Family dinners: pot roast

Pot roast is one of those meals that I remember loving when my mom made it growing up. It’s the perfect poor cook’s meal because it’s cheap to make and the yield is high. And if you live with any meat-lovers (hello, boys), this will definitely satisfy them.

I started with my Cook’s Illustrated recipe (sorry, you have to pay to view it), which made sure to write a pot roast recipe that is distinct from beef stew, which has lots of root vegetables. I think that next time, I’ll add more veggies just to beef up the dish even more. CI also has some pot roast recipes with root veggies, which I recommend.

I got my chuck roast at Safeway’s discount meat bin for 30 percent off. I started by searing it with a little S&P and olive oil in my Dutch oven.

Then I let it rest while I cooked some chopped carrots, onion and celery (the trinity). I may have added some garlic in there, but you can basically do whatever you have on hand.

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Then, I put the roast back in and filled the Dutch oven with beef and chicken stocks until it reached halfway up the roast. Add a bay leaf, parsley and thyme. I popped it into a 350 degree oven and cooked it for almost four hours, turning it every 30 minutes (now you see why this is a good Sunday night dinner – you need five hours to cook!).

When the meat is done (a knife inserted comes out easily, showing you that the tendons and fat have broken down), take it out to rest while you jazz up the sauce. I added a half a cup of red wine and simmered the liquid until it reduced a bit. Don’t reduce it all the way, you want a lot of gravy. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Finally, I sliced the meat and served it over rosemary mashed red potatoes (that I made during the meat-cooking time) and spooned the sauce over the top.

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Enjoy, friends!

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