Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Braised Pot Roast

Growing up, my mother made it very clear that while she was a housewife, she was not an apron wearing, obey your husband and live for your children housewife. Those housewives made pot roast on Sunday. My mother did not. Ever. I was left believing that pot roast was vaguely evil and somehow related to all that was wrong with society.

Then, I went and married a pot roast loving man. About seven years into this marriage, I decided to try making one. And I discovered that pot roast is really pretty good. And easy to make. And economical. A housewife's dream. Sorry, Mom.

This is an easy, one pot version that includes lots of vegetables. The flavors are similar to this beef stew, which is one of my all time favorites.

salt and pepper
olive oil
2-2 1/2 lbs boneless beef chuck roast
5 small potatoes, unpeeled and quartered
8 carrots, cut in 2" pieces
2 onions, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
2 bay leaves
1 cup red wine
2 cups (one 14 1/2 ounce can) beef stock
1 branch of fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons flour (for gravy)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Season meat with salt and freshly ground black pepper. In a large Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over moderately high heat. Brown the beef on all sides and then transfer to a plate.

Heat another 2 tablespoons of oil in the same pot and add the potatoes, carrots, and onions. Cook for 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.

Add the wine and cook over high heat to deglaze, scraping up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the beef broth, worcestershire sauce and rosemary. Return the meat to the pan. Cover and bake (braise) at 350°F for 2 hours or until meat is very tender.

Place the meat and vegetables on a platter and cover.

Discard the bay leaf and rosemary. Whisk 2 tablespoons of flour and 1 cup of the sauce together and pour it back into the pan. Simmer for about 5 minutes, until thickened. Check seasonings and serve hot.

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  1. That looks like great comfort food.

  2. This is my husband's *favorite* dish! Your's looks yummy. I never add red wine to mine, but it sounds like a nice addition.

    Hilarious story about your mom!


  3. It is so funny how certain foods are deemed 'what other people make'. For the most part, I just view food as food -- not as a reflection of what kind of housewife I am or am not. It is very funny that your mom viewed pot roast in that way. :) Doubly funny that you are a fan of it now. ;)