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Pot roast help, please

I just made a Kraft recipe for "Prairieland Pot Roast" that involved pouring a bottle of Catalina dressing over the meat, potatoes, onions, and carrots. My husband thought it was great (he likes anything), but I didn't care for the tangy flavor of the Catalina. And that got me to thinking that I don't like ANY beef stew or pot roast recipe I've ever tried. I just want it to taste like meat in gravy, but every stew or pot roast has some kind of sharpish flavor that I don't like. Is it the addition of the vegetables that changes the taste so much?

Anyone out there have a pot roast recipe that might satisfy a picky eater like me? Don't want to make you sophisticated Chowhounders groan, but Cracker Barrel has an open face roast beef sandwich that I'm assuming is made like a pot roast--very moist meat and onions with a thin gravy. Guess that's what I want pot roast to taste like, but I have no idea how to accomplish. I'd like to stretch the dish with potatoes and carrots, but don't want the carrots to affect the flavor--is that impossible?

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  1. I find that a lot of onions cooked in with the meat gives it a flavor I don't care for. Love onions, and if I carmelize them separately and stir them in later, I like that. But long cooking in with the beef doesn't suit my tastes.

    1. My Grandmother made her the old Yankee way: with onions, potato, carrot and water. Salt and pepper that's it. If you go up to at least halfway up the roast, it should leave enough of a thin gravy to coat all of the meat and vegs and about a half pound of cooked spaghetti, the other thing she always did. It's deliciously simple.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Phurstluv

        I would start with something basic like this, and work from there to see how replacing part or all of the water with stock and/or wine impacts the flavor. If it still tastes bitter or sharp to you, I'd borrow a page from weezycom and caramelize a bunch of onions, stirring them into the broth for the last 20 minutes or so...

        1. re: Phurstluv

          And if you want a beefier flavor, use beef broth or stock in place of the water.

        2. The carrots should add a sweetness that counteracts whatever sharp flavors you're tasting, and they're mild enough that they shouldn't really impact the flavor in a distinctly noticable way. That said, if you really want to ensure they don't impart anything at all, just saute or roast them separately and stir them in at the end, or even into each serving.

          1. Just wondering...have you ever tried using some nice red wine in your pot roast? and some good quality beef stock? Those 2 together along with your aromatic veggies and some herbs should do you good and make a rich flavorful pot roast...maybe some tomato paste for thickening...but, sheesh...a WHOLE bottle of Catalina dressing? The number 1 ingredient is high fructose corn syrup! Not trying to start a war with the "what's-so-wrong-with-high-fructose-corn-syrup" crowd, it might as well be pure sugar but if that's the first ingredient...no wonder the flavor is sharp.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Val

              Well, this IS a Kraft recipe. ;-) But I like your suggestion of red wine and beef stock. I'll try that next time. I've never liked bottled salad dressings, so I don't know why I thought it would taste good in a pot roast.

              Don't want to sound completely ignorant here (but I am): do you use cooking wine or a real red wine?

              1. re: Birmingham

                No, it's GOOD to ask questions!!! always good! A decent burgundy would work, even a zinfandel...you could probably find one under $10...if you don't drink red wine, maybe freeze the remainder of the bottle for future cooking uses...you would only need 1/2 or at most, 1 cup depending on size of roast. Definitely go with real wine, you'll be good to go...I think...the wine even could present too much tanginess but I think it lends more of a rich flavor myself especially with beef stock or broth.

                1. re: Val

                  My husband and I are just remembering that there was some beef recipe I made about 10 years ago with red wine in it that we absolutely loved. You can see how much we use wine in cooking. ;-) I'm going to go through my cookbooks and see if I can find what it was. Maybe it was a pot roast.... Wonder why I stopped making it.

                  Thanks for that tip on freezing the wine, too. That's what keeps me from using real wine in cooking--it would just go to waste. (Neither of us can take the sulfites.)

                2. re: Birmingham

                  Step AWAY from the cooking wine. :-) It's loaded with sodium. Always go with a wine you'd drink. Wine and beef stock are two good liquids to use for a nice pot roast.

                3. re: Val

                  I use this recipe, and thought it was a good start, but was missing something.

