Saturday, March 14, 2009

Classic Pot Roast

Based on a recipe from Elise:


4-5 lb beef roast (typically tougher cuts like chuck or shoulder)
2 T olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp basil
Bay leaf
1 large onion, diced
4 or 5 large carrots, peeled and cut in large chunks
(or you can use several baby carrots)
Several large mushrooms cut in thick slices
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 - 3/4 C of red wine


In a large dutch oven or other covered pot, heat olive oil on medium high heat. Sprinkle the seasonings on all sides of the roast and rub in. Brown the roast in the hot oil in pot on all sides, several minutes on each side. Never move the roast around while a side is browning, or it won't brown well. When the roast is thoroughly browned, take it out of the pan temporarily and put garlic and chopped onion to the bottom of the pan. Let the roast sit on top of the onions.

Add the red wine and bay leaf. Cover. Bring to simmer and then adjust the heat down to the lowest heat possible to maintain a very gentle simmer if you're cooking it on the stovetop. Or you can cook the pot roast in a 225°F oven, once you have browned it, and brought the liquid to a simmer (make sure to use an oven proof pot such a dutch oven).

Cook for 4 - 4 1/2 hours, until meat is tender. Near the end of the cooking, add the carrots; add the mushrooms 10 minutes later and cook about 5 - 10 more minutes.

NOTE: check the amount of liquid remaining after about 3 1/2 hours, before adding the carrots. If the pot roast is too dry, add a bit more wine or even beef broth (perhaps a cup of liquid).

Remove the meat and vegetables to a serving plate; depending on how much liquid is left, add a little bit (couple of tablespoons) of cornstarch mixed with a small amount of water to the liquid in the pot and cook over medium heat until slightly thickened. Good over the roast and over mashed potatoes!

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