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Pot Roast

j
jhopp217 Dec 22, 2010 05:36 AM

Am I the only person who can not stand pot roast. My boss gets on me every time it comes up, but I always try to explain that taking a lousy piece of meat and cooking it forever doesn't make it good. Is anyone on board with me? I feel alone, haha!

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  1. c
    CDouglas RE: jhopp217 Dec 22, 2010 06:30 AM

    Pot roast is one of the great comfort foods of all time. The chuck primal is second only to the rib primal in terms of true beefy goodness. When cooked to the correct temperature the collagen in the roast breaks down into gelatin and the meat can be cut with the side of a fork. In this case low and slow is the only way to achieve perfection. Shank cuts and short ribs can be done in similar fashion and are among the most memorable of the beefy bovine deliciousness.

    Additionally, true barbecue can almost be defined as lousy (tough, cheap) pieces of meat cooked forever (low and slow) in order to make it good (great). I have had better BBQ than any filet mignon I ever tasted.

    1 Reply
    1. re: CDouglas
      j
      jhopp217 RE: CDouglas Dec 22, 2010 07:44 AM

      I don't consider filet mignon a great piece of meat. Anything without fat, is usaually without flavor. Tenderness has nothing to do with taste. I've had the most tender BBQ ever, but it was without flavor, so what's the point?

    2. a
      adoranora RE: jhopp217 Dec 22, 2010 06:40 AM

      I used to agree with you - until I used an Alice Waters recipe from the Art of Simple food. Now we love it and have it twice a month. So, er, I guess I am not your demographic. But I used to way overcook pot roast so I didnt like it - now I cook it right, and I think its good. Not to make you feel more alone though! Hey, you know, I can't stand lamb, and everyone else loves it so...

      1 Reply
      1. re: adoranora
        j
        jhopp217 RE: adoranora Dec 22, 2010 07:45 AM

        I'll give you all the pot roast you can eat if you give me the lamb, haha!

      2. mcf RE: jhopp217 Dec 22, 2010 07:24 AM

        I think pot roast is one of the great winter comfort meals. Any recipe that starts with inferior ingredients is going to be regrettable, so I use brisket or chuck roast, both flavorful and with enough fat to confer great tenderness, moist and flavorful results.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mcf
          j
          jhopp217 RE: mcf Dec 22, 2010 07:46 AM

          Ironically I love brisket! Let me rephrase that. I love good brisket. Bad brisket is equally as awful as pot roast!

        2. t
          travelmad478 RE: jhopp217 Dec 22, 2010 07:36 AM

          Pot roast is not about fooling people into eating a lousy piece of meat--it's the way you cook big pieces of meat that are not full of fat. They are, however, full of flavor. I made a bolar roast about two weeks ago using the Cook's Illustrated pot roast recipe and it was just delicious.

          8 Replies
          1. re: travelmad478
            mcf RE: travelmad478 Dec 22, 2010 08:36 AM

            Ooh, but it's so much better when you cook meats that have fat, like brisket and chuck. I used to use lean meats, and even slow cooked in liquid, they were dry and bad compared to t hose.

            1. re: mcf
              t
              travelmad478 RE: mcf Dec 22, 2010 08:52 AM

              You should try my bolar roast. I cut almost all the fat off it, cooked it low and slow and it was fabulous. Really, really slow, though--almost five hours at 300, for a 4.5-lb piece of meat. You have to be generous with the gravy, of course.

              1. re: travelmad478
                f
                fourunder RE: travelmad478 Dec 22, 2010 08:56 AM

                curiosity question.....

                Bolar is not a term I am normally associated with concerning meat cuts.....Where exactly do you reside, or were brought up where this term originates from.

                I have looked it up and it references what is more commonly known as a Blade Roast for me.

                thanks in advance

                1. re: fourunder
                  t
                  travelmad478 RE: fourunder Dec 22, 2010 09:35 AM

                  I had never heard of it either until I bought this particular roast. I live near Lancaster County, PA and that's where I got it, at Stoltzfus Meats: http://www.stoltzfusmeats.com/ I asked what it was when I saw it, and was told that it would make a great pot roast, so that's what I did with it. If you Google the term, this is a good answer that comes up: http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/2001954

                  1. re: travelmad478
                    mcf RE: travelmad478 Dec 22, 2010 10:00 AM

                    It sounds like a roast with a fair amount of fat in it to make it very tender with slow cooking. I've heard that chuck blade is good for pot roasts, and it's interesting that they say it can be used for dry heat as steaks.

                    1. re: mcf
                      t
                      travelmad478 RE: mcf Dec 22, 2010 10:11 AM

                      Mine had barely any fat at all. There was a little layer of fat on the outside, which I cut off, and pretty much zero marbling or layers of fat in the meat itself. Go figure. It tasted great after an insanely long cooking time. As I noted, the gravy was integral to the whole thing, but in my opinion there is no such thing as pot roast without gravy anyway.

                      1. re: travelmad478
                        mcf RE: travelmad478 Dec 22, 2010 10:45 AM

                        Looks like if you trim a blade roast to zero inches of external fat, it has 18.66 grams of fat per 7 oz raw. Of course, much of that cooks out, but it bastes and flavors the roast really well during the braise. I'd say it has plenty of fat and that's why it was so good.
                        :-) http://www.honeysucklewhitepromo.com/...

                        http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/b...

                2. re: travelmad478
                  mcf RE: travelmad478 Dec 22, 2010 09:10 AM

                  I've never heard that term, but if it's blade, doesn't it have internal fat to baste it while it cooks? I actually tend to use temps lower than that for very slow roasting, and 300 for roastst with plenty of fat. I prefer whole brisket to think cut because it has slabs of fat on top and between the pieces/layers for self basting. I skim the liquid after cooking, slice the meat and return to the partially pureed liquid and veggies.

            2. s
              snackcake RE: jhopp217 Dec 22, 2010 07:53 AM

              I think pot roast when made correctly is awesome! My family calls me the potroast expert! Cooked low and slow is the key to success with this dish. Also, searing the meat at a high temperature on all sides prior to slow roasting makes the end result even better. I use a chuck roast for my pot roast, slit small openings in it, stuff those with garlic cloves, season it well, dredge it in flour and sear all sides, then into the slow cooker it goes with the onions, carrotts, mushrooms, splash of lee and perrins and a dash of homemade chicken stock, potatoes are added towards the end :) Yum - I always end up with more people at the dinner table when pot roast is a cooking :)

              1. f
                fourunder RE: jhopp217 Dec 22, 2010 07:59 AM

                I have to agree with you.....Pot Roast is not something I would normally make by choice. Whether using Top or Bottom Round, Rump or even Brisket.....it's terrible for me. The only braise I can stomach is Swiss Steak, but that's after pounding the meat so it's chewable.

                Chuck Roast or Seven Blade Roast make the only acceptable choices for cuts of beef for Pot Roast...but if I'm braising red meat....I'm doing Short Ribs or Ox Tails.

                1. bagelman01 RE: jhopp217 Dec 22, 2010 03:08 PM

                  " taking a lousy piece of meat and cooking it forever doesn't make it good"
                  You absolutely right. BUT>>>>>>>>>there are good cuts of meat that make excellent pot roast. My favorite is the top of the rib.

                  1. MinkeyMonkey RE: jhopp217 Dec 22, 2010 05:00 PM

                    I actually like pot roast. My gram made it with boneless chuck and cooked it in a pan on the stove. I cook it the same way she did by searing both sides, turning down the heat, putting the lid on and cooking with carrots, onions and celery until done. Somehow, it always comes out tender. We all have different tastes...

                    14 Replies
                    1. re: MinkeyMonkey
                      512window RE: MinkeyMonkey Dec 22, 2010 05:20 PM

                      I like pot roast too. And that's how I always made it, and it was good. But last weekend I made a pot roast and instead of simmering it on top of the stove, I baked it at a low temperature. It was sublime. It made me sad to think of how many ordinary pot roasts I'd made over the years.

                      Try baking it.

                      1. re: 512window
                        MinkeyMonkey RE: 512window Dec 22, 2010 07:20 PM

                        Really? How intriguing! What temp and for how long did you bake the roast for? Was it in a covered dish? Oooh, now I'm curious!

