When I was young, I remember seeing an article that stated, “If you can cook a good pot roast, you can make any man happy.” At the time, in the early 70’s, that sounded reasonable, what did I know? However, as I grew older and was challenged on my preconceived acceptance of this type of thinking, I realized what a bogus statement that was. I wasn’t offended that it said, I could make any man happy, I do like to make people happy after all, but I was offended that it intentionally forgot about me! What about making me happy?
Classic Pot Roast and Potatoes is simple and satisfying!!
Being that I am a dyed in the wool meat and potatoes girl, I am surprised it took me a beat to realize I had been dismissed. It seems odd to me now, but wasn’t it even a consideration that Classic Pot Roast and Potatoes would be pleasing to me?! I am older, wiser and honestly a difficult person to get into a discussion with about women’s rights, mainly because I pretty much do what I want anyway, I don’t need to have a debate about it. Right now, I want Classic Pot Roast and Potatoes, so I am going to make it and I am going to eat it and I am going to be happy!
I think fried chicken is the only thing they may run an even race with a good Pot Roast as far as I am concerned. It’s a classic, it’s Americana! Not much beats the smell of a Pot Roast and Potatoes cooking in the oven on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Oh, the anticipation of that amazing dinner!
Classic Pot Roast and Potatoes is simply a big piece of beef, seasoned and then cooked low and slow until it is fall apart tender with potatoes cooked in the same pot, absorbing all the wonderful flavors!!
There are many choices when preparing a beef roast including; Chuck Roast Roasts, Briskets, Rump, Clod, Eye of Round and the ever popular Standing Rib Roasts. Today, I am making a Chuck Roast, which is a cut of meat from the shoulder of the cow. Since it is a muscle that is heavily used, it has lots of flavor, but it is also tough. This is why you would want to cook a roast, low and slow. Braising tough cuts of meat slowly, helps the collagen and connective tissues break down, as well as the muscle fibers separate, which will give you a fall apart, tender roast when done.
Salting a tough roast (or any cut of meat actually), as least an hour before cooking, transforms that chewy piece of meat into a flavorful, tender and juicy mouthful . Salt also causes the filaments of meat to swell and break down, so the fibers separate and what is left is tenderness and flavor. Don’t be afraid of salt, it is your cooking buddy, let it help you.
A Classic Pot Roast and Potatoes is beloved. However, if you aren’t familiar with cooking one, it can seem a bit daunting. It really is as simple a meal as it gets, but many people don’t know that. So, us “Roasters” get lots of credit for doing next to nothing. Shhhhh, keep that part on the down low.
I am cooking this roast in my big Dutch Oven. It is big, heavy and conducts heat evenly. Add a little olive oil to the pot and turn the heat up to high. To the hot oil, add come chopped onion, garlic cloves, diced carrots and sauté them. You are adding flavor to the oil and adding a little color to the vegetables. I usually toss my cubed potatoes in with the veg for a few minutes too. Remove the vegetables after a few minutes and set aside while you place the roast into the same deep pot, and brown it on each side. When both sides of the roast are browned, add the vegetables back into the pot, pour in the red wine and beef broth around the edges of the meat. Place the lid on top and put it in the oven at 325 for several hours. That is it!!
Classic Pot Roast and Potatoes
- 5 pounds Chuck Roast
- 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
- 4 cloves garlic, leave whole
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 medium potatoes, cubed into 1 inch pieces
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- salt and fresh cracked black pepper (enough for both sides of the beef)
- 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme (use 2 tsp dried if you don't have fresh) place on top of meat before putting in oven or sprinkle all over meat if using dried.
- 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary (use 2 tsp dried if you don't have fresh) place on top of meat before putting in oven or sprinkle all over meat if using dried.
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 cups beef broth
- Liberally salt and pepper both sides of roast 1 hour before cooking.
- Heat olive oil in Dutch Oven on high and add the diced onion, carrot pieces and whole garlic cloves to the pot. Saute for about 5 minutes to brown them up a little. Then remove to a plate.
- Add a little more oil to the pot and with the burner still on high, place roast into Dutch oven and brown on both sides.
- When roast is browned on both sides, add all the vegetables back to the pot. Then pour the red wine and beef broth around the perimeter to the roast.
- Place herbs on top of meat and plate lid on the pot. Place into an oven preheated to 325 degrees and cook for about 3-1/2 hours before checking for tenderness.
- When you remove the lid and poke the meat with a fork, it should be very tender, if it is not, place lid back on and cook for another 30 minutes before checking it again (depending on the size of your roast).
When the Classic Pot Roast and Potatoes are done, carefully remove them to a platter, with the tender vegetables and cover with foil to keep warm until time to serve. You can drizzle the meat and potatoes with pan drippings or make a quick gravy to go over the top. I vote for gravy! Enjoy friends!!
Classic Pot Roast and Potatoes are a family favorite in my house. What is your favorite roast and how do you prepare it?