                  Instead of the water, use beef broth or stock. I use maybe 1/8 cup for each side when browning the roast, and then mix in a big squirt (maybe another 1/8-1/4 cup?) of the dressing to the broth and stir, then add in. Also, a cup or 2 of wine is added to the simmering liquid.

                  I am not a huge salad dressing fan, especially Catalina, but it gives a depth of flavor to the recipe that doesn't taste like salad dressing. Just having the dressing and water... leaves much to be desired. The braising liquid is the problem in this recipe.

                4. The number one pot roast (and soup) killer for me is not sauteeing the onions first. I will not eat a soup or stew where the onions have simply been tossed into the broth without being sauteed in butter or oil first. They give a really sharp, unpleasant flavor that overpowers the rest of the dish. If you don't already do this, brown your meat, remove it, then brown your onions and other veggies in the meat drippings until the onion is tender, and then proceed with the recipe.

                  If you already do this, then I suggest cutting back on whatever acid your recipe calls for or thinning it with some beef broth. I don't like bottled dressings in general, not because I'm a snob, but because they often contain a very acidic preservative, such as sodium benzoate, that really makes it bitter.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Isolda

                    Ah! I didn't sautee the onions this time as I did last time--and I did like it much better last time than today's version. I'm still gonna skip the dressing--but I'll be sure to sautee the onions first. Thanks so much for that tip, Isolda!

                    1. re: Birmingham

                      yes yes yes...saute those onions first along with your other aromatics, carrots, celery etc. It will mellow out the flavor of the onions for sure!

                  2. America's Test Kitchen has a terrific pot roast recipe. You can try Googling for it. I know it's on their web page but I think you have to subscribe to their web site in order to get the recipe. It's really, really good, not a lot of work or complicated yet results in a succulent and flavorful roast

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: DiningDiva

                      I enthusiastically second the Cooks Illustrated version of Pot Roast. It's amazing

                      1. re: shaebones

                        I suppose it would be unethical to give me the recipe? I don't have a subscription and probably wouldn't use it.

                            1. re: LindaWhit

                              That blogger does a nice job. Always wanted to see the end result of the Hazan Lasagne Bolognese and she has some nice shots. A lot of CI recipes there with step by step pictures as well.

                              jfood just bookmarked it.

                              Thanks LW

                              1. re: jfood

                                You are quite welcome, jfood. :-) I did peek quickly at the blog and it does look like a good one, although I don't get into blogs as much as many others do.

                                1. re: jfood

                                  Here's mine that I give you credit for since you started me down the Bolognese road.

                                  1. re: c oliver

                                    looks fantastic...windows are dirty. :-))

                        1. Here is what I do for a pot roast and everybody that ever tried liked it. No weird stuff in it.

                          If you have a dutch oven that is big enough, start with a "7 bone chuck roast". It is bigger and thinner than a boneless chuck roast. The bones will make it taste beefier. Season and sear it on all sides and remove it.

                          Put in your chopped onions and sweat them at medium heat for about 5 minutes until they become translucent. Add your garlic for about 30 seconds until u can smell then stir it into the onions. Deglaze with a little beef stock or broth or a little red wine...even those tiny 8 oz bottles you see at the store. Scrape all the brown bits off the bottom and then put your roast back in. Add canned beef stock or broth to about 2/3 up the roast. Bring the stock to a boil.

                          Put the lid on the dutch oven and put it in the preheated oven at 300 degrees F for 3 hours.

                          At this point, you can add seasoned peeled carrots and sliced potatoes and quartered onions to the pot and turn it up to 350 degree F. Let cook another hour then remove the roast, carrots and potatoes. Defat the liquid in the pot. add a slurry of corn starch or flour and cold water to the pot to thicken liquid. Bring to a boil.

                          Serve. You can opt to just roast the carrots and potatoes separately.. that works fine too.

                          You could also opt to puree some of the carrots and potatoes into the braising liquid instead of the flour to thicken.

                          You could add a little red wine to the braising liquid at the last if you like that. In your case maybe not.

                          If you are going to add garlic, add more than you think you should. Garlic loses a lot during a slow braise.

