The most read post on my old blog is the recipe for Pot Roast.
So, I think that the recipe should find a home over here now too. I promise you’ll like it. I took my cues from a really good cook.
I’m going to warn you: If you are reading this post when you only have a couple of minutes at your computer and have never visited The Pioneer Woman and looked over her site – do NOT click that link. I repeat, do not click that link. Wait until you have adequate time to crack up at her writing, drool over her food, and be amazed at their life on the ranch. I’m a fan. In case you couldn’t tell.
I used to always make pot roast in a slow cooker. It’s so handy to toss everything in a slow cooker and then later call it dinner, but I haven’t been able to make pot roast in a slow cooker ever since I made it in my dutch oven Ree’s way…it’s just…so.much.better.
I don’t follow her recipe exactly, but take her basic preparation as a cue and it’s made all the difference (as has the road less traveled). PW refers to her recipe as Perfect Pot Roast and she shares that once you learn a few tricks, you too can have the perfect pot roast. And now I am saying – you too can have the perfect pot roast!
Aside from a good cut of meat, here is what makes a huge impact on the flavor: giving the carrots and onions a quick “browning” and searing the meat on all sides.
The extra steps are so worth it! You don’t want to cook the veggies, just brown them up a bit. I usually just cut the onions in half and keep them more intact, but in the photo above I cut them more and then wasn’t careful when I was browning them so they are all fallen apart. Tastes the same though! Sear the meat on each side. All those brown bits add so much flavor!
After browning everything, take everything out of the pot and put some beef broth in and get those “bits” off the bottom of your pot and into the liquid. You guessed it, flavor! If I keep saying “Flavor!” and using exclamation points!, will you believe me?!
Throw it all back into the pot. I add mushrooms to ours because they are delicious and it adds flav…nevermind. I do not put potatoes in with the roast. I cook them separately and make mashed potatoes. I don’t mind the potatoes cooked in with everything, I just haven’t done it that way in a long time. Now that I think about it, maybe I will next time. Variety is the spice of life.
Pot roast, when just seasoned with salt and pepper and herbs (if you choose), is naturally gluten-free. However, if you want gravy to serve with everything, this is where you need a good gluten-free option. I use white rice flour to make my gravy. If you can’t use traditional flour, it’s the next best option. I do not use cornstarch for gravy. Have you seen cornstarch gravy after it’s been in the fridge? It’s the gravy you mistake for a brownish jello. Yuck. White rice flour thickens really well, doesn’t change the flavor and keeps your gravy like gravy. Also, it dissolves really easily, which means, no lumps!
Are you hungry yet?
1 whole (4 To 5 Pounds) Chuck Roast
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2-3 whole Onions
6 whole Carrots (or use baby carrots)
6 oz button mushrooms
Salt and PepperTo Taste
3-4 cups Beef Broth
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Then add 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil (or you can do a butter/olive oil split).
Cut two onions in half and cut 6 to 8 carrots into 2-inch slices (or use baby carrots). When the oil in the pot is hot (but not smoking), add in the halved onions, browning them on one side and then the other. Remove the onions to a plate.
Throw the carrots into the same hot pan and toss them around a bit until slightly browned, about a minute or so.
If needed, add a bit more olive oil to the very hot pan. Place the meat in the pan and sear it for about a minute on all sides until it is nice and brown all over. Remove the roast to a plate.
With the burner still on high, use beef broth (about 1 cup) to deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom of the pan to get all of that wonderful flavor up.
Add the roast, carrots, onions, along with the mushrooms back into the pan and add enough beef broth to cover the meat halfway (about 2 to 3 cups).
Put the lid on, then roast in a 300F oven for 3 hours (for a 3-pound roast). For a 4 to 5-pound roast, plan on 4 hours.
For the gravy:
Remove the meat and veggies from dutch oven, leaving the remaining juices/broth. Skim off as much fat as you prefer from top of juices. Put pot onto the stovetop and heat over medium heat adding additional broth to make a total of 2 cups of liquid. Make a slurry of 4 tablespoons white rice flour and 1/2 water. Once broth is at a simmer, slowly whisk in slurry. Continue to stir and cook until gravy thickens. Season with salt and pepper as needed.