an equal opportunity eater.
Taking the neurosis out of food, one meal at a time.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Little fuss less muss pot roast
It's so simple to braise a cut of meat and put it stove top to steam cook until tender. Add vegetables towards the end, like carrots and potatoes, and you've got a great dinner, plus a start with the leftovers for ropa vieja.
You will need a a thick pot with a snug cover. Coat the bottom of the pan with a slick of oil; heat to high. Sear your 2-5 pound chuck roast until browned on all sides. Salt and pepper. Add a cup or two of liquid: stock or water. The liquid should sputter furiously, scatter one sliced onion on top, turn heat to low, cover. (The Joy of Cooking recommends a whole onion studded with three cloves).
Now, go plant your daffodils or read a book or just admire the cold weather outside. Get some darning done; pick up your knitting; listen to an opera. I like checking and turning the meat every half hour, adding water as necessary. By two hours a small roast will begin to be tender, longer, of course, for larger roast. Once the fork can piece the roast, now's the time to add more vegetables if you like, slices of pared and peeled carrots, peeled and halved potatoes. Give the vegetables thirty minutes to cook through, by this time a fork should easily pierce the meat.
Scoop the vegetables out, and set aside, keeping warm somewhere in some convenient container. Set the meat on your cutting board.
Slice the meat across the grain, and return to the cooking juices. Serve with your vegetables, maybe some broad egg noodles, coarse mustard and horseradish.
Or try this: Before returning the sliced meat to the casserole take your potato masher and now mash the remaining juices, carrots and onions into a coarse sauce. Add half a cup of sour cream, and salt to taste. Return the sliced meat carefully to the sour cream sauce and warm through gently.
Carbs not an issue? Serve with potato pancakes. (Go ahead and cheat. Buy and bake some tater tots). Wow. Just the ticket to get through a cold damp night.
What's your pot roast variation? Full disclosure: I've never tried the instant onion soup flavored kind.