Saturday, October 25, 2008

Rich and Juicy Pot Roast

The weather today is cool and rainy, perfect for a long-cooked dish like pot roast. I picked up a three-pound chuck roast at the Amish market this morning, and then this afternoon, while procrastinating on some work I needed to do, I got it going on the stove. I'd never realized 'til recently that many people make pot roasts in their crock pots or in the oven, but like my mom, I cook mine on the stove, usually for 3-4 hours. The final product, which greatly benefited from a bottle of Sam Adams Octoberfest, was fall-apart tender, with potatoes and carrots that had simmered along in the pot for the last hour or so and were thus completely delicious, not overcooked at all. Kt's Pot Roast 3 lb chuck roast 3-4 Tbs flour olive oil 1 medium onion, chopped 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and left whole 32 oz chicken broth (or water) 1 bottle of beer salt and pepper thyme rosemary 2 bay leaves 1/2 lb carrots, peeled and sliced into large chunks 1 lb new potatoes, cut into large pieces 2 Tbs tomato paste Sprinkle the flour all over the meat. Heat the oil in a large French oven and then add the meat and brown all over. The browning helps to seal in the juices, and the flour helps to thicken the juices later on. When the meat is brown, add the chopped onion and the garlic and stir for about a minute. Then add the chicken broth and the beer, which should be enough to come up at least two-thirds of the way up the meat. Add the salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves. Turn the heat up and bring the liquid to a boil for a few minutes. Then put the lid on, turn the heat down, and let simmer for about two to three hours, turning the meat over every half hour or so. After a few hours, add the potatoes and carrots to the pot, raise the heat to a boil again, then cover, and turn down to a good simmer for another hour or so, til the meat is fork-tender. Taste the broth and adjust for seasoning. If the broth is too thin, add a mixture of equal parts cornstarch and cold water to the simmering liquid and stir well. Optional: I also like to add a spoonful or so of currant or raspberry jam to add a little extra tartn flavor and sweetness. Cranberry would also be good, but I only had strawberry, so I skipped this step tonight.

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