Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Jen has been busy going to school, getting her graduate degree, getting married, and having two sons.  Now that her sons are out of the baby food stage she would like to expend her cooking repertoire.  She asked me to show her on the blog how to cook a pot roast.

Full of flavor, tender and ready to eat!  Enjoy!!

For a good pot roast, you want a piece of chuck meat which comes from the shoulders of the animal.  Chuck has lots of flavor but is tough so it needs to be cooked long, slow, while it is kept moist in a covered pan.  My Mom would only use a blade cut chuck roast  sometimes called a seven bone roast.  She never used a round bone roast or an English-cut roast.  She thought that those cuts were too dry when cooked. She could go to Johnny, at the corner market, and he would cut a roast off of a big hanging  side of beef especially for her. If he tried to slip her a round bone roast, he got it right back!

My Mom and her youngest sister doing dishes after Sunday dinner.

Those were the days!!!  Now the beef comes out of big packing plants in Nebraska and Iowa.  The majority of the beef is shipped boneless as it costs money to ship bones and there is no profit in the bones.  For Jen to learn about cuts of meat that make a good pot roast amoung all the pieces of meat available in the cases, I would advise her to go to a meat market like Frank's Meat Market on Washington in Grand Haven or ask the person behind the meat counter at a large supermarket that has meat not already wrapped in plastic.  The person at the market or the meat counter is more than happy to help.

You want a roast that has some fat in it, well-marbled, is the term.  All protein fibers taste exactly the same.  Be it cow, chicken or pig, the protein has an identical taste. It is the fat in the meat that gives each its individual flavor.

Cook's magazine says that it is not necessary to brown a roast before cooking.  My Mom, Daughter and I disagree.  We like the the extra full flavor that browning the meat gives the roast.

A perfect winter meal, pot roast, browned potatoes and carrots.  Enjoy!!

My Dad bought Mom one of the first electric frying pans on the market. She did not like anything new so the pan sat pushed into the back of her closet for years. One day she pulled it out and tried it. After that she couldn't cook without it. It was always in the car going back and forth from the house to the cottage with us. When it finally wore out, my Dad had to go out immediately and get Mom a new pan. The easiest way to prepare pot roast, I think, is in an electric frying pan.  However, electric frying pans have gone out of vogue so I have two oven versions here.

My Mom's secret ingredient was Worcestershire sauce.  I always said give my Mom an electric frying pan and a bottle of Worcestershire sauce and she could create magic.  Worcestershire sauce intensifies and adds to the rich beef flavor of a roast.

A blade cut beef chuck roast
Worcestershire sauce
Onions, sliced
Salt and pepper, to taste
Carrots, quartered
Potatoes, halved or quartered

Ingredients:  Well marbled chuck roast, butter, onions, Worcestershire sauce, carrots, potatoes, salt and pepper. 

In a hot frying pan, melt a pat or two of butter.  Place roast in pan and fry until that side is brown.  Turn roast over and brown the other side.  Put the roast in a baking pan.  I use my iron skillet.  Any baking pan will do.  If it doesn't have a cover, use a double wrap of aluminum foil.  Slice onions and place on browned roast. Sprinkle roast with Worcestershire sauce.  Rinse carrots and potatoes to clean.  Cut into serving size pieces.  Place around the roast and on top.  Add a cup of water.  Add more water if you want more gravy.  (I don't care for too much gravy.)  Place a layer of aluminum foil over the pan and put the cover over the aluminum foil.  This double cover helps keep the moisture in the pan.  Place covered pan in a preheated 325° oven for 3-1/2 hours or until the meat flakes easily with a fork.  Remove meat and vegetables to a platter.  Cover with aluminum foil.  Reduce the pan liquid to thicken slightly for a pan gravy.  Pour over meat.  Slice and serve.

Put a pat of butter in a hot pan and cook until bubbly.

Scrub potatoes.

Rinse carrots well.  My Mother did not peel her carrots as she said all the vitamins and minerals are right under the skin.

Put roast in hot butter and brown on one side.

Turn and brown the other side.

Slice onions.

Put onions on top of roast.

Sprinkle the roast with Worcestershire sauce.

Cut carrots into serving size.

(Some pictures were lost.  This is a picture of the potatoes and carrots after they were cooked.  Just pretend they are raw.)  Put potatoes and carrots around and on top of the roast.

Add a cup of water to the baking pan.  More if you want extra gravy.

Cover baking pan tightly with aluminum foil.

Put cover on the baking pan or an additional layer of foil tightly covering pan.

Put pan in preheated 325° for 3-1/2 hours or until meat is fork tender.

Roast and vegetables are ready.  Looks good to me.

Put potatoes and vegetable in a bowl or on a platter.

Meat flakes easily with a fork which means it is ready.

Remove meat to a platter and cover with foil.

Put baking pan on stove or pour liquid into a saucepan.

Bring pan juices to a boil and cook to reduce liquid to a pan gravy.  I don't add flour or butter.  I just slightly thicken the pan juices by reducing them.

Pour pan liquid over meat.

Slice meat.

Look how brown the potatoes are.  Notice how moist the meat is.

The carrots look fantastic.  Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!!

Our Daughter likes to be in control even when her Brother is driving.  I liked to hear the sounds our Oldest Son is making with his mouth.  In a Mother's heart, they are always your little ones even if our Daughter has a 21 year old Son.

Her method of cooking the roast gives her the afternoon free to do as she pleases and not have to worry about dinner.  It is ready when she wants to serve it.  It is perfect for this time of year, while the roast is in the oven you can shop, wrap package or take a nap! 

Brown chuck roast and season with salt and pepper.  Put into a baking pan.  Put in potatoes and carrots.  Cover.  Put in a 250° oven at 11:00am.  Serve when everyone is ready for dinner in the evening. 

No comments:

Post a Comment