                        1. re: MinkeyMonkey
                          mcf RE: MinkeyMonkey Dec 23, 2010 06:47 AM

                          I brown it on the stove, make the braising contents (red wine, beef stock, fresh thyme, rosemary and parsley, quick cooked onion, carrots, celeary and garlic, one container chopped Pomi or San Marzano tomatoes. Add browned meat back in, bring to a boil and place in an oven between 275-325 for 3-4 1/5 hours depending upon size and cut. Take out the meat, cool slightly, slice, return to pot (after skimming fat off the surface. I actually puree half the contents of the pot for a thicker sauce. Sometimes I reduce it for richer flavor. Either store the meat in the sauce overnight, reheated and eating the next day, for for a half hour the day of cooking.

                          1. re: mcf
                            MinkeyMonkey RE: mcf Dec 23, 2010 12:23 PM

                            Thank you, that sounds incredible!! I'll going to try it for new years dinner...

                            1. re: MinkeyMonkey
                              mcf RE: MinkeyMonkey Dec 23, 2010 12:48 PM

                              Here are my two favorite recipes, though I favor Tyler's ingredients, minus the cream and horseradish and mushrooms; I' ve made the complete recipe without the cream and horseradish and it's wonderful, but just browning the meat, using the veggies, herbs, liquids and technique without the rest of the steps makes a great braise. Just to give you ideas wrt proportions.
                              I don't throw away the veggies, I just puree half. I don't measure anything, but I probably use half a bottle of decent red wine, a cup or more of beef stock. You need enough liquid to come at least halfway up the side of the meat and should turn it over halfway through cooking.

                              http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...

                              http://foodpluspolitics.com/2007/06/0...

                              1. re: mcf
                                MinkeyMonkey RE: mcf Dec 23, 2010 04:13 PM

                                Terrific!! It is a good thing you don't measure because neither do I. It just makes more sense to me to "add carrots" rather than to measure out a quarter cup etc.

                                My father, my gram and I all cook by sight and smell because it seems to work better for us. I'd say it is genetic but I'm know it is learned.

                                This is going to be a great meal, thank you for sharing!

                                1. re: MinkeyMonkey
                                  mcf RE: MinkeyMonkey Dec 23, 2010 04:45 PM

                                  have fun and enjoy!

                                2. re: mcf
                                  jfood RE: mcf Dec 23, 2010 04:55 PM

                                  You are the only person i have read that has the same technique. I always slice, return and continue the braise. The overnight in the fridge is also key.

                                  1. re: jfood
                                    mcf RE: jfood Dec 23, 2010 05:09 PM

                                    What are all those non slicing/returning braisers out there thinking?!?! ;-)

                                    1. re: mcf
                                      MinkeyMonkey RE: mcf Dec 23, 2010 05:21 PM

                                      I assume they are all like me, a little lazy :)

                                      1. re: MinkeyMonkey
                                        mcf RE: MinkeyMonkey Dec 23, 2010 05:23 PM

                                        Well darlin', sooner or later yer gonna hafta slice it ta eat it. We're just sayin' sooner's better, izzall.

                                        1. re: mcf
                                          MinkeyMonkey RE: mcf Jan 1, 2011 08:59 AM

                                          ...and we had a lovely roast last night but my guy wanted to do the cooking since I made breakfast. He followed the description in your above post but he just couldn't see slicing it!! Well, I'll try it another time. It was delicious though!

                                    2. re: jfood
                                      mr jig RE: jfood Dec 29, 2010 10:15 AM

                                      jfood, as usual you are ahead of the curve.
                                      I consider any other method dishonorable!

                                      Carry on
                                      dick

                                3. re: mcf
                                  512window RE: mcf Dec 28, 2010 11:01 AM

                                  That's pretty much what I did, minus the tomatoes and the pureeing. I had a smaller piece of meat and baked it at 325 for about two hours.

                                  I used a covered casserole.

                          2. scubadoo97 RE: jhopp217 Dec 23, 2010 12:34 PM

                            Pot roast is too generic of a term. I take issue with the "lousy piece of meat". The beauty of braising meat is to take a cut that would be difficult and unpleasant to eat if cooked fast and turn it into a sublime experience when cooked slow. I tend to shy away from top or bottom round roasts in favor of cuts that have more connective tissue

                            1. mrbigshotno.1 RE: jhopp217 Dec 23, 2010 02:54 PM

                              Definition of torture: Coming home in the late afternoon of a cold winter day and smelling the pot roast cooking and having to wait until it's done and on the table. TORTURE!!!

                              And don't forget the homade parkerhouse rolls!

                              1. paulj RE: jhopp217 Dec 23, 2010 04:45 PM

                                What do you mean by 'lousy piece of meat'?

                                Is pot roast inherently bad, or have you just had bad preparations? Maybe you need to describe what you mean by pot roast.

                                1. jfood RE: jhopp217 Dec 23, 2010 04:56 PM

                                  A brisket with the deckle still attached...into the oven to braise for 2.5 hours...slice...return to the braise...overnight in the fridge...amazing :-))

                                  1. c oliver RE: jhopp217 Dec 23, 2010 06:08 PM

                                    What IS that particular lousy piece of meat? That's the question. And I also know that one CAN overcook things like pot roast. It can be tender and tasty or tender and flavorless.

                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: c oliver
                                      pikawicca RE: c oliver Dec 23, 2010 06:13 PM

                                      There is a restaurant here that makes a pot roast that I would just about kill to get the recipe. It's very tender, tasty chuck, with an incredibly intense port wine sauce. I've driven myself crazy trying to duplicate this dish.

                                      1. re: pikawicca
                                        c oliver RE: pikawicca Dec 23, 2010 06:17 PM

                                        Crazy-er??? You can't convince them to give it up? I'm shocked. And, yes, chuck is my go-to for so many things. Hmm, maybe I need to do Will Owen's pork shoulder with a beef chuck. I've done it with lamb and ham.

                                        1. re: c oliver
                                          pikawicca RE: c oliver Dec 23, 2010 06:25 PM

                                          I did trade pie recipes with this chef 20 years ago, or so, but this pot roast is his serious "secret" recipe, so I'd feel strange asking him for it.

                                          1. re: pikawicca
                                            c oliver RE: pikawicca Dec 23, 2010 06:30 PM

                                            I could ask :)

                                          2. re: c oliver
                                            Will Owen RE: c oliver Dec 23, 2010 09:08 PM

                                            "Hmm, maybe I need to do Will Owen's pork shoulder with a beef chuck." Just don't pull Will Owen's stupid trick and try it with tri-tip. MAJOR failure. To quote one of my own favorite put-downs: The meat was cooked to perfection, but unfortunately was not taken from the oven until considerably later … Chuck will probably be okay at around 190º. The tri-tip shoulda been pulled at 160. And Mrs. O (as I've mentioned before) dislikes any beef cooked beyond what a good veterinarian could fix. So her reaction was unkind, but just.

                                            1. re: Will Owen
                                              c oliver RE: Will Owen Dec 24, 2010 07:08 AM

                                              As someone will be saying tonight 'ho, ho, ho.' I too was raised and have contined to espouse 'walk it past the fire, slice, apply bandaid.'

                                      2. YAYME RE: jhopp217 Dec 24, 2010 02:09 AM

                                        Don't like Pot roast, that's just sad. I've followed the Joy of cooking recipe and it's never gone wrong. But I add chopped beets to my pot roast and make what I call 'communist' pot roast because it turns the broth bright red. Last time I add cinnamon which IMHO is under used as savory spice and it was divine.

                                        1. alanbarnes RE: jhopp217 Dec 24, 2010 07:17 AM

                                          There's no such thing as a lousy cut of beef. The notion that the only meat worth eating comes from the rib and loin primals causes people to miss out on some of the best cuts on the steer.

                                          "Pot roast" is just a braise. If you choose a cut that's inappropriate for braising, then the results are not going to be very good. But if you pick a braising cut and cook it to appropriate doneness with flavorful liquids and well-balanced aromatics, it's a thing of beauty.

