Sunday, January 27, 2013

Slow Cooked Pot Roast


The most meat flavor is found in cuts that have a lot of fat and connective tissue. These require a lot of cooking in order to the break down the tissue, and that typically ends up overcooking the meat, making it dry and flavorless. Here's a way I've found to produce a really juicy, fall-apart tender pot roast with all the favor intact. It calls for slow cooking a well-marbled piece of chuck roast or a similar cut, around 2-3 pounds, in a cast iron or enameled dutch oven or pot with a close fitting lid.

Begin by preheating your oven to 300F.

Put your dutch oven over medium heat and add:

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 thickly sliced onions 

Stir these over medium high heat until they're wilted and starting to caramelize. Remove from heat.

Place the roast on top of the onions, along with:

  • 2-3 cut-up carrots
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2-4 crushed garlic cloves
  • a half-dozen prunes (optional)
  • 1 cup of red wine
  • a can of crushed tomatoes or tomato paste.
  • a few twists of fresh ground black pepper

Put the lid on your dutch oven. Place it in the oven for 20 minutes, and then turn the heat down to 225F.

Check the meat after 3-1/2 hours. It should be fork tender. If not, check again at 30 minutes intervals.

When the meat is done, remove the dutch oven from your oven, let it cool, and place it in your refrigerator overnight.

The next day skim off the hardened fat that has collected at the surface. Reheat at 225-250F and serve.

I find that the canned tomatoes add sufficient salt to this dish for my tastes. You can always add more if you like.


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