Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pot Roast Perfection

I have tried unsuccessfully to make Pot Roast many, many times.  I've tried slow cooker recipes, oven recipes, and stovetop recipes.  I've used onion soup mix and cream of mushroom soup recipes.  I've tried it with and without carrots/potatoes.  And I've experimented with every cut of roast at the grocery store. I think I've made every recipe out there, and they all turn out the same way: stringy, wet, flavorless, and chewy.  Not exactly perfect.  So when Pioneer Woman posted her recipe for Perfect Pot Roast earlier this week, I thought, what the heck, I'll give it a shot.  And it was perfection. Finally!

Pot Roast Perfection straight from the oven.

Pot Roast Perfection

2 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
One 3 pound chuck roast (this cut is important for flavor)
1 large onion
4 large carrots carrots
2 to 2 1/2 cups beef stock
3 fresh rosemary sprigs (or if you let all your herbs die like I did you can use 1 tablespoon dried)
3 fresh thyme sprigs (use dried and then promise yourself you'll water your herbs more often)

Generously salt and pepper the chuck roast. 

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add olive oil.  
Cut onion in quarters and cut carrots into 2-inch slices. 
When the oil in the pot is very hot, add in the onions, browning them on one side and then the other. Remove the onions to a plate.
Throw the carrots into the same hot pan and toss them around a bit until slightly browned, about a minute or so.
If needed, add a bit more olive oil to the very hot pan. Place the meat in the pan and sear it for about a minute on all sides until it is nice and brown all over. Remove the roast to a plate.
With the burner still on high, use beef broth (about 1 cup) to deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon.
When the bottom of the pan is sufficiently deglazed, place the roast back into the pan and add enough beef stock to cover the meat halfway. Add in the onion and the carrots, as well as the rosemary and thyme.
Put the lid on, then roast in a 275F oven for 3 hours (for a 3-pound roast). For a 4 to 5-pound roast, plan on 4 hours.

Mashed potatoes on the side, not cooked with the roast. Pot Roast Perfection!