10 January 2011

Perfect Pot Roast

The forecast for morning snow flurries and a cold Sunday afternoon inspired this Sunday dinner's menu. That and the $2.99/lb chuck roast at New Seasons (ever the bargain shopper...). This was the perfect meal to have after a cold and long 7-mile run--most of the work was done, just had to whip up a couple sides to go with it.

Steps to a perfect pot roast...

Separate the roast by the seam and cut away large knobs of fat. Salt and let the roasts sit (untied) for about an hour at room temp. Before using, tie with twine into little loaves so they cook evenly.
Melt a couple tablespoons of butter in a large Dutch oven. Throw 2 thinly sliced onions in to caramelize. After they are soft and starting to brown, add 1 chopped carrot and 1 chopped celery stalk. Add a couple of minced cloves of garlic, and then...
Add a cup of beef broth (thanks Stacey for the homemade broth!), half a cup of dry red wine, tablespoon of tomato paste, a bay leaf, and a sprig of thyme. Bring to a simmer.
Nestle those little loaves of cow yumminess in the liquid, cover with a large piece of foil and snugly tuck them in for the 3 1/2 to 4 hours of cooking time in a 300 degree oven. Top with the lid. Halfway through the cooking time, rotate the pot.
Yep, that's done. Yum.
And yes, I could barely pick it up without it falling apart.
A lovely Sunday dinner table set for four, complete with matching yellow plates (thanks CA mom!)
Not a bad way to end the weekend.
I made buttermilk mashed potatoes and roasted broccoli to go with it. I also made the gravy from the liquid and vegetables in the pot roast. Just separate the fat, add the veggies to a blender, put the defatted liquid in blender, add enough beef broth to bring content up to 3 cups and blend. Add to a medium size saucepan, and bring to a simmer. Add another 1/4 cup of the red wine, some more fresh thyme and a splash of balsalmic vinegar to brighten it up. I'm getting pretty good at this American cuisine stuff...well, thanks to Cook's Illustrated.

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