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Dec 22, 2010 05:36 AM

Pot Roast

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. 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

      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. 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

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

      2. 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

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

        2. 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

            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

              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

                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

                  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: 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:

                  1. re: travelmad478

                    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

                      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

                        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.


                2. re: travelmad478

                  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. 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 :)