                                          Daube Provencal is a pot roast. So is boeuf bourguignon. Classic brisket is pot-roasted, as is corned beef. And how about short ribs? Or osso buco? Pot roast rocks.

                                          12 Replies
                                          1. re: alanbarnes
                                            scubadoo97 RE: alanbarnes Dec 24, 2010 09:13 AM

                                            I'd rather eat any of the above over tenderloin.

                                            1. re: alanbarnes
                                              j
                                              jhopp217 RE: alanbarnes Dec 28, 2010 07:15 AM

                                              Boef Bourguignon being compared to pot roast? Osso Buco? Come on....not even close

                                              1. re: jhopp217
                                                paulj RE: jhopp217 Dec 28, 2010 07:43 AM

                                                why not?

                                                What do see as the essential differences? The cut of meat? the cooking method? The seasonings? The country of origin?

                                                I suspect you have a narrow definition of pot roast, probably determined by some bad examples that you've been served (or grew up with?). alanbarnes has a broader definition, that includes a variety of braised beef dishes.

                                                1. re: paulj
                                                  j
                                                  jhopp217 RE: paulj Dec 28, 2010 11:13 AM

                                                  Actually, I grew up on wonderful, more gourmet types of meals and thus don't have a love of a cheap piece of meat cooked to death an drowned in a sauce that I don't particulary find very appetizing. I've never been much of a stew person, but I've been served boeuf bourguignon and osso bucco many more times than pot roast. We had also had wonderful brisket & sauerbraten (which can is traditionally not an expensive piece of meat, but bursting with flavor. And finally, I've yet to have a great "traditional"pot roast and have been served it by people who are praised for their roasts. To me it's not about a definition, it's about what you were raised on. Someone who is raised on Godiva isn't going to love a Hershey bar.

                                                  1. re: jhopp217
                                                    t
                                                    travelmad478 RE: jhopp217 Dec 28, 2010 11:21 AM

                                                    What on earth do you think brisket and sauerbraten are? POT ROAST. It seems to me that what you are saying is that you don't like BAD pot roast. Well, surprise surprise, neither does anyone else. That doesn't mean that pot roast can never be good!

                                                    We are all really, really impressed that you grew up on such wonderful gourmet meals. And FYI, Godiva was owned until 2008 by Campbell's Soup, and is now owned by a Turkish producer of mass-market cookies and chocolate. I wouldn't get too high and mighty about it.

                                                    1. re: travelmad478
                                                      j
                                                      jhopp217 RE: travelmad478 Dec 28, 2010 11:59 AM

                                                      I always thought it was a company started in Belgium in the 20's. IMO good pot roast is bad meat. Not worth the time or the trouble.

                                                      1. re: jhopp217
                                                        mcf RE: jhopp217 Dec 28, 2010 02:04 PM

                                                        Then it was owned by Hershey's or someone lousy for a while, IIRC, and contained hydrogenated fats and went badly downhill... they cleaned up their act after the last sale and make some decent chocolate now. But the point stands that if Godiva is your reference for gourmet chocolate, well... I grew up on gourmet food, never once had supermarket meat, only custom butchered stuff delivered to our house, and pot roast (brisket, not an expensive cut at all) and beef stew were two of my favorite meals.

                                                    2. re: jhopp217
                                                      paulj RE: jhopp217 Dec 28, 2010 12:04 PM

                                                      I suspect the problems with those bad examples include:
                                                      - the wrong cut of beef, such as rump that is too lean and does not have enough connective tissue.
                                                      - bland seasoning (New England?)
                                                      - letting it get dry during cooking (not enough liquid or a poor sealing lid)

                                                      I think the Good Eats epsiode on pot roast (chuck for chuck?) is a good starting point. He uses a chuck roast, browns it well, and then braises it sealed in foil with a small amount of savory ingredients like raisins, vinegar, and tomato sauce. In the end most of liquid comes from the meat itself.

                                                      1. re: jhopp217
                                                        jfood RE: jhopp217 Dec 28, 2010 02:37 PM

                                                        When I was growing up there were very few cutso of meat less expensive than veal shank. I grew up poor and these were almost given away by the butcher. And beef stew and beef bourguinon start with the same cut of beef and both are cooked in a liquid at a low temperature. Likewise sauerbraten use the same cut, brisket uses a cut a few feet up the back of the steer and one would not call that an expensive cut, either.

                                                        so it sounds like you should separate the geography of the meat from the cooking of the cut. There are many recipes that will give you that burst of flavor.

                                                        So don't blame the beef blame the chef.

                                                        I would rather have a great braise than a tenderloin any day of the week.You just need to learn how to prepare it.

                                                        1. re: jfood
                                                          mcf RE: jfood Dec 28, 2010 03:00 PM

                                                          "I would rather have a great braise than a tenderloin any day of the week."

                                                          Word.

                                                    3. re: jhopp217
                                                      alanbarnes RE: jhopp217 Dec 28, 2010 07:48 AM

                                                      I'm not **comparing** them to pot roast, I'm saying they **are** pot roast. The only possible distinction is that the boeuf in boeuf bourguignon is generally cut into chunks instead of left whole. But still, it's a piece of meat that's browned and then cooked in a covered pot with a little liquid. Ergo, pot roast.

                                                      1. re: alanbarnes
                                                        scubadoo97 RE: alanbarnes Dec 28, 2010 10:28 AM

                                                        Ditto. They are all a form of pot roast

                                                  2. p
                                                    ptrichmondmike RE: jhopp217 Dec 25, 2010 01:35 PM

                                                    You are probably not the only person, but I have to believe you are in the minority. Most of the people I know, including me, love pot roast and all it entails: gravy, potatoes and carrots, whatever. I like it whether it's slow-cooked or pressure-cooked. I've never had a pot roast I didn't think was yummy.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: ptrichmondmike
                                                      Will Owen RE: ptrichmondmike Dec 25, 2010 02:18 PM

                                                      It was my mom's pot roast, frequently dry though it was, that got me to liking turnips. At a fairly early age I got pretty good at spying out which white chunks were turnips and which potatoes, initially so I could avoid the former. Then I came to realize that those potatoes were pretty bland and boring, whereas the turnips had an interesting flavor all their own …

                                                      To me, though, the best part of pot roast, the apotheosis as it were, was HASH. Mom chopped the vegetables and ran the meat through the grinder, mixed in enough gravy, and baked it with a biscuit topping. I adored that. It was a grave disappointment to me that Mrs. O does not adore it, to put it very mildly.

                                                    2. alanbarnes RE: jhopp217 Dec 28, 2010 02:40 PM

                                                      In reviewing your responses to myself and other posters, it has become clear that you are using a definition of "pot roast" that is different than what most of the people here use, and is inconsistent with every cookbook, dictionary, and culinary reference work I've seen.

                                                      But although you've said that you don't consider many traditional pot roasts to be "pot roast," you've never told us what you think pot roast **is.** So none of us has any idea what you're talking about. What, precisely, is the "lousy piece of meat" that you think is a necessary ingredient? Brisket? Chuck? Round? Does your definition require a specific preparation method or a certain combination of aromatics and/or liquid(s)?

                                                      I don't doubt that you dislike whatever it is that you're calling "pot roast." But according to the commonly-accepted definition, most brisket preparations are pot roast. Osso bucco is pot roast. Any cut of meat (especially beef) that's braised is pot roast. You claim to like these things, but then say you "can not stand pot roast." That's what leaves the rest of us scratching our collective head.

                                                      1. chicgail RE: jhopp217 Dec 28, 2010 03:30 PM

                                                        I am so with you. I just don't get it about pot roast. And I am so glad I'm not the only one. Maybe its because my mother never made it when I was growing up (I guess she didn't like it either). As an adult, I tried making them and eating them, but never got what the fuss was about.

                                                        I can't remember the last time I made, ordered or ate a pot roast and I can't imagine one in my future. Bland. Boring. I've never found a recipe that I consider worth my time.

                                                        Now, that being said, braised beef is one of my favorite things: short ribs and brisket being my favorites.

                                                        15 Replies
                                                        1. re: chicgail
                                                          mcf RE: chicgail Dec 28, 2010 03:52 PM

                                                          Braised brisket *is* pot roast.

