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Pot Roast meat

I joined a meat CSA and now have a freezer stuffed of delicious, grass fed meat. I got a variety of cuts and thankfully all of them are labeled. However, there is a 3 lb hunk of meat that just says "pot roast." I thought that pot roast could be made with a variety of cuts, such as chuck or bottom round?
Anyway, my real question is: does anybody have any recipe ideas besides using this meat in a pot roast? I love pot roast, but am hoping to expand my options a little.
I am both gluten and lactose intolerant but am pretty good about finding suitable substitutes so all ideas are welcome!

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  1. I assume that, whatever cut it actually is, it's one designed for long, slow cooking. I assume, therefore, that any slow cooking dish - stews or casseroles - would be fine. Google will find you more than enough suitable recipes.

    1. Anything that can be made into pot roast would also make great a chili, diced small. Goulash is a close cousin to pot roast using cubed meat. Tradition calls for noodles; given your GF requirement, I don't know what subs well there.

      1 Reply
      1. re: mcsheridan

        I second the motion about making chili.

        1. Well, unfortunately, there's a big difference between chuck and round. Chuck is full of collagen that breaks down with long slow cooking; as with pork shoulder, the meat eventually breaks down. Round, not so much. Round can be slow roasted (the rightly celebrated method for eye round that America's Test Kitchen popularized: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6089...), but in my experience is not nearly as good as chuck in many braise recipes. Pounded slices of round are also popular for chicken-fried steak, a fast cooking method.

          Round will have something of a thin fat cap, but not a lot of intermuscular fat; chuck will have lots of seams and bulges of intermuscular fat and connective tissue.

          1. I highly doubt the CSA would know- the cows get send off for processing and butchering, and the farmers gets back the product.
            Unless the CSA is butchering the cow, they probably won't know.

            That said, it can't hurt to try.

            2 Replies
            1. re: monavano

              They may not but they should know the butcher, if not personally, the name of them. We have been getting a cow for last 3-4 years and some of the best advice I have gotten has been from the farmer and from the gal who takes the butchering orders.

              This year I had a few of my roasts turned into shaved steak at the advice of the farmer. When we decided to get a half instead of a quarter cow I told him I was afraid we would be drowning in pot roasts/braising meats and he gave me the idea.

              1. re: foodieX2

                That's a great idea- quick and so many uses.

            2. I think it is far more likely that it's from the round than chuck. Chuck is more desirable, so I doubt the packer would be reluctant to identify it. There's more area to the round, and it's less desirable than the chuck.

              If you braise it in one piece, it's not going to be a large pot roast. You can always add more liquid, braise longer, and shred it. Or grind it. Make a sample burger. If you don't like it that way, use it in chili or spaghetti sauce.

              1 Reply
              1. re: greygarious

                Back when I was working harder on my chili and doing it with real meat, round was my go-to meat for it. Cubed and cooked in fat until just browning, then the chili powder goes in and it's all cooked until dark and fragrant, then come the liquid ingredients. But I would never use round for pot roast.

                My mother would prepare round steak by pounding seasoned flour into it with the edge of a plate – all she had to work with – and then frying it, but of course flour is out of the question here …

              2. I roast or sous vide roasts from the round and it yields quite acceptable roast beef if you keep it rare & slice it thin. Most of the cold roast beef sold in delis is top round though it's pretty much flavorless served cold so pass the salt, pepper, mustard and horseradish.

                2 Replies
                1. re: zackly

                  I've always been told that deli roast beef is trimmed-and-tied top sirloin. Fourunder, are you listening?

                  1. re: greygarious

                    Around here (metro NYC) top rounds are most common but a top sirloin is a superior cut for roast beef albeit more expensive. The first French restaurant I worked in served a hot roast beef sandwich for lunch. The chef used top sirloin butt.

                2. You could slice some of it thin and make Braciole - which is basically a steak stuffed roll up that is slow cooked in tomato sauce until it's tender.

                  For something spicy, you could also make it into a Barbacoa. I know you mentioned you were looking for something other than a roast, but this isn't your typical roast beef & gravy, it's meant to be shredded for tacos.

                  If you've got a meat grinder, you've obviously got more options - meatballs, salisbury steak, shepherds pie, etc ...

                  Something else that might be fun would be Chinese BBQ beef skewers. I don't know the recipe for these, but our local takeout place sells them, and I am almost certain they are using a cheap cut like rump roast to make these. They are heavily marinated, sliced really thin and skewered, then broiled quickly.

                  1. Do you have any pictures? I (and others here) might be able to identify the cut from a picture, and then provide more targetted recommendations.

                    1. Thanks for all the great suggestions. I've been out of town so I apologize for the delay. Chili and the barbocoa sounds like great options. I do have a meat grinder but I also received so much ground beef and sirloin in my CSA that I really don't want to grind it and have more.
                      Thanks again for the ideas!

                      1. I think it would work well as Ropa Vieja.