                          If you are going to add herbs and or spices, do it for the last hour. 3-4 hours is too long for the spices.

                          If you don't have a dutch oven, Alton Brown on Food network has a recipe where he uses aluminum foil.

                          10 Replies
                          1. re: Hank Hanover

                            this is perfect Hank I'll be right over! I really think the secret is searing the roast first and cooking it low and long. You can't rush a good roast. The cut is also very important and 7-bone does make a good meal. I'm not real keen on wine in my roast unless it's very little and I'm siding it with rice instead of potatoes, and the little baby onions instead of the big yellow ones. I guess it depends on who your trying to impress that night...

                            1. re: clmarchand

                              About the cut of the meat: I asked the butcher what kind of meat people use for pot roast and he suggested an "English roast" which I never heard of before. This is what I've used twice now and it does come out very tender. But tell me this: is it a contradiction to say it's tender but tastes a little dry to me? I mean, it falls apart and looks beautifully moist, but when I taste it, I want to drown it in gravy or put it in a sandwich slathered with mayo.

                              1. re: Birmingham

                                an English Roast is a shoulder cut. It's essentially the same meat as a standard chuck roast. They usually do well with long, low temperature, cooking.

                                It sounds like you may be overcooking the meat. In my experience doing that will often make the meat very mushy, flavorless, and dry no matter how much jus or gravy you put on it. What temperature do you cook it at, and for how long?

                                1. re: tbradt

                                  The first time was on the stove as the recipe called for. It must have tasted all right or I wouldn't have tried making it a second time. But the second time I did it in the crockpot on high for about 5-6 hours and then perhaps another hour on low. I originally thought it had come out better because of the way it fell apart--but now I'm wondering.

                                  1. re: Birmingham

                                    that could well be it then. I don't believe I have ever cooked a roast on high in the crock. Generally for a 2-3 pound roast (and accompanying veg), 5-6 hours on low is plenty of time. On occasion you may want to start on high for 30 minutes or so just to get things warmed up, but the low setting is plenty hot enough to cook the meat.

                                    Since times can vary a fair amount between different cuts of meat, I will often check the roast after three hours by piercing it with a skewer. If it sticks at all, the roast could still use some cooking, but if it slides in and out neatly the roast is done.

                                    1. re: tbradt

                                      I just realized something: when I decided to do this recipe in the crockpot instead of on the stove (as it's written), I quickly checked my various Crockpot recipe books to see how long pot roasts normally took. Most recipes said 10-12 hours on low or 5-6 on high. But what I didn't think about was the thickness of the roast. This English roast was only 2.5 inches thick whereas I'm guessing traditional pot roast is normally a thicker round roast.

                                      Okay, so there's another mistake I made--along with not browning the onions!

                                2. re: Birmingham

                                  According to "The Cook's Thesaurus" at http://sonic.net/~alden/MeatBeefChuck...
                                  The english roast is a cross rib roast or a Beef Chuck Cross Rib Roast. That means it is from the same chuck region everybody else is talking about.
                                  I usually like the 7 bone chuck roast because I have found that the bones add to the flavor of the braising liquid.

                                  By the way, I have never had a crockpot meal turn out quite as good as in a dutch oven. I don't know why. It should work great but it is never quite the same.

                                  Most roasts that you will use are 2.5 to 3 inches thick maximum. The 7 bone is maybe only 2 inches thick. You should be able to use any of the following: boneless chuck; 7 bone chuck; cross rib; boneless shoulder. I wouldn't use the rump, round, eye of round. In fact, I would highly recommend staying in the chuck family.

                                  1. re: Hank Hanover

                                    I'm like you Hank, I've never had a crockpot meal turn out as well as in my dutch oven. Same thing, don't know why either. Sometimes I wonder if it's the crockpot itself.. ?? LOVE my dutch oven :) Thanks for the recipe too. Now when I want a pot roast, I'll be coming to this thread!

                                    1. re: livetocook

                                      I think it has to do with the crockpot actually working at the theoretical braising temperatures of 190 or so and maybe u to about 209 degrees F.

                                      In truth, your dutch oven probably doesn't cook at that range which would require you to set the oven at 200 degrees. It is usually 300.