                                                          1. re: mcf
                                                            c oliver RE: mcf Dec 28, 2010 04:03 PM

                                                            As has been mentioned upthread, there definitely seems to be some confusion about terms. A 'roast' that is slow cooked in a 'pot' is a 'pot roast' in my book. That is a defining aspect of braising, isn't it? I think if anyone has a negative association with it, again as others have said, it was that the wrong cut was used and it was likely overcooked. I think, generally speaking, when I cook a lamb or pork shoulder it's still a "pot roast." Isn't it???

                                                            1. re: mcf
                                                              chicgail RE: mcf Dec 28, 2010 04:05 PM

                                                              Technically it is, but what most people mean by "pot roast" is cut from the chuck, round or rump.

                                                              1. re: chicgail
                                                                mcf RE: chicgail Dec 28, 2010 04:08 PM

                                                                That's true unless they're Jewish, then it's more than likely brisket. But the poster I last replied to called pot roast bland; that's a recipe/preparation issue, not a choice of meat issue.

                                                                1. re: mcf
                                                                  chicgail RE: mcf Dec 28, 2010 06:52 PM

                                                                  I'm Jewish and to me pot roast is pot roast and brisket is brisket and there is an enormous difference. Furthermore, I've never heard a Jewish person refer to brisket as pot roast.

                                                                  I'm with sedimental below that pot roasts I have had are little more than a hunk of cheap meat with carrots, celery and onions and water or beef broth that cooks for hours and hours and keeps you from going to bed hungry.

                                                                  If you have a recipe for chuck or round-based pot roast that is not a yawn, please share it with the rest of us.

                                                                  1. re: chicgail
                                                                    c oliver RE: chicgail Dec 28, 2010 07:19 PM

                                                                    I'm curious why you think a non-expensive cut of meat is a bad thing. Could you elaborate please? Also what most of us know now is that the vegetables dont get added until towards the end of the cooking time so they're not mush. "Hours and hours"? Where's the meat thermometer? Water? Wow. No wonder you don't like pot roast. I've actually used chicken broth or stock more successfully than the beef version although I made my own beef stock recently and will be trying that in the coming months.

                                                                    It doesn't seem like many of the posters here are in need of a recipe. Most of us think the genre is really, really good. Maybe give some of the suggestions here a try. You might change your mind.

                                                                    1. re: c oliver
                                                                      chicgail RE: c oliver Dec 29, 2010 03:43 AM

                                                                      Firat of all, I don't think inexpensive meat is bad. I just don't care for braised chuck or round.

                                                                      Second, I was both quoting another poster and somewhat exaggerating when I talked about water and vegetables.

                                                                      I have absolutely given pot roast "a try." I've used stock and wine and seasonings. I've even tried grilling the meat to brown it and provide some underlying smoke flavor prior to braising. Nothing I have done has taken pot roast out of bland and boring category for me.

                                                                      It's fine with me that you and "most of us" like pot roast. I don't like it.

                                                                      If you know of a way to prepare the darn thing that would bring it above the meh category, I just might try it again. But in general, there are too many other things I like that I cook and enjoy to bother with pot roast.

                                                                      1. re: chicgail
                                                                        j
                                                                        jla1960 RE: chicgail Dec 29, 2010 04:26 AM

                                                                        There are several recipes given in this thread.

                                                                        1. re: jla1960
                                                                          chicgail RE: jla1960 Dec 29, 2010 04:42 AM

                                                                          jia, the only two I saw were Ina Garten's, that is pretty similar to what I have done and Tyler Florence's that (in my world) is a brisket, not a pot roast.

                                                                          I was interested in what recipe c oliver's uses that s/he is so fond of. Do you have something interesting?

                                                                          1. re: chicgail
                                                                            j
                                                                            jla1960 RE: chicgail Dec 29, 2010 06:03 AM

                                                                            No, I don't, that's why I pointed out the 2 recipes in the thread. One was posted by snackcake (the 16th post) and one by mcf (the 22nd post). I don't believe either of them are from Garten or Florence, and both sound very good to me. Good luck!

                                                                            1. re: chicgail
                                                                              c oliver RE: chicgail Dec 29, 2010 07:15 AM

                                                                              Here's one that might suit you:

                                                                              http://www.food.com/recipe/boeuf-bour...

                                                                              For myself I rub the meat with whatever seasoning suits me at the time. I deeply brown all over in DO, small amount of chicken stock to deglaze, into 450 oven uncovered for 30 minutes, brush with oo, add a little wine or more stock, then back into the oven at 350 until about to fall apart but not overcooked. If using vegetables, add about an hour before done.

                                                                              And since that half century old pot roast idea seems to be the type cited by those who don't care for pot roast, I didn't think it was a silly question. I try not to ask silly questions.

                                                                        2. re: c oliver
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                                                                          sisterfunkhaus RE: c oliver Jan 1, 2011 06:34 PM

                                                                          I make a delicious pot roast with a delightful and flavorful sauce. But, I did notice that several people mention using chicken stock. i can't wait to give it a try the next time I make a pot roast.

                                                                        3. re: chicgail
                                                                          bagelman01 RE: chicgail Dec 28, 2010 08:03 PM

                                                                          I'm Jewish too, and growing up, if my mother made brisket in a covered pot on the top of the stove, she told us she was making pot roost. If the brisket was made in the oven, mom said she was cooking brisket.

                                                                          Mom also used top of the rib for pot roast, but never in the oven.

                                                                          Back in the late 1960s and early 1970s many sisterhood cookbooks called for making brisket in the oven, sealed in aluminum foil and spiced with only an envelope of instant onions soup mix for seasoning, this was NOT pot roast.

                                                                          1. re: chicgail
                                                                            mcf RE: chicgail Dec 29, 2010 05:59 AM

                                                                            If you haven't had brisket pot roast ever, maybe that's why you don't like pot roast.
                                                                            :-) In my extended family, that's the only meat we called pot roast. Can you specify the enormous difference, other than perhaps a better recipe for brisket?

                                                                            You don't appear to have read the whole thread; here are two recipes I've used as guides to my best chuck, brisket and rump pot roasts.

                                                                            Of the two, I prefer the Tyler Florence one, minus the sour cream and horseradish and even the mushrooms. The herb bundle is critical, IMO, as is the sauce reduction. You can toss the veggies or puree; I've discussed how I make pot roast using these guides in posts higher up in this thread. I don't measure anything any more, nor look up the ingredients.

                                                                            http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...

                                                                            http://foodpluspolitics.com/2007/06/0...

                                                                        4. re: chicgail
                                                                          c oliver RE: chicgail Dec 28, 2010 04:08 PM

                                                                          I only use chuck and think it's fantastic. But I don't overcook it. I think that's a mistake that people make also. They may think that because it cooks for a long time that it can cook forever. Nope. BTW, that "PR" can, in my kitchen, cook on the stovetop, in the oven or in the slowcooker.

                                                                    2. f
                                                                      fourunder RE: jhopp217 Dec 28, 2010 04:19 PM

                                                                      Is *Pot Roast* a dish.....or a *Method* of cooking beef......i.e., like the confusion that's similar to *London Broil* ?

                                                                      30 Replies
                                                                      1. re: fourunder
                                                                        mcf RE: fourunder Dec 28, 2010 04:27 PM

                                                                        I think braising is the method, and a big ole hunk 'o' braised beef is pot roast. To me, other braised meats, though potted, are not "pot roast." Personal definition, but I think the most typical interpretation.

                                                                        1. re: fourunder
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                                                                          sedimental RE: fourunder Dec 28, 2010 04:29 PM

                                                                          Good question. I would guess that it is both. Technically it is a big piece of meat cooked in a pot with liquid until fork tender. But for GP, most older Americans would think it is a big piece of beef that is braised with beef broth and veggies. I don't think most of our American grandma's used wine or even garlic in the pot. I think that is why some would say it's a boring dish....it was the traditional recipe that does not excite their taste buds. I find the traditional American version really boring too.

                                                                          1. re: sedimental
                                                                            mcf RE: sedimental Dec 28, 2010 04:30 PM

                                                                            What traditional American version is that?

