If you are tired of cold sandwiches, pizza and other take-out and are now craving a home-cooked meal, this recipe might interest you.This slow cooking braised pot roast is browned under the broiler and cooked on a stove top. If you have a gas stove, this pot roast is an ideal choice since there will be plenty of leftovers to last for a couple of days and it will warm your kitchen while it cooks. Pot roast is best appreciated as a cold weather meal.
Modeled after the succulent slow-cooked daube and boeuf a la mode of French regional kitchens, pot roast was an economical and sensible way to make tough cuts of beef taste good.
Recreated by the author of All About Braising, Molly Stevens, Yankee Pot Roast is fork tender with deep flavorful braising juices to accompany the meat and root vegetables. Molly advises it is best to add winter root vegetables to the roast in the last 1-1/2 hours of cooking so that they don't become mushy. The results of braising gently and slowly and not letting the meat cook longer than it takes to become fork-tender bring perfect results. I hope you enjoy this roast along with warmth and aromas that will fill your house as much as I have.
by Molly Stevens from All About Braising
One 3.5 to 4-pound boneless beef chuck roast or 4 to 4-1/2 pound bone-in beef chuck roast
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 medium yellow onion (about 6 ounces), peeled
3 whole cloves
1/4 cup hard cider or dry white wine
1 cup beef, veal, or chicken stock or water
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1/2 pound small turnips, peeled and quartered
1/2 pound small white or red potatoes, peeled and, if larger than 1 1/2 inches, cut into halves or quarters
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths
Fleur de sel or coarse sea salt for serving (optional)
1. Tying the meat: Tie the roast with kitchen string so that it is snug and neat. Season all over with salt and plenty of pepper and place in a shallow baking pan (2- to 3-quart).
2. Browning the meat: Heat the broiler to high. Slide the roast under the broiler so that the surface is about 6 inches away from the element. Broil until the fat begins to sizzle and the surface begins to caramelize but not char, about 5 minutes. Turn with tongs and broil on the other side (or sides, depending on the shape of the roast) for another 5 minutes (each). Remove the roast from the broiler, and heat the oven to 300 degrees. (Alternatively, you can brown the roast in the braising pan.)
With tongs, transfer the seared roast to a Dutch oven or other heavy lidded braising pan (4-quart capacity). Tack the bay leaf to the onion using the cloves and tuck it into the pot alongside the beef.
3. The braising liquid: Pour off any excess fat from the pan you used to brown the beef and set over medium-high heat. Add the cider or wine and bring to a boil, scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon to dissolve any precious bits of caramelized beef juices that have stuck there. Continue to boil until the liquid is reduced by half, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the stock and let it come to a boil. Pour the boiling liquid over the beef and sprinkle with the thyme.
4. The braise: Cover the roast with parchment paper, pressing down so that the paper almost touches the meat and the edges extend about an inch over the sides of the pot. Then set the lid in place and slide the pot into the lower third of the oven to braise. Check to see that the liquid isn’t simmering too fiercely after the first 10 to 15 minutes. If it is, lower the oven temperature 10 or 15 degrees. After 45 minutes, turn the roast with tongs. Continue braising at a gentle simmer for another 45 minutes.
Turn the roast again, and add the turnips, potatoes, and carrots to the pot, spooning some of the braising liquid over the meat before returning the parchment paper and lid. Continue braising until the meat is fork-tender and the vegetables are easily pierced with the tip of a knife, another 1 1/2 hours or so (for a total of about 3 hours).
5. The finish: Transfer the roast to a carving board or serving platter. With a slotted spoon, remove the vegetables and arrange them around the meat (discard the clove-studded onion). Cover loosely with foil to keep warm. Set the Dutch oven over medium heat, and skim the surface fat from the braising liquid as it comes to a simmer. Evaluate the braising liquid: if it appears too thin or watery, boil the liquid to reduce the volume and thicken up slightly, about 10 minutes. It should be the consistency of a slightly thickened vinaigrette.
6. Serving: Cut the strings from the roast and slice into 1/2 inch thick slices. Serve slices of the pot roast alongside a mix of vegetables, with the braising liquid ladled on top. Pass the fleur de sel or coarse sea salt at the table, if desired. Serves 6
Braising time about 3 hours
Leftover Ideas: Like most braises, pot roast tastes better the next day and a day or two after that. Pot Roast Sandwiches - Thinly sliced pot roast layered on a crusty roll or baguette slathered with the braising juices. Ragu Sauce - Shred pot roast and add to marinara sauce to serve with pasta.
Buon Appetito! Amelia's Kitchen