                                      Not sure but that is my theory and what the heck. It's as good as anybody elses.

                              2. re: Hank Hanover

                                Jfood would recommend avoiding the cornstarch slurry and reduce the broth though evaporation to compress the flavors. And a little more red wine up front for the braising liquid may add a nicer flavor if you use a nice bold bottle.

                                just a couple of tweek double-H

                              3. Regarding the use of wine, I've used beer in it's place before, and it tastes really good as well. Also for me, there is something about the flavour of dehydrated onions. For years I tried to find some "odd flavour" that my grandma's beef stew had in it, with no success. Then one day I smelled some dehydrated onions while getting some seasonings from a bulk bin, and remembered smelling it in her spice cabinet. So I tossed some in and what do you know! THAT was the missing flavour. Not sharp at all, just.... dehydrated-onion-y lol

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Popkin

                                  I used beer (a mild brown ale) in place of the wine in Cook's Illustrated recipe, and I'm not sure if it was the root vegetables (parsnips, carrots) or the beer, but it came out with a sweet taste that I found unpleasant. And I love a good carbonnade, but that's different from what I expect from my post roast.

                                2. The replies already offered should serve you well. But I'll add that there is not, in my view, much need at all for the acid component that many replies suggest as replacement for Catalina dressing (which I'd actually never heard of before, I should add). If what you want is a beef in gravy flavor, then you should omit or moderate the acids (dressings, wines, vinegars), use an appropriate beef cut (chuck is likely, but shanks or oxtails are also good), and then brown the meat and braise away!

                                  Carrots (and celery) in large amounts will affect the flavor, but a little bit of each is likely to help without being obtrusive at all.

                                  1. your potatoes will be pretty neutral in flavor so they are great for stretching it. The carrots will go well too, and you will most likely never taste them in the meat unless you just add loads of them.

                                    I love making pot roasts, and i have two recipes i will share here that are my favorites. The first is more like what you are talking about, but both really show off the flavor of the meat.

                                    Standard crock pot roast
                                    1 2-3 lb roast (you want it to be more round than flat)
                                    1 medium onion
                                    2 large baking potatoes (or equal quantity of your favorite)
                                    1-2 carrots depending on taste
                                    3 cloves of garlic
                                    2 bay leaves
                                    1/2 can of beef broth
                                    2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
                                    couple of glugs of worcestershire sauce

                                    Cut up your potatoes and carrots and layer in the bottom of your crock pot while searing your roast. Put your chopped onion in with them, but try to keep the onions off the bottom of the crock pot. Once the roast is seared place it in. Pour your beef broth and vinegar into the still hot pan you used for searing to get up all those left behind bits. Pour that over the roast. Crush or mince your garlic and rub that over the top of the roast. Put the bay leaves down beside the roast, and hit the top with a few glugs of worcestershire, and salt and pepper to taste. Just let it cook 5-6 hours or until you can push the back of a spoon through the meat with little to no resistance.
                                    It seems like you won't have enough liquid, but you will be surprised how quickly it fills up from the veggies and the roast.

                                    Another I like to do is simpler.

                                    1 large 2 inch thick chuck roast
                                    garlic powder
                                    can of tomatoes
                                    4 good sized mushrooms
                                    a large shallot

                                    Sear your roast in a large skillet, and slice the mushrooms and shallot. Remove the roast and set it aside while you lightly saute the mushroom and shallot, then add the tin of tomatoes and let that cook until it just starts thickening.
                                    Spread out some foil and spread 1/3 of the mix onto it. Place the roast on top of that, and spread the rest of the mixture from the pan over it. Then sprinkle with the garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
                                    Wrap it all up tightly being careful to keep the seams of the foil above the top of the roast to avoid losing moisture. I usually set it into a large casserole dish just to catch any spills, and cook it in a 250 degree oven for about 3 hours.
                                    If you clip a corner of the foil you can reserve the liquid that runs out for making gravy.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. I just mix 1 can french onion soup with 1 can golden mushroom soup and pour it over the roast. It makes a really good gravy.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: sierraskyesmom

                                        Of course, there is always the roast with the lipton onion soup mix like this. http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Easy-Pot... not my favorite but many people swear by it.

