Monday, October 18, 2010

Perfect Pot Roast

by Pioneer Woman
2 or 3 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt
One 3 to 5 lb. chuck roast
2 onions
6 to 8 carrots
2 to 2 1/2 cups beef stock
3 or 4 rosemary sprigs
2 or 3 fresh thyme sprigs


Preheat oven to 275
Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-heat.  Add the olive oil and let it get really hot.  While it heats, prepare the other ingredients.

Generously salt the chuck roast on both sides.  

Cut a couple of onions in half from root to tip.  Cut off the tops and bottoms and peel off the papery skin.
When the pot is very hot, place the onions in the oil and brown on both sides, about a minute per side.  Remove the onions to a plate.

Next, thoroughly wash - but don't peel - the carrots.  Cut them roughly into 2-inch slices.  Throw the carrots into the same (very hot) pot.  Toss them around until slightly brown, about a minute or so.  The point here is to get a nice color started on the outside of the vegetables, not to cook them.

Remove the carrots from the pot and allow the pot to get really hot again.  Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan.  Place the meat in the pot and sear it, about a minute per side.  Remove to a plate.

Now with the burner on high, deglaze the pot by adding  1 cup of the beef stock, whisking constantly.  The point of deglazing is to  loosen all the burned, flavorful bits from the bottom of the pot.

When most of the bits are loosened, place the meat back in the pot.  Followed by the carrots and onions.  Pour enough beef stock into the pot to cover the meat.  Next, put in the fresh rosemary and thyme sprigs.  The fresh herbs absolutely make this dish.  Tuck them into the juice to ensure that the flavors are distributed throughout the pot.  

Now, just cover the pot and roast for 3 to 5 hours, depending on the size of your roast.  For a 3-pound roast, allow for 3 to 2 1/2 hours.  For a 5-pound roast, allow for a 4 to 5 hour cooking time.  Don't disrupt the roast during the cooking process.  When the cooking time is over, check the roast for doneness, a fork should go in easily and the meat should be very tender.  Remove the meat to a cutting board and slice against the grain.  Place on a plate with vegetables and your choice of mashed potatoes or rice or whatever your heart desires.  

I made this on Sunday afternoon knowing that it was going to be our dinner for Monday night as I had plans and didn't have time to whip something up in the kitchen.  A dish like this needs all day to cook so I didn't mind doing it a day ahead.  Well it was worth the wait.  I never cooked a chuck roast with fresh herbs and it's as good as it tastes and of course meat and potatoes man loved it.  He did suggest though that next time I add a little brown sugar to the carrots and I just may do that.  ~isavortheweekend

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