What can you say about pot roast? Nearly everyone likes it. Especially children. It’s easy, fairly inexpensive and even beginner cooks can be successful with a pot roast. It’s nearly as homey and comforting as a meatloaf and takes lots less prep time.
I was stuck in a rut for a long time making pot roasts in the crock pot with that overly salty onion soup mix. Everyone I knew made roasts that way and I guess I never questioned it very much. And however great that recipe is, it usually gives you a too tender, over done roast that is falling apart. Great for hot roast beef sandwiches but not much else. So, I set out to make a roast that was well-seasoned and would hold together when sliced. And I think I did pretty well! This roast is braised in a beef stock with rosemary and garlic. You can prep it quickly and then put it in the oven and forget it for a while.
1 center cut chuck roast (or 7-blade roast), about 3 pounds
salt and pepper
1 quart beef stock or broth
3-4 springs fresh rosemary
5 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tblsp corn starch
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Peel the garlic but leave the cloves whole. Generously season both sides of the roast with salt and pepper.
Pour just enough oil into a Dutch oven to cover the bottom and heat over medium-high heat. Brown the roast well on both sides. You want to really brown it until it’s a dark brown. I also hold the roast up and brown the edges as well. I think that this extra step really helps hold in the moisture and it just makes your roast look pretty, too.
Remove from the heat. Add the beef stock or broth. If necessary, add enough water to bring the level of liquid halfway up the side of the roast. Add the rosemary and garlic.
Cover tightly and place in preheated oven. I like to use a piece of foil between the pot and the lid to make for a really tight seal. Keeps all the juices inside and very little evaporates. Please note my pitiful old Dutch oven above. It’s pathetic, I know. You’d think after all these years of cooking I’d have bought myself a decent Dutch oven, wouldn’t you? Don’t worry. I’ve already mentioned to Santa that I’d like one under the tree this year. Santa usually delivers pretty well around here!
Cook for 1 ½ hours. Remove the roast from the oven and allow to stand for 10-15 minutes before slicing.
While the roast is resting, make the gravy.
Skim off as much fat as possible from the cooking liquid. I like to use a separator cup. You pour in your liquids, wait a few minutes while the fat rises to the top and then pour the de-fatted liquid back into your pot. A really great gadget! I get a lot more fat off by using it than trying to skim. Place the pot with your de-fatted cooking liquid back over medium-high heat and bring the liquid to a boil. Dissolve the corn starch in ¼ cup water and stir it into the boiling liquid. If desired, mash the softened, cooked garlic and add to the gravy.