My first cooked meal of the New Year was a very tender and delicious beef Pot Roast, braised in the oven. A cold front that blew in left me wanting something warming and comforting for dinner. And I had a chuck roast in the freezer that was calling my name, and bringing back memories of my Mother. My mom made the most tender, melt in your mouth roasts I've ever tasted, so I think of her every time I make pot roast. Sometimes I make mashed potatoes with pot roast, but most of the time I bake potatoes with the roast as my Mother did. You can just break up the potatoes on your plate and cover with gravy. This is comfort food at it's best.
If you cook chuck roast long enough, it will be very tender and delicious. Many folks tend to take it out of the oven too soon, resulting in a tough piece of meat. You really need about 1 hour of cooking per pound of chuck roast. Use the fork test to see if it's tender. Stick a fork in the meat and pull. If done, it should begin to pull apart very easily, like you are going to shred it.This is right where you want it. Here's my method.
Classic Oven Braised Pot Roast
1 onion, sliced
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into about 1 inch slices
5 or 6 potatoes,(I used Yukon Golds) peeled and cut in half or fourths, depending on the size
1 dried bay leaf
beef broth, water or chicken broth
To Make a Quick Gravy: After you remove the roast and veggies from the pan, skim any fat from the juices,or use a fat separator to make the job easier. Then make a slurry of about 1/4 cup flour and some water. Mix until there are no lumps. While meat juices are simmering, whisk in flour and water mixture a little at a time, only using enough flour mixture to thicken the gravy as much as you want it. Simmer gravy a couple of minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour gravy over potatoes and meat. Enjoy!