Saturday, January 29, 2011

Simple Yet Delicious Pot Roast

This week was so busy that I didn't notice how short I was on ingredients for a pot roast I wanted to make the other day. No wine, no fresh herbs, no garlic, no canned tomatoes (really, no wine!). Starting with a fantastic chuck roast I had confidence that, despite my pantry's shortcomings, this meal would be satisfying. So, without any fanfare I went ahead with this simple yet delicious pot roast.

After being tantalized for hours by robust aromas, mmm, and tortured by my kids demands, "mom, when will dinner be ready?" (I jest), I noticed a lot of contented smiles from this hearty meal.

Simple Pot Roast

4-5 lb. chuck roast from butcher, tied (I had a 4 1/2 lb roast)
8 carrots, halved  
8 yukon gold potatoes, halved, skins left on
1 medium red onion, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 32 oz. box beef stock/broth
1 ts Worcestershire Sauce  
1 tbs corn starch and 1/4 cup hot water (for slurry)
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Wash, scrub, and chop vegetables (I left skins on, especially since they were organic). Heat olive oil in stock pot/dutch oven. Salt and pepper meat to taste and brown on all sides, remove (leaving beef bits on bottom of pot) and saute onion (add more olive oil if needed) until tender then garlic until tender. Add beef stock/broth, 2 halved carrots, Worcestershire Sauce. Cook, covered, in oven for 3 hours (or until meat looks tender and is starting to break up - depends on oven and pot). After 3 hours, add potatoes and 6 carrots and cook uncovered 1 hour.  Remove meat and vegetables, make slurry from corn starch and water, add as needed to slightly thicken. Slice meat, lay out on platter with vegetables and pour gravy over top.

First I started by browning meat in olive oil:

After removing meat, I sauteed red onion until tender, scraping up those wonderful bits of flavor:

 While the onion was sauteing, I chopped garlic and added at the end so it wouldn't burn:

When garlic was heated through, I returned the meat, added beef stock, two carrots, about a teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce. This is one ingredient I rarely use (I always feel like I'm cheating) but works well when in a pinch for lack of other ingredients:

 After cooking for 3 hours, in went the potatoes and carrots and cooked another hour:

Don't like carrots? Use green beans instead, which my family prefers but I didn't have. However, when I use them, I always roast separately.  

After 4 hours (when meat was falling apart), I removed meat, cut strings and sliced. I also removed the soft carrots that were added in the beginning.

I quickly made a slurry of corn starch and hot water, slowly added to broth over medium heat until incorporated (but as quickly as possible to finish up for my starving family). The gravy was already reduced from cooking so long it just needed a little thickening - I added only about half the slurry:

Rich, robust, and satisfying!

Leftovers a great for sandwiches, shepards pie, soup, breakfast potatoes, or just reheat as is.


  1. Indeed, your Pot Roast sure does look delicious Lin Ann. I bet the house smelled awesome! I like the notion of the slurry.

    A trick I learned many moons ago was to grate some raw potatoes into the liquid. Amazingly, it thickens the juices quite nicely. My sister "cheats." She sprinkles instant mashed potatoes, lol.

    Thank you so much for sharing...

  2. Thank you Louise! I love this idea with the grated raw potatoes. Will definitely try it. Easy and fresh too!

  3. Mmm.. simple but delicious pork roast :)

  4. A *real* pot roast, like this one, is a thing of beauty!

  5. This looks delicious! There really is noting better than pot roast on a cold day! Wish I had some now! :)

  6. Oh, what you can do with food! Simply marvelous. I've got to put wine in everything. Even my oatmeal. ;)

  7. What a perfect meal for the winter we've been having. It looks delicious and comforting at the same time.