                                        Oh, I did find the link to Alton brown's pot roast using aluminum foil and he roasts the veggies separately.


                                      2. For pot roast, I like to use a chuck roast. Other less-tender cuts of beef are too stringy or dry for my liking.

                                        I use a basic mirepoix (2 parts chopped onion: 1 part chopped celery: 1 part chopped carrots)... maybe other herbs (bayleaf or thyme) if I remember and beef broth.

                                        Salt and ppr the pot roast
                                        brown in the dutch oven... remove for later
                                        saute the mirepoix (1 C Onion, 1/2 C celery, 1/2 C carrots) until soft
                                        Add the beef and beef stock (enough to come halfway up the beef)
                                        Simmer (or cook in the oven 300F with the lid on) for roughly 45 minutes per pound.

                                        1. I use either Kitchen Bouquet or Gravy Master (a small amount, maybe a tablespoon tops) in my pot roast. I use good beef stock (low sodium) and use carrots, turnip, potatoes and onion. It ain't Yankee pot roast without turnip!

                                          I dredge the meat in flour, salt and pepper and brown in good olive oil, then remove, add the onion, then carrot and turnip and potatoes, then deglaze with the stock, the gravy master, stir and add the meat. Turn the heat to very low, cover and cook.

                                          I've also done it in a crock pot, but like the stovetop method better. I will add a bit of flour to the pan gravy to thicken it as well.

                                          1. Your statement that every stew or pot roast tastes sharp to you is a puzzler, unless you have NEVER browned onions for any of them. Are you using a non-coated cast iron Dutch oven? If so, what you are tasting may be the iron. It will react with the acids in the ingredients. You must be very sensitive to sharp tastes to detect it. Even when I have used tomato and/or wine in my unlined D.O., I don't taste iron. It sounds like you should make plain roast beef with onion jus rather than pot roast or beef stew.

                                            9 Replies
                                            1. re: greygarious

                                              Well I've been thinking hard on the subject and realize that just about every beef recipe I've ever made has been in the crockpot--and none of those recipes ever called for browning the onions. This recipe is to be made on the stove and that's how I did it the first time, browning the meat and veggies first--and I actually liked it alot. This second time, I decided to brown the meat on the stove but then throw everything else into the crockpot. The meat seemed more tender with the longer cooking time, but I didn't like it nearly as much--figured it had to be the dressing and the carrots since I don't normally like either. But now my eyes are opening to the possibility that it's because I don't brown my onions. Never would have thought of that in a million years.

                                              I'd give it a third try, but after Val's comment on the high fructose corn syrup, I'd rather try it with red wine and beef broth. (You Chowhound folks have inspired me to stay away from prepared stuff.)


                                              1. re: Birmingham

                                                I'd give it a third try, but after Val's comment on the high fructose corn syrup, I'd rather try it with red wine and beef broth. (You Chowhound folks have inspired me to stay away from prepared stuff.)

                                                AND caramelize some onions to go into the crockpot. You'll be in heaven. :-)

                                                1. re: Birmingham

                                                  Yep! I agree that browning onions first really helps mellow and sweeten the flavors. If you do that, and make sure to get a good crispy sear on the meat before braising, and braise it long enough, it'll be great. I'm also a big fan of the beef stock/wine combo for liquids. Braising it long and low enough was the thing that took me forever to learn. It took a long time to comprehend that I wouldn't overcook it, I'd be breaking down all the nice tough stuff and fats so that it becomes melty....

                                                  1. re: dingey

                                                    Yes, and I'd only add that the onions shouldn't be "sweet" onions like the Vidalias. Some people think that mild/sweet onions will make mellower food down the road, but it's been pretty well established that regular yellow onions seem best in long-cooking approaches.

                                                    1. re: Bada Bing

                                                      Jfood would argue this a little in that his favorite onion soup uses sweet onions for a 3 hour caramelization. it creates an outstanding end result.

                                                      1. re: jfood

                                                        Really? Vidalia- or Walla-Walla-type onions? When I cooked with them once at a friend's place, they seemed to me to lack flavor after a 50-60 minute spell of cooking in cast iron. Maybe three hours and your technique makes a difference.

