There are several dishes I make every year to greet fall with a kind of “bring it on!” inference. And one of those dishes is pot roast. It literally smacks of cozy fires, good books, and time spent together echoing each other’s sentiments about the incessant rain!
But being true North Westerners (I, born in Seattle, and Mr. C being a California transplant from the ripe old age of 7) we are used to the grey. So, when days get short and the sun goes into its yearly 6 month hibernation, I cook food that warms both the cockles of our hearts (whatever they are) and evokes a sense of comfort.
And if there ever was a recipe that exemplifies the feeling of comfort, it just has to be pot roast. And this recipe, which I have been making most of my adult life, is about as easy and delicious as it gets. So although I know most of you already have a favorite pot roast recipe, for those of you who are still searching, I offer up my easy, tried (only about two hundred times)-and-true (faithful to the end) recipe for this classic homey American dish.
And if you are looking for other dishes that also fit the same criteria (easy to prepare, perfect for fall and winter, delicious), but are perhaps a little more avant-garde than pot roast, let me recommend the following recipes from this site: Red Pozole with Pork, Poulet Au Vin Blanc, Chicken and Dumpling Stew, Irish Lamb Stew with Roasted Root Vegetables, and Grilled Meatloaf with Bacon Flavored Red Gravy. All are wonderful and perfect for this charming season. (And if you think you caught a hint of sarcasm in my previous sentence, you’ll be pleased to know that your mind is firing on all cylinders! Congratulations!)
- ¼ c. flour + more to thicken gravy
- 1 tsp. paprika
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 to 3 lb. beef chuck or rolled roast
- 2 T. vegetable oil
- 3 c. beef stock
- 1 c. red wine
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ tsp. dried rosemary
- 1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
- 2 T. dried parsley leaves
- 2 T. dehydrated chopped onion
- 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 4 carrots, cut into ½-inch “coins”
- 2 onions, quartered
- 3 medium small potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into the same size pieces as the regular potatoes
Combine the quarter cup flour, paprika, and pepper. Remove any extra fat from the roast and dry with paper towels. Pat the flour mixture onto roast. (Save any extra flour for thickening the gravy.) Heat the oil in a large, covered Dutch oven or heavy pan. Brown all sides of the roast in the hot oil. When evenly browned, carefully add the beef stock, wine, bay leaf, rosemary, thyme, parsley, dehydrated onion, and garlic. Place the covered pot in a pre-heated 325 degree oven for about 3 hours. Check after 90 minutes to make sure there is at least 2 cups liquid in the bottom of the pan. Add water if necessary. Meat is done when it can easily be pulled apart with a fork. When almost tender (usually after about 2 hours), add the vegetables. Baste all with the meat juices, cover, and bake for another hour. Baste vegetables once during that hour. When meat and vegetables are finished cooking, remove to a platter with a slotted implement (you don’t want to lose any of the wonderful meat juices) and cover with aluminum foil. Place pan on burner and turn heat to low. If you had any extra flour from browning the roast, add a bit more regular flour until you have about 2 tablespoons. Add about a quarter cup of water and whisk it smooth. (If you used all the seasoned flour to brown the meat, just use 2 tablespoons of regular flour.)
Slowly whisk the flour/water mixture into the warm meat juices. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let happily burble away for about 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings.
Serve the roast cut into serving sized pieces with gravy on the side to drizzle over all.