Okay, so maybe twenty-two lists was a bit extreme…but hey, I tried. That counts for something, right?
Speaking of extreme, this pot roast is outrageous, dude. I mean, on a scale of one to ten, it goes to eleven. It’s positively radical.
Well, as radical as a pot roast can get. It’s not exactly the food of rock stars, here. It’s more like the meatloaf’s sexier cousin. Homey, rustic, simple, but dressed up in a sassy, sequined dress.
This is not a quick fix, with the total cooking time being three and a half to FIVE hours, depending on the size and weight of your chosen roast. But it is fairly foolproof and super simple; it makes a fantastic lazy Sunday supper. And it makes your house smell intense. To quote my husband: “If I came home from work and the house smelled like this, I’d require slippers and a glass of scotch.” I think that pretty much sums it up.
The best thing about this recipe is that the cook can inject his own personality, using creativity and whatever ingredients are on hand to create a totally unique meal every time. Red bell peppers and chili sauce? White wine and a sprinkling of raisins? Pomegranate juice and summer squash? Champagne and caviar? Anything goes! (Okay, well except that last one there, I got a little carried away.)
The original recipe suggests adding the vegetables during the last twenty or thirty minutes, but I added mine right away and they turned out beautifully. Soft potatoes, fork-tender carrots, caramelized onions, al dente mushrooms; I used a small cut of beef though, so my cooking time was fairly short. Use your judgment and give it a try. If the vegetables turn out too mushy, give ’em a whirl in the blender and make a soup!
Pot Roast and Vegetables
adapted from House & Garden, January 1963
I have included the vegetables and seasonings I used as a reference, but please, be creative and substitute to your heart’s (and wallet’s) content!
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3-5 pound cut of beef (rump roast works very well)
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, sliced
2 medium carrots, sliced
5-6 button mushrooms, thinly sliced
6 medium yukon gold potatoes, cut into large chunks
1 heaping teaspoon dried rosemary
1 heaping teaspoon dried sage
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup beef stock
1/2 red wine (I used a shiraz, which paired wonderfully with the finished meal)
Rinse the meat and pat dry.
Season the flour with the salt and pepper. Rub into the meat, coating all sides.
Heat the oil in a skillet or dutch oven on medium-high heat. Brown the meat on all sides. Remove and cover with aluminum foil.
Add the onions, carrots, mushrooms, and seasonings. Cook until slightly softened, about 8 minutes. Add the meat back to the pan.
Add the potatoes and liquid, gently stirring to coat. (I put my meat in the middle of the pan, with the vegetables in a circle around it.)
Cover tightly and simmer on medium-low heat for approximately 3 1/2 – 5 hours, depending on the size of the meat, until fork tender.
Use the remaining liquid to make an exquisite gravy.
“Creative thinking may mean simply the realization that there’s no particular virtue in doing things the way they always have been done.” Rudolf Flesch