Too Hot For Pot Roast?

7 Jun

It was 91 degrees today in the capitol city (WV). Too hot to cook, really. But, I figured that maybe, just maybe, some of you live several lattitudes north of me and might like  my pot roast recipe.

Kaukab cooked a few pot roasts over the years, but it wasn’t a natural output of hers, the way many American moms featured them on their dining tables. Hers were more like stews.

I first learned to make traditional pot roasts from a friend of mine, whose mother made the most delicious and tender of pot roasts. Her secret weapon ingredient was ketchup. And, brown sugar. Not the kind of mediterranean ingredients Kaukab liked to use.

Over the years, I’ve tweaked the ingredients to my liking. A cross between two vastly different food cultures.  And, this is what my pot roast looks like:



Not Your Mama's Pot Roast



 This is a one pot/pan dish. Easy and good.
3lb. to 4lb. chuck roast or english roast
worstchestshire (about 1/2C.)
2 T. tomato paste (I use the paste in the tube, so use a few squirts, as is very concentrated)
ketchup ( A few heavy squirts, or about 2T to 3T)
canola oil  (enough to effectively coat the pan, plus slightly more)
dijon mustard (a few squirts or about 2 tsps.)
garlic salt (just shake to lightly dust over entire meat and veggies)
cracked black pepper (same unit of measure as with the garlic salt ;/)
dried herbs, e.g. oregano, thyme, or rosemary, perhaps a combination. You decide.
veggies of your choice, or of your fridge’s choice.  (I had used up all the potatoes, so I used carrots, onions, and mushrooms.) I use enough to fill the pan. Most of us in the household love our veggies.) I cut the onions in large chunks and the mushrooms stay whole, or if really large, I’ll cut them in half. The carrots are cut in rough thirds. If they’re really fat, then I’ll also slice them lengthwise, after they’re first cut into thirds.
Once you’ve cut your veggies and are ready to assemble, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Now, take your big hunk of meat and dry it off  (using paper towels) very well. Then pour your oil in the pan, enough so that you can tilt your pan and have some oil move side to side. Place your dried-off meat in the pan. Begin to take all your ingredients (except the veggies) and smear them all over the meat. Place your onions on top of the meat, mixing them with the smeared ingredients.
Place pan into oven, uncovered. Leave in oven until meat is browned–about 30 minutes.  Once browned, place carrots, potatoes, mushrooms, celery/parsnips (whatever your vegetables of choice) in pan all around the meat, some mushrooms atop the meat, and move some of the onions to the outer edges surrounding the meat. Be sure to mix the veggies so that they become coated.
At this point, you may want to add some water to the pan, about 1C to start. Then cover pan tightly and return to oven, turning down to 350 or even to 325 degrees. Let roast in oven for another 90 minutes to 2hrs. Check after the first hour or so, to see if you need to add more water. Roasting may take up to a total of 3hrs. (including browning time).  You should be able to pull apart the meat with a fork.
It might not be your typical Yankee pot roast, but I think you’ll be satisfied, nonetheless. Enjoy.

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