                                                        I wouldn't have drawn conclusions from one experience, but I also read some Cooks Illustrated article on this issue, as well. Their verdict was that the stronger yellow onions retained more flavor and gained plenty of sweetness during caramelization.

                                                        But I haven't tested it further: I just never buy those onions that are sold as especially sweet and mild. Thanks for your pointer that maybe I should look some more into this.

                                                        1. re: Bada Bing

                                                          jfood has uded vidalia, wala, and maui's. usually 8# at a time. the first hour gets all the liquid out and then then next two on a VERY low flame and stirring every 3-5 minutes gets them great.

                                                          jfood then usesif onion soup or to freeze them in little circles for hamburgers off the grill.

                                                          1. re: jfood

                                                            I see. What kind/size of pot do you use for that quantity of onions?

                                                            1. re: Bada Bing

                                                              Farberware stock pot. they get small real fast.

                                              2. This is beef stew rather than pot roast but I was super pleased with it:


                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                  You don't want prepared stuff!!

                                                  A bit of wine, stock, onions and browning is the most important step.
                                                  At the end I would take time to make a good gravy and you can reduce this for more intense flavor.

                                                  I freeze my left over wine in icetrays - just add a few cubes when you need them.

                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                      Apologies meant for the O.P. Birmingham.

                                                2. Good morning-
                                                  I have a pot roast recipe that we use in my kitchen. Usually it remains top secret, but we get so many requests for our pot roast we do have this spec available for those who want it. Enjoy, Leo.

                                                  Colonial Inn Fork Tender Pot Roast
                                                  Chef Leo Kremer ©
                                                  It is best that you make your pot roast 1 day ahead of time so you can slice it nice, if you cut it hot it will fall apart (this is a good thing for eating it though)

                                                  1 pc Eye round of the round choice beef, about 4 lbs.
                                                  1 ea. Diced onion large
                                                  1/2 ea. Heads diced celery
                                                  2 ea. Diced carrots
                                                  3 ea. Cloves minced garlic

                                                  - Preheat your oven to 300 degrees
                                                  - Sear the eye round in a hot heavy bottom pan, le cruset will work very well for this, until it is brown and caramelized.
                                                  - Take it out and caramelize the vegetables on medium heat. 10-15 mins
                                                  - Put the tomato paste and garlic in and cook with the vegetables for 3 minutes.
                                                  - Return the meat to the pan. Put the beef broth and canned tomatoes in and cover with water until the liquid reaches ¾ the way up the sides of the meat. Add the bay leaves
                                                  - Braise at 300 degrees for roughly 4-6 hours, turning the meat over every hour. Braise it until it is fork tender. (Cooking time can depend on thickness of the meat.
                                                  - Served the pot roast with the braising sauce. Add some salt and pepper to taste, thicken with cornstarch mixed with water.
                                                  The keys to great pot roast are to sear the meat well, get it nice and brown on the outside. Next you want to get good color on your vegetables. The most important step is to be patient. If you wait the 4-6 hours you will be cutting your pot roast with a fork, so remember good things come to those who wait. One more suggestion, wait until the end for your salt and pepper. As the liquid reduces it may become too salty if you add the salt too early.
                                                  This goes great with some buttery, creamy mashed potatoes, steamed baby carrots, and a warm family discussion.

                                                  6 Replies
                                                  1. re: ChefLeo ColonialInn

                                                    Welcome to Chowhound, and nice of you to share, but your recipe omits oil for searing, and quantities for broth, tomatoes, bay leaves, and the cornstarch slurry. Also, you refer to a "heavy bottom pan" but seem to have omitted the mention of covering it. Presumably you mean either a Dutch oven or a roasting pan tightly covered with foil, but this is info that any readers who are not accomplished cooks will not realize.

                                                    1. re: greygarious

                                                      Thanks. Looks like half of my spec got cut off in the post
                                                      Sorry about that folks-

                                                      1 T vegetable oil
                                                      1/2 (6 oz.) can Tomato paste
                                                      1 can Chopped tomato (14 oz)
                                                      2 cans Beef stock or broth
                                                      2 ea. Bay leaves
                                                      1 bunch Fresh thyme

                                                      As for the roasting pan, I do not cover it. The broth 3/4 way up the pan takes care of the tenderness.

