Sunday, October 27, 2013

Making Pot Roast

Dear Tia Blanca,

When you asked about what we were making, then said you were inspired... well, you inspired me, too. So, I decided to share with you how we prepare our pot roast. It's not difficult, and with just two key steps I've learned, I think it comes out wonderfully. I hope you get a day off, a cool fall day, when you can prepare this and enjoy it with good company... make that three key steps: Any food will taste better if taken with good company!


chuck roast (I can get two at Costco, which is nice for a crowd)
onions... one per roast
carrots... at least four per roast (Geoff says, "You can't have too many carrots.")
herbes de Provence... this can be dried thyme, savory, fennel, basil, lavender,
or sometimes I use an Italian herb mix
black pepper
garlic cloves... at least six per roast
olive oil
red wine... nice friends bring wine when we have parties, so I use any that tastes good!

Start heating your oven... and this is key one: Low heat... try 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
I chop the onions and slice the carrots, then sauté them in olive oil.
I love the carrots to get browned, the onions, too.
Do you know about not crowding the pan? It really helps the veggies to get crisp, not watery,
so I try to remember to patiently cook the onions, then carrots, in multiple batches.
While the veggies sauté, I use a paper towel to absorb any moisture from the chuck roast...
another good tip for browning.

Now I add equal parts salt, pepper and herbs in a dish... enough to coat the roast,
and then rub the two cuts of meat all over with the seasonings.
The cooked veggies are set aside in baking pans (I've also let the roast and veggies cook in crock pot, which worked just fine, while adding more time... think 6-7 hours.)
Now it's time to brown the roast, and maybe you need to heat more olive oil for this.
I brown both sides, and even the edges, since it's such a thick cut, and we want the juices to get sealed in.
Now the roast is ready to sit with the veggies in the baking dish,
and I cover them with whole, slightly crushed cloves of garlic.

The pan is a mess, right? Don't let that tasty stuff go to waste!
Add about two cups of your red wine to the pan... and be sure you like the flavor.
The alcohol cooks off, but the taste will remain, so you want it to be something you like.
Now you can "clean" the pan, scraping whatever remained, while simmering and reducing the wine.
Let the wine bubble and thicken a bit, and then pour it over the roast... dividing between the both, if you are preparing two roasts.
Seal your baking dish with aluminum foil. And into the oven... for at least five hours... could even be six, if your meat cuts are really big.
Low heat was key one, and a long time roasting, in a well sealed pan, is key two.
This will make the meat fall-apart tender, and juicy. I promise.

Imagine a pot of frijoles simmering on the stove, too. Some roasted potatoes, salad, and, of course, you have some vino leftover! Oh my gosh, I am getting hungry, again! I love this roast with flour tortillas, but there's a wonderful bread recipe you might like to try, too! We are in love with Dutch Oven Bread. Don't worry about the Dutch Oven part, because it bakes just fine on a cookie sheet, too. And hey, if any of this is confusing, you should call me over and insist I help you!

Buen provecho, Tia. Te quiero mucho.


judy in ky said...

Yum! You do beautiful carrot cutting, too.

Anonymous said...

You are a great cook, Natalie. Always have been, as long as I've known you.


Unknown said...

That looks gorgeous and like you said, now I'm hungry!

ArtyZen said...

This is how all recipes should read - like someone was sharing it with you with much love. Thanks Natalie - I know what we'll be having at least one day this week! Axxx

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

I do? You're so sweet!
I have a little hand tool that crinkle cuts veggies and fruit, too... I love that tool!

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Ah, thank you so much... this is high praise coming from one of my cooking inspirations!

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Thank you. No need for an appetizer when you smell pot roast cooking all day!

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Thank you... really, all of these comments have made me blush and stammer, and feel oh-so nice.