                                                                            1. re: mcf
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                                                                              sedimental RE: mcf Dec 28, 2010 04:34 PM

                                                                              A big cut of beef, some veggies (carrots, potato, celery, onion) and some water or beef stock. Served for Sunday dinners with rolls and green beans. Pretty standard 50's and 60's American fare across the US. Apple pie for dessert.
                                                                              Oh............ and jello.

                                                                              1. re: sedimental
                                                                                c oliver RE: sedimental Dec 28, 2010 04:40 PM

                                                                                Wait! that's a half century ago. I'm 63 and I certainly don't cook like that.

                                                                                1. re: c oliver
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                                                                                  sedimental RE: c oliver Dec 28, 2010 04:47 PM

                                                                                  Me neither!
                                                                                  I answered the question about what a "traditional" American version of a pot roast dish was. I think that was "traditional" for American moms and grandmothers. I grew up with that as the only way to cook a "pot roast". I don't think most of us cook like that now, but if that is what the OP is thinking about when he thinks of "pot roast"...then I too, think its a boring dish.

                                                                                  1. re: sedimental
                                                                                    c oliver RE: sedimental Dec 28, 2010 04:49 PM

                                                                                    Gotcha! Maybe OP will check in and clarify. Certainly what I cook and eat now isn't what I ate growing up (in the 50s and 60s!).

                                                                                    1. re: c oliver
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                                                                                      sedimental RE: c oliver Dec 28, 2010 05:11 PM

                                                                                      No, I don't cook like my grandma. But we didn't even have access to many ingredients then. Wine in cooking would have been "exotic"!!!! LOL

                                                                                      I think most "traditional" American recipes are rather boring because of that. So, some dishes may get a bad rap....like pot roast.

                                                                                      1. re: c oliver
                                                                                        mcf RE: c oliver Dec 28, 2010 05:12 PM

                                                                                        Looking at some "traditional" pot roast recipes, I can see how some folks got turned off. I was born in the 50s, and while I may cook a lot of things differently than my mother did, my attention to flavors and quality of ingredients and prep from scratch is similar. My mother's pot roast, beef stew and cabbage soup with flanken are very happy memories.

                                                                                  2. re: sedimental
                                                                                    mcf RE: sedimental Dec 28, 2010 05:09 PM

                                                                                    I grew up in the 50s and 60s, and our pot roasted brisket had red wine, tomatoes, onions, celery, carrot, tomato and garlic. Not all the fresh herbs I put in mine, but damned tasty. I did google up traditional Yankee and American pot roasts, though, and a lot of those recipes looked mighty insipid.

                                                                                    1. re: mcf
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                                                                                      sedimental RE: mcf Dec 28, 2010 05:18 PM

                                                                                      Yup. I think your family was pretty progressive in cooking back then to use garlic and wine! I think my mom thought only "eye-talians" used those things! LOL

                                                                                      We also lived in a town with only one grocery store (like alot of small towns then). Our veggies were home grown.

                                                                                      1. re: sedimental
                                                                                        mcf RE: sedimental Dec 29, 2010 06:08 AM

                                                                                        Maybe it was a benefit of having lived in a neighborhood with mostly Eye-talians. :-)

                                                                                    2. re: sedimental
                                                                                      paulj RE: sedimental Dec 28, 2010 05:17 PM

                                                                                      I don't recall much about the seasoning of the Sunday pot roast. It wouldn't have had wine or garlic, since those weren't in the house. Sometimes it was dry, especially if cooked too long in the covered electric skillet. I suspect the cut was often a slice of rump or round. I liked to take the center bone, both for the marrow and the connective tissue surrounding it.

                                                                                      Now my favorite cut is are beef shank or beef cheek; and seasoning could have wine, garlic, and/or lots of black pepper (Itialian Peposo).

                                                                                      1. re: sedimental
                                                                                        chicgail RE: sedimental Dec 28, 2010 06:47 PM

                                                                                        sedimental, thank you for re-creating my experience and point of view about pot roast.

                                                                                        1. re: chicgail
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                                                                                          sedimental RE: chicgail Dec 28, 2010 08:15 PM

                                                                                          Well, it's kinda like "grilled cheese" sandwiches. I always thought of them as white bread with cheddar cheese, grilled. I didn't think that they also might be brioche with gouda and pear, grilled. Welcome to the future. Sometimes old stereotypes of food sticks with you -and you have to grow up and out of the box.

                                                                                        2. re: sedimental
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                                                                                          sisterfunkhaus RE: sedimental Jan 1, 2011 06:37 PM

                                                                                          I've had that version. I grew up on it, and it is awful. Luckily, I learned how to cook right (it sounds like I make it in a similar fashion to many of the posters here) and now I make a wonderful pot roast with firm veggies and a red wine gravy. It tastes nothing like that bad version many of us grew up on.

                                                                                    3. re: fourunder
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                                                                                      gadfly RE: fourunder Dec 29, 2010 07:52 AM

                                                                                      I think the comparison to London Broil is apt, as, depending on where you are in the country, supermarkets will label specific cuts of beef as London Broil or pot roast. Obviously both can have a much broader meaning, but at a Stop and Shop, Shaws, or Big Y (all Massachusetts based supermarket chains) the two terms refer to a specific cut of beef.

                                                                                      1. re: gadfly
                                                                                        c oliver RE: gadfly Dec 29, 2010 09:33 AM

                                                                                        What confuses the issue even more is that there's little standardization of what different cuts are called. Where you live, what cut is "pot roast"?

                                                                                        1. re: c oliver
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                                                                                          gadfly RE: c oliver Dec 29, 2010 09:53 AM

                                                                                          I don't really know another name for the cut. That's what supermarkets and butchers have been calling it in New England for as long as I've been alive, and I've rarely been in supermarkets when on the road. It's a chuck roast, but not the eye or the top blade. The boneless and bone in pot roasts might actually even be different parts of the chuck, from what I'm seeing online. The bone in pot roasts contain a section of the shoulder blade, which seems to be called the 7 bone roast elsewhere - though I can't really remember the last time I saw a bone in pot roast at the supermarket. The boneless pot roasts have two distinct muscles separated by a thick line of fat and connective tissue, which seems to be called the cross rib roast elsewhere.

                                                                                          1. re: gadfly
                                                                                            c oliver RE: gadfly Dec 29, 2010 01:30 PM

                                                                                            Here in NoCal where I shop I don't think I ever see it described as pot roast. We have chuck roast, bone-in chuck roast, chuck steak, etc. And, yes, 7-bone chuck steak or roast which is my favorite for grinding for burgers (Thanks, alan barnes.) And I think chuck is just chock (!!!) full of flavor.

                                                                                            1. re: c oliver
                                                                                              scubadoo97 RE: c oliver Dec 29, 2010 01:34 PM

                                                                                              Here here.

                                                                                              1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                mcf RE: c oliver Dec 29, 2010 01:41 PM

                                                                                                I'm in metro NY and here it's also labeled by cut, though sometimes after the name of the cut, it will say "for pot roast." but not usually. Most places trust us to figure out what we want to do with it. :-)

                                                                                                1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                  mcf RE: c oliver Dec 29, 2010 01:43 PM

                                                                                                  I haven't tried those for burgers yet, but have you ever tried using flank steak for them? My favorite so far, even more than short rib and brisket combined. It's the only lean steak that has such terrific flavor.

                                                                                                  1. re: mcf
                                                                                                    c oliver RE: mcf Dec 29, 2010 01:50 PM

                                                                                                    I intended to grind in some short rib the last time but forgot about it. I bought 10# of 7-bone at the Latino market and now have 20+ burgers in the freezer! We're very happy :)

                                                                                              2. re: c oliver
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                                                                                                gadfly RE: c oliver Dec 29, 2010 10:00 AM

                                                                                                I should also add that, until very recently when things like short ribs got trendy, chuck has been the only braising cut of beef I've ever seen with any regularity at a supermarket in this region. Brisket, oxtail, short ribs, beef shin, and the like only ever made brief appearances as sale items, if at all. And different types of chuck have been sold under names related to the dish traditionally using them, such as cubed chuck always having been sold as stew meat or stew beef.