                                                      1. re: ChefLeo ColonialInn

                                                        One more question CLC,

                                                        You use an "Eye Round" for your pot roast?

                                                        That seems like a too lean piece of meat for a braise


                                                        1. re: jfood

                                                          That's what I thought as well. Chuck roast all the way, bay-bee. ;-)

                                                          1. re: jfood

                                                            I also am supposing that an eye of round is too lean to gain much from braising/pot-roasting. And they're not usually quite 4lbs size around here. Can you confirm the beef cut?

                                                            Eye of round is great cooked as a dry roast at VERY low temp until done through to medium rare (derived from a Cooks Illustrated approach).

                                                            I almost wonder if you mean eye of chuck, but that is something I usually see cut as steaks (very tasty, by the way, like a poor man's ribeye).

                                                            1. re: jfood

                                                              Hoping Chef Leo will reply, but I looked up the Colonial Inn and they do list a Yankee Pot Roast "fork tender eye round braised for hours"--so I guess that's what they use all right ($19.95 btw).

                                                      2. I don't like a "sharp" pot roast either. This is how I make mine in the slow cooker:

                                                        * 1 box unsalted natural beef broth (I get it at Target, the brand is Kitchen something in a red and white box, right beside the other beef broths)
                                                        * 1 tsp sea salt
                                                        * 1 tsp black pepper
                                                        * 1 tsp Better Than Beef base (found with bouillion)
                                                        * splash of worcestershire
                                                        * potatoes, carrots, onions, sometimes mushrooms
                                                        * roast

                                                        The combination of unsalted beef broth plus the Better Than Beef base is AMAZING. Super "beefy" flavor. I use them both for French onion soup too. Just don't combine Better Than Beef with a regular salted beef broth - that is a crazy amount of salt that sends my otherwise healthy blood pressure sky high. I use sea salt as needed b/c it has magnesium which doesn't have the same effect on blood pressure.

                                                        If it's still too bitter or sharp for me after a few hours of cooking, I add a little brown sugar or honey.

                                                        1. I have an electric skillet that I use for a great pot roast. I turn it on high and use either a chuck roast or a 7-bone roast. Usually it is about 3-4" thick. I sear both sides and as much of the ends as I can. Turn heat down to about 350. Then I add some beef broth and water, season with some s&p and seasoning salt. Total cook time is 2-3 hours. You will need to add additional liquid down the road. I let it cook until all the liquid is almost totally gone, remove the lid and let the liquid cook out which is actually re-searing the meat. Add more liquid and in the last 1/2 hour or so, add halved pealed potatoes, baby carrots and quartered onion. When done, I remove the roast (usually so very tender), carrots and potatoes. I make a flour/water slurry and mix into the broth for gravy. Season to taste and you're done. So good. OK - now I'm hungry.

                                                          1. You might like cooking the meat in beef broth. I've started adding a quart of Pacific organic beef broth to the pot, instead of water. It gives everything a deeper flavor. And I guess you want to NOT add the red wine and/or balsamic vinegar that I add to my pot roasts, eh? ;-)

                                                            Just made a good one yesterday, in fact. Ingredients: organic Angus beef (not sure of the cut; looked like a chuck roast. It was from our side of beef and the butcher doesn't do a good job of identifying the specific cut), beef broth, garlic (about three whole cloves), one large sweet onion, carrots, red potatoes, some Madeira (prefer a cabernet or merlot, but didn't have any leftovers), salt and pepper, "fines herbs" from Penzeys, and several sprigs of rosemary.


                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: Beckyleach

                                                              Ooops. Somebody up thread is irked that folks are leaving out oil (I used olive oil) for searing, and instructions as to what vessel was used: I used my 100 year old Piqua cast iron dutch oven. I started with just the beef (seared) and broth. Later added the onions, garlic, and wine. Then the carrots, and herbs. And finally the potatoes (they were small). I guess it cooked for about three hours, total.