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Pot roasts were standard dinner fare at my parent’s house growing up. My mother was a working mom. She owned her own real estate business which was fortunately, right around the corner from our house. She would often return home from the office around lunch time, prepare a roast in her large ceramic pot and place it in the oven to slow cook for a few hours before dinner. The mouthwatering aroma was enough to set my stomach growling when I walked through the front door after school and I always felt I couldn’t possibly wait until dinnertime. Although I often change up a few ingredients, I still keep my pot roast recipe pretty close to Mom’s. I find that my kids have the same reaction that I had when they detect there’s a roast cooking in the oven. To them, dinnertime always seems too far away and I have to send them upstairs to do homework or outside to play to distract them.
I usually braise my roast in either red wine or beef broth, but this time I made it with beer and what a wonderful change it was. The beer gave the roast a glorious tanginess and slow-cooking the roast in the oven made it incredibly tender. We didn’t even need a knife to cut the roast, it simply fell apart when pierced with a fork.
To make this beer braised pot roast, I began by liberally sprinkling all sides of the roast with a little salt and pepper and placing it in a hot pot with a little oil on the bottom. I cooked the roast briefly, turning it over and on all sides to give it a nice, crispy sear all around. This helps the meat “hold on” to all the flavor. After I seared the meat, I removed it from the pot and placed it on a plate. A little secret I have when cooking a pot roast is that I cut three or four slits in the roast and place a garlic clove inside each slit. This helps to flavor the roast.
I added chopped onions and garlic to the pot along with a little freshly cut rosemary and sauteed them in the oil for a few minutes. After the onions and garlic have cooked a little, I placed the roast back into the pot and added a bottle of beer (Houston’s own St. Arnold Santo, a black Kölsch beer) and a cup of water and placed it into the oven to cook.
Following these few easy steps, in about three hours, you’ll have the best tasting, juiciest pot roast you’ve ever tasted.
Instead of cooking vegetables with the pot roast, I separately roasted potatoes and carrots in a baking dish and served them with the pot roast. If you have any leftovers, they’re wonderful the next day!
Beer Braised Pot Roast
- 4 lb boneless beef chuck roast
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, halved and sliced
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried, chopped
- 12 oz amber or dark beer (I used St. Arnold's Santos)
- 1 cup water
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- Liberally sprinkle the salt and pepper around all sides of the beef roast. Set aside on a plate.
- Heat the oil in a large oven-proof heavy pot over a medium high heat. When the oil is hot, place the roast into the pot. Brown the top, bottom and all sides of the roast, about 10 minutes total.
- Transfer the beef to a plate. Cut three 1/2-inch slits around the top of the roast and push a garlic clove into each slit.
- Reduce the heat to low.
- Add the onions to the pot and saute, stirring for about 5 minutes. Add the rosemary and stir for a minute more.
- Add the beer and the water to the pot and bring to a boil.
- Return the beef to the pot and cover.
- Place the pot in the oven.
- Cook the beef for a total of 3 hours, turning the beef over after each hour. Check to make sure the meat is done. It should fall apart and be fork tender. If not, cook it 30 minutes at a time longer until done.
- Remove from the oven and let stand for about 20 minutes before serving.
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