                                                                                                1. re: gadfly
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                                                                                                  fourunder RE: gadfly Dec 29, 2010 10:08 AM

                                                                                                  oxtail, short ribs, beef shin, and the like only ever made brief appearances as sale items, if at all.
                                                                                                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                  these are all common cuts in Latin and Chinese markets.

                                                                                                  1. re: fourunder
                                                                                                    g
                                                                                                    gadfly RE: fourunder Dec 29, 2010 10:10 AM

                                                                                                    They're also common at the butcher, and were common at the Polish, Hungarian, Russian, Irish, and Italian markets when we still had all those in New Haven. But until recently, they were never common at the generic supermarkets around here.

                                                                                                    1. re: gadfly
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                                                                                                      fourunder RE: gadfly Dec 29, 2010 10:12 AM

                                                                                                      How about Flanken?

                                                                                                      1. re: fourunder
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                                                                                                        gadfly RE: fourunder Dec 29, 2010 10:32 AM

                                                                                                        Traditionally, every ethnic market had a butcher, and of course there was the regular old generic butcher. They all bought beef as whole sides to break down, so there wasn't a muscular cut you couldn't get at any of them. As far as I know, none of them broke down the ribs into flanken as part of their normal routine, but they were always happy to accommodate special requests. As we had no French butcher in the area, my French mother was always putting in special orders to the butcher in our neighborhood for French style cuts. Despite these being more labor intensive to produce, we never heard a complaint or had to pay extra.

                                                                                                  2. re: gadfly
                                                                                                    scubadoo97 RE: gadfly Dec 29, 2010 01:37 PM

                                                                                                    Funny that oxtails have gone up in price as have short ribs. Even brisket at the supermarket is over $4/lb. A packer brisket at Wallyworld still goes for under $3/lb. Not great quality but worth the gamble for a large BBQ dinner.

                                                                                                    These *cheap cuts of meat* have gone up in price since they were shown to be popular items in todays market

                                                                                            2. s
                                                                                              sedimental RE: jhopp217 Dec 28, 2010 08:07 PM

                                                                                              I think it is clear that everyone has their own "idea" as to what makes a pot roast! From 1950's boring to 2010 fabulous.Thank goodness that we are now adventurous chowhounds that can tweak it and make it a wonderful meal. I hope the OP can read the comments and give pot roast another chance!!!!!

                                                                                              1. g
                                                                                                gadfly RE: jhopp217 Dec 29, 2010 07:37 AM

                                                                                                I completely agree with the point many are making that pot roast can mean many things, from ossobucco to braised brisket - and I'd go further by saying it doesn't have to be beef - but I think it's possible that the confusion here is regional. Just like there are a plethora of dishes that count as barbecue, but barbecue has a specific meaning in East Carolina, pot roast is a specific dish in the Northeast. I've seen this dish called Yankee pot roast in the rest of the country. It's traditionally made with chuck (preferably bone in), onions, potatoes, root vegetables, salt, and a small amount of water (not stock or beer or wine or anything like that, and a much smaller amount of liquid than is used in most braised dishes, and no spices or herbs or anything.) It's a traditional, use a bunch of stuff from the root cellar to make a hearty winter meal sort of a dish.

                                                                                                While all those other dishes might also be pot roasts, I would never call them that. When I say pot roast, it will always mean what I describe above. When you hear pot roast in the Northeast, you can always count on it being exactly that (with the exception that, if the speaker is from a Jewish background, they might mean braised brisket). Occasionally people mess around a bit with the basic recipe, trying to make it more flavorful by using a liquid other than water or adding more flavorful ingredients like tomatoes. A lot of old school New Englanders will then say that doesn't count as pot roast, much like old school New Yorkers don't think gourmet pizzas or Chicago deep dish pizzas count as pizza.

                                                                                                Also, I've found that at any restaurant calling this dish Yankee pot Roast, it's going to be bland and unappetizing. A Yankee would not see the need to qualify pot roast as Yankee, just like a New Englander says chowder (or maybe clam chowder), not New England clam chowder. That's the only kind, so there's no need for qualifiers. And, while the dish can certainly be bland and unappetizing when not made properly, it's very rich and beefy when properly made (preferably with bone in chuck that has the fat cap intact and none of the connective tissue removed). How could it not be? Chuck is one of the beefier tasting cuts, and with only a small amount of water used, you're essentially making a stock that is rich enough to serve as a gravy.

                                                                                                1. a
                                                                                                  AdamD RE: jhopp217 Dec 29, 2010 02:12 PM

                                                                                                  I like slow cooked beef
                                                                                                  But the flavor profiles of typical "pot roast" are bland to me.
                                                                                                  Comfort food? Perhaps, but I need stronger flavors.
                                                                                                  Such as those that come with short ribs or a good beef stew.

                                                                                                  25 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: AdamD
                                                                                                    c oliver RE: AdamD Dec 29, 2010 02:20 PM

                                                                                                    How about this Asian pot roast of Mark Bittman's"

                                                                                                    http://www.nytimes.com/2000/02/09/din...

                                                                                                    I'm figuring out here that there are a few too many stereotypes surroungding pot roast.

                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver
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                                                                                                      fourunder RE: c oliver Dec 29, 2010 02:31 PM

                                                                                                      My local market is having a beef sale on Chuck Roast this week @ 2.27/lb. ....As I indicated earlier in this thread, I'm not a Pot Roast fan, but I will on occasion make it with this cut of beef. Normally with a Chuck Roast, I roast low and slow @ 225* for about 2.5 hours for a 2-3 inch thick roast to medium-rare temperature......I find it is a very flavorful piece of meat prepared this way. ....For a test, I will purchase a couple of roasts.....but instead of braising in liquid, I'll dry roast until it hits 190* and the connective tissues begin to melt.....basically, and indoor barbecue. I'll post my results on flavor and tenderness.

                                                                                                      1. re: fourunder
                                                                                                        c oliver RE: fourunder Dec 29, 2010 03:14 PM

                                                                                                        We done countless chuck steaks on the grill over the years. Cooked rare and sliced pretty thin, it's a great, inexpensive steak dinner. I'm curious about the dry roasting. What's the hoped for result?

                                                                                                        1. re: c oliver
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                                                                                                          fourunder RE: c oliver Dec 29, 2010 03:44 PM

                                                                                                          Something like a Boneless Boston Butt....for tenderness and flavor.....melting the connective tissue. Think of a $5-6 experiment.......marinated meat, instead of braised out dry.

                                                                                                          1. re: fourunder
                                                                                                            mcf RE: fourunder Dec 29, 2010 04:19 PM

                                                                                                            I don't even know how one would accomplish "braised out dry" with chuck.

                                                                                                            1. re: mcf
                                                                                                              c oliver RE: mcf Dec 29, 2010 04:21 PM

                                                                                                              I didn't understand that either but I trust fourunder not to lead us far astray :)

                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver
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                                                                                                                fourunder RE: c oliver Dec 31, 2010 03:42 PM

                                                                                                                As promised, here are the results of a Chuck Roast, roasted low and slow for 5 hours on a rack.....first in a pre-heated 500* oven for 10 minutes, then the thermostat was dropped to 220* for the remaining time. The roast was allowed to rest for 15 minutes before slicing. You can see it is what i would consider Medium temperature and the connective tissue is sufficiently melted. The meat is tender, not chewy and no fight. As you can see in the images, there is zero bleeding.

                                                                                                                I normally slow roast this only 2-3 hours to Medium-Rare temperature.....this may actually be better.......I have a second roast in the oven now, which I will repeat exactly as this one to see if the results will be the same.

                                                                                                                I marinated in Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce for 12 hours. This particular piece of meat was just over 2 pounds before cooking. There is virtually no shrinkage of meat.

                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                1. re: fourunder
                                                                                                                  c oliver RE: fourunder Dec 31, 2010 03:59 PM

                                                                                                                  That looks SO good. Are you doing the second one for a shorter time to rare or just the same to reproduce your results. I've never done one like this but will now. How much L&P?

