Sooooo, Pot Roast…..yeeaah, doesn’t seem as luscious as a fabulous dessert like last week’s Key Lime Pie, or that crazy-good Ice Cream Pie with the Peanut Butter Graham Crust. But you know what? In a savory, autumn, comfort food way, it is soooooo luscious. Roasted low and sllloooowwww, you won’t believe how moist, fall-aparty and beefy this one is. Just melts in your mouth. And the gravy – I’m not even a gravy girl, but don’t get me started. I have the extra in a container in my freezer, just waiting.
It roasts for quite awhile in your oven, so plan accordingly. There’s time for an entire football game, a nice shopping trip, or just hanging around inhaling the savory, beefy, rich aromas.
This particular roast was inspired by crisp Indiana fall days and an article in Cook’s Illustrated, which so nicely absolved me of my laziness,… er, …choice to not sear the roast before braising it. Seems the small volume of the braising liquid leaves the better part of the roast exposed to undergo that delicious chemical reaction that creates the fabulous roasts flavor created by searing.
So there we have it. The best pot roast ever. Give it a try. It will not disappoint!
Best Pot Roast Ever
(Inspired by Cook’s Illustrated)
3 1/2 – 4 lb chuck roast
2 t salt
2 medium onions, sliced thin
1 parsnip, chopped
1-2 celery ribs, with leaves, chopped, about 1 c
2 carrots, chopped, about 1 c
1 clove garlic, minced
3 T butter
1 qt. beef stock
1/2 c red wine
2 T tomato paste
1-2 rosemary sprigs
1 lg bay leaf
2 T balsamic vinegar
Sprinkle chuck roast with the 2 t salt. Let sit at room temperature for at least one hour, up to 4 hrs.
Preheat oven to 300F.
Melt the butter in a heavy, oven-proof pot or Dutch Oven. Salt and Saute the onions 8-10 minutes until slightly browned. Add the parsnips, celery and carrots. Saute 5-6 more minutes. Add garlic, Saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Deglaze the pan by adding the wine and stirring, scraping pan. Next,add 1c beef stock, tomato paste and the herbs.
Pat the roast dry with a paper towel, then generously pepper it. Place it atop the vegetables. Cover the pan tightly. Roast 4 1/2 – 5 hours, turning half way through. It will be very tender.
Remove the roast carefully and place on a cutting board. My roast pretty much fell apart at this point, hence the lack of photos.?
Prepare the gravy. Strain the pan liquid from the vegetables into a fat skimmer or a large measuring cup. Let it sit 5-10 minutes and skim the fat from the top of the liquid. Next, add enough additional beef stock to measure 3 1/2 -4 cups. (I thought the gravy was a bit too thick for my taste, so I would add to the high side.) If you don’t have enough stock, you can add wine or water to make the total you desire.
Return the liquid to the pan. Heat if needed. Add the roasted vegetables. Using an immersion blender (or, you can place it all into a regular countertop blender), blend until smooth, 2-3 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar. Slice the roast. Top with half the gravy. Serve with mashed potatoes, passing the remaining gravy. Enjoy!