Tuesday, October 22

Pot Roast

Part of my love of cooking comes from discovering new things, which is pretty obvious given the 600 recipes I've catalogued on this site. New can mean trying some exotic cuisine, my first time cooking tofu, or even "traditional" dishes that I somehow missed growing up. Which leads me to pot roast. Although it's a classic for most American families, I never grew up with it and this was my first attempt at cooking it. This recipe is just slightly adapted (more out of convenience than creativity) from the Barefoot Contesssa and was incredibly easy and flavorful. I didn't have much to compare it to, but according to my husband most pot roast is shredded rather than sliced. If that's your preference, just cook it longer until the meat is tender enough to shred. Either way, the rich velvety sauce will blow your mind.

Pot Roast:
  • Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven until very hot and nearly smoking.
  • Meanwhile, season a 3 lb. beef shoulder roast* very generously with salt and pepper and lightly dredge in flour, shaking off any excess.
  • Add the meat to the pan and sear for 4-5 minutes per side, or until darkly browned.**
  • Remove the meat and set aside, then reduce the heat to medium and add 2 more tbsp. oil to the pot.
  • Add in 1 bunch of carrots, cut into 1" long pieces, 2 diced onions, 2 diced celery stalks, and a large pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Cook the vegetables for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until softened but not brown.
  • Add in 2 c. of red wine and 2 tbsp. brandy, scraping the bottom of the pan.
  • Bring the liquid to a boil, then add in 14 oz. canned whole plum tomatoes, 1 c. beef stock, 3 large sprigs of rosemary, and another big pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Put the beef back in the pot and cover with a lid. Place the pot in a 325F oven.
  • Cook for an hour, then flip the roast so the top side gets submerged, and lower the heat to 250F.
  • Cook for another 60-90 minutes, or until the meat is very tender.
  • Remove the beef from the pot and spoon any fat off the top of the sauce.
  • Puree half of the sauce in a blender and return to the pot, along with 1 tbsp. butter that's been mashed with 2 tbsp. flour.
  • Stir the butter mixture into the pot and let the sauce simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until thickened.
  • Check the sauce for seasoning, then slice the roast and pour sauce on top.

Serves six
*Or chuck roast or something similar.
**Do not rush this step, it develops a ton of flavor.