                                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver
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                                                                                                                    fourunder RE: c oliver Dec 31, 2010 04:22 PM

                                                                                                                    Not bad for a $4.53 piece of meat, right? The second one in the oven is a little larger in weight @ just over 2.5 pounds.....but there is much less connective tissue, so I'll probably go for a shorter time @ 4.25 hours and shoot for the high side of Medium-Rare temperature. Usually, when I do 2.5-3.0 hours, there's a little chew to the meat. I want to see if the extra hour eliminates the fight. Also, the first roast was simply labeled Choice Grade Chuck, as marked by the packaging. The second roast presently in the oven is marked Certified Angus Beef. I want to see if it produces the same results I found in this earlier thread I started back in October.

                                                                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/740026

                                                                                                                    With regards to the L & P, since I did two pieces of meat, I'm sure I used over a cup. I purchase it by the gallon, so I can be excessive somewhat due to the wholesale cost.....naturally, I rotated/flipped the meat a few times. I did not add any Kosher Salt or Fresh Cracked Pepper for this trial.

                                                                                                                    1. re: fourunder
                                                                                                                      c oliver RE: fourunder Dec 31, 2010 04:59 PM

                                                                                                                      I could get into some serious trouble if you were my next door neighbor :)

                                                                                                                      1. re: c oliver
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                                                                                                                        sedimental RE: c oliver Dec 31, 2010 05:06 PM

                                                                                                                        +1 on trouble.....serious trouble :0)

                                                                                                                    2. re: c oliver
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                                                                                                                      fourunder RE: c oliver Jan 1, 2011 07:25 PM

                                                                                                                      c,

                                                                                                                      The second roast turned out to be somewhat of a bust......I made a couple of ROOKIE mistakes. Bad News is since I was shooting for Medium-Rare.... I failed, but the roast wasn't terrible....it ended up cooked more than the first roast. I suspect my errors were....first, although the second roast was heavier in weight, it was thinner than the first roast. ....second, The first roast was started with a high heat blast and for the second, I gave the high heat blast at the end to brown. I took the roast out and covered it with an inverted fry pan. I knew the moment I removed the fry pan after the resting period, it was going to be over-cooked from what I was expecting.....there was a collection of juices and steaming which I believe came from the higher heat at the end and immediately covering......simply, the roast was too hot and it continued to cook. It was still fairly tender and moist, but closer to medium-well than medium to my eye......Still, it was better than braised pot roast to my palate. Although the first few slices off of the roast shows the meat as brown....the center of the roast still had some pink. When I first removed the roast, it was at 150*, after the resting, it was 160* when I recorded the temperature immediately removing the fry pan...... as a result, I will not be browning at the end for small beef roasts like this again. I will either pan sear or blast in the beginning for 10 minutes only and reduce the thermostat.....much better control for thinner roasts.....I will still high heat blast at the end for Standing Prime Rib Roasts. That will not change. From now on, I'll shoot for 135-140*

                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                    3. re: fourunder
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                                                                                                                      sedimental RE: fourunder Dec 31, 2010 04:56 PM

                                                                                                                      OMG!!!! That looks FAN-FRICKEN-TASTIC.

                                                                                                                      1. re: fourunder
                                                                                                                        scubadoo97 RE: fourunder Jan 1, 2011 08:52 AM

                                                                                                                        Nice bark on that chuck fourunder. That looks fabulous.

                                                                                                                        Do you know what was the internal temp when you pulled it? When I smoke them I let them go to at least 195-205* f which is not conducive to slicing but excellent for pulling. When I've gone less than that I felt that they were a little chewy since I didn't get all the collagen broken down.

                                                                                                                        1. re: scubadoo97
                                                                                                                          alanbarnes RE: scubadoo97 Jan 1, 2011 09:09 AM

                                                                                                                          One thing I've been playing with is longer times and lower temps. Connective tissue breaks down at 140F - just not very quickly.

                                                                                                                          1. re: alanbarnes
                                                                                                                            scubadoo97 RE: alanbarnes Jan 1, 2011 11:07 AM

                                                                                                                            I usually do a chuck on the smoker at 225. How low do you go?

                                                                                                                            1. re: scubadoo97
                                                                                                                              alanbarnes RE: scubadoo97 Jan 1, 2011 12:10 PM

                                                                                                                              140F for a couple of days.

                                                                                                                              1. re: alanbarnes
                                                                                                                                scubadoo97 RE: alanbarnes Jan 1, 2011 12:35 PM

                                                                                                                                Sous Vide? If not how are you doing it?

                                                                                                                                1. re: scubadoo97
                                                                                                                                  alanbarnes RE: scubadoo97 Jan 1, 2011 01:57 PM

                                                                                                                                  Yep. Medium-rare to medium and melting.

                                                                                                                          2. re: scubadoo97
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                                                                                                                            fourunder RE: scubadoo97 Jan 1, 2011 07:36 PM

                                                                                                                            145*.....

                                                                                                                            In the future, I will shoot for 135-140*....as suggested by Mr Barnes. I don't need the connective tissues to completely melt...and I don't mind a little chew.

                                                                                                                      2. re: mcf
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                                                                                                                        fourunder RE: mcf Dec 29, 2010 04:33 PM

                                                                                                                        I'll make it simple. 1. Take any protein and boil it aggressively for the three hours and note the consistency and texture......2. Take the same protein(new piece) and simmer for the same three hours . 3. Take the same protein(another new piece) and gently poach for the same time.You will have three different results.......the boiled one will be the most dry and shriveled up.

                                                                                                                        1. re: fourunder
                                                                                                                          mcf RE: fourunder Dec 29, 2010 05:27 PM

                                                                                                                          Braising doesn't = boiling aggressively, hence my observation. Why the heck would I want to do any of the above? :-)

                                                                                                                          1. re: mcf
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                                                                                                                            fourunder RE: mcf Dec 29, 2010 05:32 PM

                                                                                                                            How about this.....have you ever heard of overcooking?

                                                                                                                            :-)

                                                                                                                            1. re: fourunder
                                                                                                                              mcf RE: fourunder Dec 29, 2010 05:45 PM

                                                                                                                              Sure have, to be avoided at all costs. Low and slow vs. boiling is more forgiving.

                                                                                                                2. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                  mcf RE: c oliver Dec 29, 2010 04:21 PM

                                                                                                                  Note that Bittman includes brisket as one of the two best cuts for pot roast.

                                                                                                              2. paulj RE: jhopp217 Dec 30, 2010 11:34 AM

                                                                                                                By way of some round about browsing I came across a photo of 'pot roast' from an LA restaurant:
                                                                                                                http://www.flickr.com/photos/djjewelz...
                                                                                                                "Braised Beef Paleron (Pot Roast
                                                                                                                )with cream of wheat, kumquats and red wine"

                                                                                                                What's Paleron? The shoulder cut that I've been buying as flat iron steaks. This is between the neck and the more common 7blade chuck.

                                                                                                                Here's a recipe for braised paleron
                                                                                                                http://www.oneblockwest.com/newslette...
                                                                                                                illustrating what a good braise (pot roast) involves.

                                                                                                                8 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                  c oliver RE: paulj Dec 30, 2010 11:57 AM

                                                                                                                  Oh, ugh, that looks and sounds so boring, doesn't it? :) :) mmmmmm.

                                                                                                                  1. re: paulj
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                                                                                                                    fourunder RE: paulj Dec 30, 2010 02:36 PM

                                                                                                                    Cooking a Flat Iron past medium is a crime. I can see slow roasting low, but the meat is tender even if just cooked 3-4 minutes per side broiled or pan seared. Braising is not necessary to get it tender.

                                                                                                                    1. re: fourunder
                                                                                                                      s
                                                                                                                      sedimental RE: fourunder Dec 30, 2010 03:16 PM

                                                                                                                      Agreed!
                                                                                                                      When did flat Iron steaks become known as pot roasts?? Oh, maybe when we started calling osso buco and short ribs "pot roasts" when they are cooked in a dutch oven, I guess. Well, it will sure makes for an extra element of surprise if you call everything a pot roast. I like surprises.... and the french word Paleron is much more elegant sounding than Flat Iron- to be sure! I am going to start calling them that at home. LOL

                                                                                                                      Flat irons just *beg* to be cooked five minutes per side and sliced thin! Yummmm.

