Tuesday, January 3, 2012

How to Cook a Tender, Oven Braised, Beef Pot Roast


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.
I always add onions to the pot and I brown them slightly the first thing. Then I brown the roast on all sides, even the ends for just a few minutes. Add carrots and potatoes to the pot and you have a true one pot meal to look forward too. I even make the gravy in the same pot. I'm lazy when it comes to clean up.
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
my Mothers

1 chuck roast- mine was only 2 1/2 pounds
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

In a dutch oven over medium high heat, in about 1 tablespoon of oil, cook the sliced onion for just a couple of minutes, until it softens and begins to turn golden. Remove the onion to a bowl. Season the roast liberally with salt and pepper, and garlic powder if desired. Add more oil to the dutch oven if needed. Add the chuck roast to the pan and brown it on all sides. Place half the onions on top of the roast and half scattered around the roast in the pan.  Add enough liquid to come up most of the way next to the roast. I used 1 can low-sodium beef broth and 1/2 cups water in my pan. You could need more or less, depending on the size of your pan and how full it is. Toss the bay leaf in the liquid and cover pot with lid. Place dutch oven in a preheated 300 degree oven and cook for about 60 minutes per pound of beef. My 2 1/2 pound roast took about 2 3/4 hours to become tender and delicious. Add the potatoes to the pan about halfway through cooking. Cover the pan and continue baking until roast is tender. When done, you can serve the pan juices as is, spooned over the meat and potatoes, or you can do as I do and thicken the juices some for a really tasty gravy.
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!

13 comments:

  1. Mmmmm...it reminds me of my mom's cooking whe I was a child. Yes, this is definitely comfort on a plate. I haven't made a pot roast in a long time. Looks sooooo good!

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  2. looks and sounds so comforting and delicious!

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  3. It looks gorgeous - just as it should! Yes, it is indeed one of the more comforting winter meals. I always slowly cook mine for 3 hours - but never serve it with mashed potatoes. I think I will try that next time - because they too provide so much comfort.

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  4. nothing better thank a good pot roast

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  5. Yum, one of my favorite comfort food meals. This is what I'm cooking this afternoon.

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  6. i like pot roast, but my favorite part of a meal like this is the soggy, beef-flavored carrots, onions, and potatoes. fantastic. :)

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  7. When I was growing up we had meat once a week.Chuck Roast w/gravy and mashed was a favorite.Great leftover meal too.Add the sliced leftover roast in a pot of leftover gravy and serve on white toast. MMMMmmmm good. PS. Don't forget the horseradish.

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  8. ? Followed directions to the T. The roast is tough.

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    1. I'm so sorry your roast turned out tough. Not being able to see in your kitchen hinders me from knowing what went wrong. I only know that my roasts turn out tender when cooked this way.

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  9. Thank you Lynda for this DELICIOUS recipe. I made it for a get together with some friends and they just LOVED it. I made it again for Christmas Eve dinner. So good. My husband and I think that it is even better a day or two later. Thank you again for sharing this fabulous recipe.

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    1. Thanks so much for the feedback, and I agree that this roast makes excellent leftovers!

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  10. Just like mom used to make. So delicious. Only 30 more minutes.

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  11. FINALLY.... A good ole standard recipe without having to buy a special seasoning that I'll probably never use again.

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