Thursday, October 18, 2007

Simple Pot Roast

Happy Thursday, and with it being a blustery day and all, I thought I'd post a good "down-home, warm-your-tummy" dish for this week's Culinary Delight.

Now I have to confess something: My Crock-pot has a high place of honor in my kitchen, second only to my coffee/espresso maker :-) I mean, if I can throw dinner together, and then not have to worry about it for 8-10 hours,
whoo hoo! more time to play with Kyra or take a nap!

So for a recipe to NOT involve the crock-pot, and still be one of my favorites, it has to be really good!!!

When David found the following recipe in Cook's Illustrated magazine, he said, "We should try that some time. It looks really good." To which I replied, "Oh honey. We already have plenty of pot roast recipes, and besides, it doesn't use the crock-pot!", and I filed it away with the rest of our cookbooks.

Then the other day, I knew we were going to be home all afternoon, because it was Sunday, and the Green Bay Packers game was actually on TV! It was also a day like today, weather-wise, so I pulled out the non-crock-pot pot roast recipe and decided to try it.

As it was roasting in the oven, and I was having to turn it every 1/2 hour, for 3 1/2 to 4 hours, I kept saying to myself, "I hope this is just awful, so I'll never have to make it again! What a pain! Nothing like my nice easy crockpot!"

Well, my hating it was not to be. In fact, it was down-right delicious! Grrrr! So, if you have several hours to dedicate to this "simple" pot roast", it's definitely worth the effort.

Simple Pot Roast
Serves 6 to 8

1 boneless chuck roast (about 3 1/2 pounds)
salt and ground black pepper

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped medium
1 small carrot, chopped medium--more can be added if you prefer
1 small celery rib, chopped medium
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup canned chicken broth
1 cup canned beef broth--can use 2 cups of chicken or beef if you don't have one or the other
1 sprig fresh thyme--
can use 1 tablespoon dried thyme
1-1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup dry red wine

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Thoroughly pat roast dry with paper towels; sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Brown roast thoroughly on all sides, reducing heat if fat begins to smoke, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer roast to large plate; set aside.

Reduce heat to medium; add onion, carrot and celery to pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes.
Add garlic and sugar; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add broth & thyme, scraping bottom of pan with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits.

Return roast and any accumulated juices to pot; add enough water to come halfway up sides of roast. Bring liquid to simmer over medium heat. Then wrap pot lid in foil (I know this sounds strange, but just go with it--it seals the gap between the lid & the pot to keep in the steam), and cover the pan tightly with the lid. Transfer pot to oven.

Cook, turning roast every 30 minutes, until fully tender and meat fork or sharp knife easily slips in and out of meat, 3 1/2 to 4 hours.

Transfer roast to carving board; tent with foil to keep warm. Allow liquid in pot to settle about 5 minutes, then use wide spoon to skim fat off surface. Boil over high heat until reduced to about 1 1/2 cups, about 8 minutes. Add red wine and reduce again to 1 1/2 cups, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Using carving knife, cut meat into 1/2-inch-thick slices, or pull apart into large pieces; transfer meat to warmed serving plate and pour about 1/2 cup sauce over meat. Serve, passing remaining sauce & veggies separately.

There you have it. It's not meatloaf--remember today is National Meatloaf Appreciation Day, but it is in the meat family, and in my opinion, this is much, much better!!! :-)



david said...

for the record- David's made this before, and already knew it was worth the work...

Taneha said...

One of my MANY favorites about fall and winter. I LOVE using my crock pot. So much so that I think it drives Chris crazy. :) I found meat on sale at Albertsons last weekend so last Sunday we had Pot Roast. :) I LOVE IT! I am so excited. I am glad someone loves their crock pot as much as I do. I think we are going to do a chicken this weekend. :)