The name makes you think of good ole “home-cooking”, doesn’t it? My mother used to make Pot Roast often and I remember coming home from school and opening the door and walking into the wonderful smell of this dinner coming from her kitchen. She would put the roast on the stove and into the oven around 1pm or so and by dinnertime the meat was oh so tender and full of flavor.
Cooking the meat for such a long time on a low, slow heat helps to make the meat “fall- apart” tender. So, you can generally choose a cheaper, tougher choice of meat and you’d have this result. I like to use a chuck roast.
Ina Garten, has a fabulous pot roast recipe. She chops leeks and puts them into the pot to soften along with the onions, carrots and celery. The leeks add a sweet, delicate flavor to the roast. I chose not to use them this time. I do like to use other vegetables that I have on hand to cook along with the onions and carrots. Since I puree the vegetables after the roast is cooked, I like the flavor that other vegetables bring. For this recipe, I used a large squash that I had on hand.
1 4-5 pound beef chuck roast
2 cups chopped carrots
3 cups chopped onions (1 large)
1 large squash, ends cut off and diced
5 garlic cloves
1 cup red wine
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons fresh chopped thyme
3 branches fresh rosemary
4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)
I start out by heating a large pot or Dutch oven. You’ll want a pot that you can take from the stove and put directly into the oven.
Put in about a 1/4 cup of oil into the pot.
Rinse and pat dry the roast and generously salt and pepper all sides. I use about 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper.
Put about a quarter cup of flour on a large plate, dredge the roast in the flour and put it into the pot. Sear all sides of the roast about 5 minutes per side until nicely browned.
Remove the roast from the pot and put on a large plate.
Using a sharp knife, make slits around the top of one side of the roast and insert each clove of garlic into each of the slits and push each clove deeper inside the roast.
Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the pot. Add chopped onions, carrots, celery, squash, 1 tablespoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cook about 8-10 minutes or until onions are tender.
Add the wine and the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add the crushed tomatoes, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and the chopped thyme and stir.
Put the roast back in the pot. Place the twigs of rosemary on top of the roast and cover the pot.
Put the roast into a preheated 325 degree F oven and cook for 2 1/2 hours.
Turn heat down to 250 degrees and cook another hour.
Remove pot from the oven. Carefully take roast out of the pot and put on a large plate or chopping board.
Remove the rosemary twigs.
Using an immersion blender, puree the vegetables that are in the pot. (If you don’t have an immersion blender, simply pour about half of the vegetables and gravy at a time very carefully from the pot into a blender, put the lid on and puree. Do the same with the rest of the vegetables and gravy. Then add back into the pot). Add the butter and stir.
Slice the roast and put back in the pot with the gravy and serve.
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