a good recipe for chuck roast in a clay pot with veggies? I would need time and temp info and any other info that you think would guarantee success.

I found recipes for microwave cooking, crock pots, and dutch ovens. I don't own a crock pot or dutch oven and the thought of microwaving a roast does not appeal to me.

Thank you very much for any help you can offer. I'm getting ready to put the meat away and prepare it tomorrow......unless you know of some other fool proof way to make this roast in a clay pot so that it will be fall apart tender and delicious by 7:00 p.m. What do you say, hounds??

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  1. It will be tender sooner if you cut it into large cubes rather than leave it whole. You want the oven (or stove top) to be just hot enough so that the liquid simmers - bubbles barely break the surface, not boiling.

    2 Replies
    1. re: paulj

      Thanks, Paul. I'll consider your suggestion about cutting meat into cubes and keeping liquid to a simmer. I'm also going over to Barnes and Noble today to see if I can find a book on clay pot cooking. Time to invest in a dutch oven, I guess, as many of the recipes I've seen on the net for pot roast, recommend them. I appreciate your taking the time to reply.

      1. re: addicted2cake

        I have experience with a clay pot, but it is the Chinese sand pot, which like Spanish terracotta, is glazed on the inside. As long as you avoid thermal shocks, it can be used much like a dutch oven.

    2. There's no set time or temperature for a dish like this. That's why you've seen the large time and temp differences in the 2 recipes you've read. I think a good split down the middle of the 2 is a good place to start. A temp of about 325 or 350 for maybe 2 or 2.5 hours is good. The thing is you won't have great luck if you try to pinpoint a recipe for a dish like this. In other words, the roast is done when it's done.

      I wouldn't waste your time going to the bookstore, there's far more information on the web for things like this.

      http://cookingwithshirley.com/cooking...

      http://www.cyberbilly.com/meathenge/a...

      http://www.chinesefooddiy.com/roast_b...

      http://www.fantes.com/romertopf.html

      http://homecooking.about.com/od/appli...

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clay_pot...

      1 Reply
      1. re: HaagenDazs

        Thanks very much HaagenDazs for the links. My trip to the bookstore(s) was in fact a waste, as B&N did not have any books on clay pot cooking and neither did Borders. I, in fact, contacted Shirely of Cooking with Shirley and she advised 400 degrees for 2 1/2 hours. She said if I want the meat at the fall apart stage, that I should cook it longer. You're probably right about the roast being done when it's done. It's just not that easy pulling that roaster out of the oven to check for doneness. I'll give it 3 hours, then check. I appreciate your help!

      2. I have had a clay pot for many years, and there used to be a great (paperback, large format) cookbook put out by Consumer Reports. It is out of print now, and my copy is falling apart, but I still use it all the time. It had a bunch of international recipes modified for the clay pot, and many were great with little or no tweaking. The following recipe is one that I modified pretty heavily to match my family's taste. Try the parsnips, even if you think you don't like them, they add great flavor to the pot roast.

        Clay Pot Roast
        3.5 to 4 lb. Blade Roast (Chuck)
        4 ribs celery, chopped
        4 large carrots, chopped
        4 medium onions, chopped
        2 large cloves garlic, peeled, smashed
        2 t. dried thyme or 2 large sprigs fresh thyme and 10 stalks fresh parsley
        2 bay leaves
        About 2 c. red wine
        6 boiling potatoes, cut in half or quarters, or left whole, depending on size
        2 parsnips, peeled, cut lenghtwise in half or quarters, depending on size
        1 lb. small carrots, peeled
        Salt and pepper
        Submerge Clay Pot, both parts, in water for 15 min. (1 hr. first time).
        Trim excess fat from meat. Dry well. Salt and pepper generously, dredge with flour.
        Place chopped onion, celery, carrots, and garlic in bottom of soaked clay pot. Scatter herbs over. Salt and pepper generously. Place meat on top. Pour red wine around edge, enough to cover vegetables, but not meat.
        Place covered clay cooker in cold oven, set to 425°. Cook for 1 1/2 hours. Add carrots, potatoes, parsnips around edge of meat. Continue cooking about 1 hour, until vegetables and meat are tender. Remove meat, carrots, potatoes, parsnips (the vegies added for the last hour of cooking) to a serving platter, keep warm. Mash chopped vegetables into juices in a skillet over high heat to reduce and thicken. Strain, then defat juices, and taste for salt and pepper. Serve over meat, potatoes, carrots, and parsnips.

        3 Replies
        1. re: dkenworthy

          Thanks very much for the recipe, dkenworthy. I've put up the meat using a similar recipe I sort of concocted. Mine did not include parsnips. I should have thought of that. I LOVE parsnips with roasted meat. I threw all the veggies into the pot. I'll probably have mushy veggies from doing that. Your way sounds better. I was just concerned about pulling the roaster out of the oven before the meat was done. I'll try your technique next time. Many thanks for taking the time to help me out.

          p.s. I'm printing out your recipe for future use.

          1. re: addicted2cake

            No problem, addicted. I LOVE the clay pot for winter cooking, because preparation is simple (no splatters from browning meat!), and I don't mind warming up the house using the oven when it is cold anyway. Even though it takes some time, it is time I can be doing something else (like put my feet up and read the paper). I often add vegies part way through cooking for longer cooking meat, but always wait at least an hour so that the oven is at temp, and the meat has had a chance to get really going. If I am cooking something like chicken that will only take an hour to an hour and a half, I just throw everything in at the beginning.

          2. re: dkenworthy

            Looks classic..I'll save that one, too.

            Where IS my clay pot, anyway? (I do have a paperback cookbook but it isnt consumer reports...hell if I recall who did it. Lots of fun, though)

          3. Thanks, everyone, for your help with my pot roast in a clay pot. I cooked it a little over 3 hours and it was fall apart tender. I should have waited to put the veggies in an hour or so into cooking instead of cooking them from the beginning, but outside of that misstep, the roast was juicy, tender, and flavorful. I think I'll be using my pot more more now that I know what Im doing. I really appreciate all your great advice!

            1. I recently bought a clay pot at a yard sale and it came with a cookbook! I have made a couple great dinners from it! If you are ever looking for a resipe you cant find on the net feel free to e-mail and ill let ya know if i have it! canatale22@yahoo.com.

              Carol

              1. I use my Schlemmertopf and Rommertopf clay bakes ALL the time to do sirloin tip roasts and veggies. Soak the baker for 10 mins in water (top and bottom). Put your whole roast and chopped veggies ( I cut my small potatoes in half and half my whole carrots lengthwise.) sprinkle salt, pepper, whatever spices you prefer, lay veggies around and on top of roast, sprinkle with organic olive or sunflower oil. Place lid on pot, put pot in cold oven. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and cook for 2 to 3 hours. We like our meat really well done so I cook for 3 hours, if you like it medium 2 to 2.5 hours. depending on the altitude you live at. I'm at sea level. Remember when you take the pot out of the oven, put it on a towel or trivet that isn't cold otherwise the pot and the lid will crack. Remove lid onto towel and serve. I cook a cast iron skillet yorkshire pudding alongside my roast. When cool scrub your clay baker with soapy water and a brush, let it dry exposed before storing away, lid inverted into bottom, don't put the lid on top to store.