Saturday, May 28, 2011

Pot Roast or "Sunday Dinner"

I LOVE pot roast!! I have fond memories of my mom making a roast beef dinner every Sunday when I was little. The smell of it cooking when we would come home from church starving...YUM! Sometimes she would put the potatoes in with the roast to cook, and they would get that delicious roasty taste! Then she would let me run them through the potato ricer (I loved to help in the kitchen even back then). Sometimes we'd have mashed potatoes with them, and we ALWAYS had roasted carrots too. She would always make a 'Sunday Jello' to go with it which always consisted of strawberry jello with bananas in it and whipped cream on top. Sunday always felt special because we had a special dinner. My favorite part of the roast is the crispy edge... you know the one that sticks out of the juice and gets extra brown with all the seasonings still on it? YUM... I remember fighting with my siblings over the crispy pieces. YUM!!! I don't make pot roast too often, but when I do, I get that special "Sunday Dinner" feeling again.. Enjoy!

Pot Roast or "Sunday Dinner"

1 whole (4 To 5 Pounds) Chuck Roast (or any roast will do)
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 whole Onion
6 to 8 whole Carrots, cut into large pieces
Salt To Taste (or if you prefer, you can use Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning)
Pepper To Taste
2 cups To 3 Cups Beef Stock or broth
1/2 teaspoon dried Thyme, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon dried Rosemary, or more to taste
1 bay leaf

2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water

Preparation Instructions:
First, choose a nicely marbled piece of meat. This will enhance the flavor of your pot roast like nothing else. Generously salt and pepper your roast. (I use Montreal Steak Seasoning sometimes because it has garlic in it, or sometimes I use garlic powder and onion powder along with Salt and Pepper)
Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Then add 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil (or you can do a butter/olive oil split).
Cut the onion in quarters and cut 6 to 8 carrots into 2-inch slices (you can peel them, but you don’t have to). When the oil in the pot is very hot (but not smoking),  Place the meat in the pan and sear it for about a minute on all sides until it is nice and brown all over. Remove the roast to a plate.
With the burner still on high, use beef broth (about 1 cup) to deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom with a whisk to get all of that wonderful flavor up.
When the bottom of the pan is sufficiently deglazed, place the roast back into the pan and add enough beef broth to cover the meat halfway (about 2 to 3 cups). Add in the onion and the carrots, and sprinkle the Thyme and Rosemary over the roast and veggies. Also add 1 bay leaf into the broth.
Put the lid on, then roast in a 275F oven for 3 hours (for a 3-pound roast). For a 4 to 5-pound roast, plan on 4 hours.

When roast is done, remove from oven and let rest a few minutes; then remove the onions and carrots to another serving dish with a slotted spoon.

Remove roast from the juices to a serving platter and slice into 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick slices against the grain.
Thicken the juices by heating the pan back up to boiling. Mix about 2 Tablespoons cornstarch into 1/4 cup water, whisk to combine and remove lumps. Next, whisk the cornstarch mixture into your boiling broth. Cook for a couple of minutes to let thicken. Remove from heat. Taste your gravy and add more salt and pepper if necessary.
Serve with mashed potatoes!
 (see my hamburger gravy and  mashed potato post for mashed potatoe recipe.)

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