How to Make a Pot Roast

As any of you who follow me on Instagram know, I made a pot roast for dinner last night, and it was DELICIOUS. I’m a big fan of slow cooked, 1 pot, meals like this because it doesn’t take much effort to have reeeaaaallly good food for the next couple days. Also, the house smells rockin all day long.

I like to keep my recipes short, sweet, and to the point, so I am going to do just that. You can read 100 recipes on how to cook a pot roast but it’s really not rocket science. In fact, it’s one of the easiest things ever to cook. You pretty much just brown some food, throw it in a pot, and let it sit in the oven for 4 hours. Don’t let it seem like more than it is 😉

Ingredients: 

1 Chuck Roast with good striations of fat across it (Probably 3-5# is a good weight)
2 cups of beef broth
1/2 cup red wine
1 large parsnip chopped into 1-2″ size chunks
3 carrots chopped into 1-2″ chunks
1 large onion, cut into 4 large pieces
1-2 tbsp bacon fat (or whatever kind of oil you like to cook things in)
2 sprigs of fresh (or about a tbsp dried) rosemary
1 sprig of fresh (or about 1 tsp dried) thyme
Salt

Method: 

Prep it:

Heat your oven to 275 degrees. Rub some salt on all sides of your roast. Chop your veggies. Make your stock. Pour the wine (one for the pot & one for yourself). Set everything to the side.

Brown it:

Heat the bacon fat in a large dutch-oven, over medium-high heat. Once the fat is hot, drop in the quartered onions and let it sit there to brown on their flat sides (don’t break it apart, leave it big). Remove the onion. Do the same with the carrots and parsnips. (we are not looking for cooked here, just a little browned on the edges). Remove the carrots and set aside with the onion pieces.

Throw the roast into the remaining fat (there shouldn’t be much left at this point, but if there is none, feel free to add another tbsp… a little extra bacon fat never hurt anybody). Let it sear about 1-2 minutes/side, until it has a nice browning going on. Remove the roast from the pot.

Arrange the vegetables at the bottom of the pot. Pour the stock & wine over them. Then, place the roast on top of everything. Basically, you are creating a little shelf for the meat to sit on with the vegetables. The meat shouldn’t be sitting in the stock, it should be raised up on the veggies. In essence, you are creating a little steaming platform for the meat… in all it’s glory.

Throw your rosemary and thyme in the pot. Put the lid on it. Throw it in the oven.

Screen Shot 2014-05-21 at 10.01.39 PM

Cook it: 

Now that it’s in the oven, here come’s the suuuuuper hard part — LEAVE IT ALONE!!!! DO NOT OPEN THAT OVEN, AND DO NOT OPEN THAT LID!  You want it to cook slow and steady in the steamy delicious stocked up pot, for about 45-50 minutes/pound of meat. (If you used a 5# roast, it should cook for about 4 hours total.)

After 4 hours or so (or however long the math works out to for you), you can open the lid and check it out. It should be soft falling apart meat on the inside, and a bunch of very softened vegetables/stock at the bottom. The vegetables will be very mussy — they are absolutely delicious and full of juicy brothy fat, but they aren’t going to be beautiful or anything.  They are pretty much a sacrifice to the glorious meat.

Once it cools for a few minutes, I usually transfer everything into a serving dish. It will have shrunk down a lot, and doesn’t really need to be in that giant pot anymore.

I enjoyed this recipe as is, but a lot of people like it with mashed potatoes or home made egg noodles to soak up the stock juices. Either way, don’t let your dogs near it 😉

This is a perfect post-deadlift dinner, and it makes great leftovers (especially with a handful of cheese curds on top for, ‘the poutine of pot roasts’.)

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