                                                                                                                      1. re: fourunder
                                                                                                                        paulj RE: fourunder Dec 30, 2010 04:39 PM

                                                                                                                        Have you ever cooked flat iron with the band of connective tissue in the middle? The last time I bought some it was in steak form, with the band still present. I cut that out, and simmered it separately - when tender it had a wonderful gelatinous quality.

                                                                                                                        Just because a cut can be cooked quickly, does not mean that it is bad when cooked long and slow.

                                                                                                                        Paleron and flat iron are not quite identical. Flat iron is a relatively recent American cut, the result of identifying one particularly tender muscle deep within the shoulder, and figuring out a way of removing and trimming it so it can be cooked as a steak. In the paleron this muscle is not isolated, but cooked along with its tougher neighbors.

                                                                                                                        Another French recipe for braising paleron
                                                                                                                        http://books.google.com/books?id=sZPE...

                                                                                                                        1. re: paulj
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                                                                                                                          fourunder RE: paulj Dec 31, 2010 05:20 AM

                                                                                                                          Just because a cut can be cooked quickly, does not mean that it is bad when cooked long and slow.
                                                                                                                          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                                                                                                                          As I indicated, I could understand roasting it low and slow ....further adding that I would do so only to medium-rare temperature. I could remove the connective tissue and retie the roast, but it would be too much effort and wait to achieve essentially the same results in two hours less time by just broiling or pan frying the 2-4 steaks made by butchering. The small and thin connective tissue would be a tease at best for me....but I like the idea of cooking it separately

                                                                                                                          The nature of my work history makes me observant of any food available in wholesale or retail outlets.....pertaining to beef, I see the cuts available in the many different supermarkets and wholesale distributors, and their packaging for cuts like Hanger and Flat Iron/Top Blade. In the supermarkets in my area, the in store meat departments rarely have Flat/Iron Steak or Top Blade roasts available as featured cuts. Top Blade, or Minute Steaks are usually offered at 3.45-5.99 per pound...Hanger is usually 4.99-6.99......You can request them from the butcher/manager, but again, they are not featured in the showcase refrigerators.

                                                                                                                          I can purchase the Top Blade/Flat Iron as a wholesale package with 2-4 pieces per package @ an average of approximately 2.49/lb, the Hanger @ an average of 2.70/lb for most of the year. Trimming both of these cuts are fairly similar, by just removing the connective tissues and fat. with a couple swipes and pulls. I find them as an excellent alternative to the expensive cuts of Sirloin Strips and RibEyes.

                                                                                                                          1. re: fourunder
                                                                                                                            scubadoo97 RE: fourunder Dec 31, 2010 01:10 PM

                                                                                                                            Does your store sell shoulder top blade roasts? Our store will sometimes sell Flat Irons but more often they sell the Flat Irons cut crosswise so the line of connective tissue runs through all of the thin iron shaped steaks. Every so often they will sell the Flat Iron cut lengthwise with the connective tissue removed so you have a big long steak.

                                                                                                                            If they sell the top blade shoulder roasts it's easy to split it longitudinally with the knife following the flat sheet of dense connective tissue to spit it into two large steaks.

                                                                                                                            1. re: scubadoo97
                                                                                                                              s
                                                                                                                              sedimental RE: scubadoo97 Dec 31, 2010 01:14 PM

                                                                                                                              Amazingly, my Fred Meyer grocery store sells Flat Irons in a long package and they are REALLY GOOD. These are not cut or packaged at a store, but whoever does the butchering for that company....they know what they are doing because they melt like butter.

                                                                                                                              1. re: scubadoo97
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                                                                                                                                fourunder RE: scubadoo97 Dec 31, 2010 01:20 PM

                                                                                                                                Thanks,

                                                                                                                                I purchase my meats mostly at a Wholesale distributor......but to answer your question, the supermarkets in my area do not offer top blade roasts. For Pork, they rarely offer Boston Butts either....they use them for making sausages.

                                                                                                                      2. k
                                                                                                                        KookyCook RE: jhopp217 Mar 9, 2011 11:06 AM

                                                                                                                        I have never ever been able to make any kind of beef roast without it turning out like shoe leather. I've seared, coated, basted, braised, slow cooked, crock potted, covered, uncovered, seasoned, cooked in broth, soups, water....... I give up! I just don't even bother trying any more. I don't really care for the flavor any way. The drippings are good on the veggies that get thrown in the pan, but the roast...I'm not a fan.

                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: KookyCook
                                                                                                                          paulj RE: KookyCook Mar 9, 2011 11:20 AM

                                                                                                                          Do you use a thermometer?

                                                                                                                          1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                            c oliver RE: paulj Mar 9, 2011 11:51 AM

                                                                                                                            That's the only thing I can think of. With all those techniques, process of elimination screams 'overcooked.'

                                                                                                                            1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                              scubadoo97 RE: c oliver Mar 9, 2011 12:02 PM

                                                                                                                              that or using the wrong kind of meat.

                                                                                                                          2. re: KookyCook
                                                                                                                            alanbarnes RE: KookyCook Mar 9, 2011 09:05 PM

                                                                                                                            You can't treat all cuts of beef the same. And you can't use the same cooking techniques for all of them.

                                                                                                                            First off, let's make a distinction between a roast and a pot roast. The first is dry heat, the second is moist.

                                                                                                                            A roast works best if the meat you're working with has minimal connective tissue. Prime rib, strip sirloin, and tenderloin are all classic roasting cuts. They're tender to start with. And they tend to be expensive. Cook them with dry heat (no added moisture, no lid) and never heat past 140F.

                                                                                                                            Cooking a pot roast requires the opposite approach. Use a little added liquid, cook covered, and heat until the interior hits 185F or more so that the connective tissue breaks down. Here we're talking about things like chuck roast, short ribs, and brisket.

                                                                                                                            Know your meat and pick the right method. There's no reason it should be tough.

                                                                                                                          3. k
                                                                                                                            KookyCook RE: jhopp217 Mar 9, 2011 02:37 PM

                                                                                                                            I have used a meat thermometer too. Sometimes it comes out of the oven seemingly tender, but before it's sliced and put on the table, it's toughens up. Everything online says not to cover a roast, whether it be pork or beef but it seems that if it's going to get tender and keep any moisture at all, it needs a lid. What is your opinion on that? Thanks!

                                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: KookyCook
                                                                                                                              512window RE: KookyCook Mar 9, 2011 03:43 PM

                                                                                                                              Assuming you are talking about a beef roast in the oven, not a pot roast in the oven. You need to read up on "resting" your meat. Once you cook the roast, take it out, tent it with foil, and let it sit - to rest - for about 10 minutes. It will stay warm (yeah foil!) and the juices will be retained within the meat. Then carve and serve.

                                                                                                                              And don't cook it to well-done because that means tough.

                                                                                                                              1. re: 512window
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                                                                                                                                fourunder RE: 512window Mar 9, 2011 04:12 PM

                                                                                                                                And don't cook it to well-done because that means tough
                                                                                                                                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                That all depends on how you get there.....with low and slow temperature roasting, you can still get a decent roast, depending on what cut of beef you are using. I've done it with Chuck Roast as indicated above in an earlier post( with pictures).

                                                                                                                              2. re: KookyCook
                                                                                                                                c oliver RE: KookyCook Mar 9, 2011 04:12 PM

                                                                                                                                What 512 said re tenting. Also what internal temp do you cook to? A professional chef can tell doneness on a STEAK by touching but with a roast "seemingly tender" isn't something I can get my brain around. Please explain. This isn't rocket surgery but we do have to define terms etc.

                                                                                                                                1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                                  MinkeyMonkey RE: c oliver Mar 11, 2011 04:20 PM

                                                                                                                                  Wait, "rocket surgery"? Hah, that made me laugh, once I'd realized what you wrote. I'm going to have to use that now.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: MinkeyMonkey
                                                                                                                                    c oliver RE: MinkeyMonkey Mar 11, 2011 04:37 PM

                                                                                                                                    Plagiarized from Veggo, I believe :)

                                                                                                                                2. re: KookyCook
                                                                                                                                  scubadoo97 RE: KookyCook Mar 10, 2011 04:18 AM

                                                                                                                                  Please tell us what cut of meat are you using.

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