Tuesday, April 17, 2012

How to Cook Pot Roast Recipe and Tutorial

The aroma of browning roast beef woke me up almost every Sunday of my childhood. No, my mom didn't cook roast beef for breakfast. She woke up before the rest of the family, browned the meat, added vegetables, and set the whole thing to simmer while we worshiped at church.

We usually enjoyed our pot roast cooked to perfection, but occasionally the preacher got a little long-winded and our roast got a little overdone. Since the preacher (my dad) had to eat the results of his wordiness, our lunch didn't burn often.

Because teenagers seldom get out of bed before the last possible moment, and my mom started cooking the pot roast EARLY, I didn't learn how to cook roast beef until after I married. I've made up for lost time and these days my husband LOVES my pot roast!

An easy guide to make the perfect pot roast:

In a dutch oven or skillet with a lid, brown the roast:
Pour 1-3 tablespoons of oil in the pot, let oil get hot but not smoking.
Place meat in the pot and almost burn. Turn the meat over and brown on that side. Repeat until the meat is browned on most sides.

Important: do NOT put the lid on while browning the meat.

Browning is where all the delicious flavor comes from. 
Trust me, let the beef sit without moving it for several minutes. 
When you smell that it's almost burning is when you turn it over

Important: the yummy stuck on bits are going to become awesome gravy!

Add enough water to almost cover the meat. 
The amount of water will depend on the size of your pot and amount of meat.
Put the lid on the pot. When the water is boiling (you'll hear it), turn the heat down to simmer - not the lowest setting but almost.

 Check every 30-60 minutes to make sure your water hasn't boiled out. If the water is almost gone, add more. Leave the meat to cook for at least 2 hours, but 3-4 hours will make your roast melt in your mouth tender.

Important: you can use this method with any cut of roast. The only way to 'overcook' roast is to burn it. The longer you cook it, the more tender it becomes. 

I love to serve pot roast with homemade biscuits and gravy. To make the gravy, boil down the reserved liquid used to cook the roast until you have about 1-2 cups. As the water reduces, scrape the bottom of the pan to get up those yummy bits of flavor. The darker the liquid the more flavor you will have.

In a small cup stir together about half a cup of water and 2 tablespoons of floor. Slowly pour flour mixture into boiling reserved liquid. I recommend pouring only a little at a time to see how quickly the gravy thickens up. Stir constantly and let boil until gravy is your desired consistency.

Important: the more flour you use, the thicker your gravy will be. If you eat gluten free you can replace flour for cornstarch.

Mmm... know I'm craving pot roast!

How do you cook roast beef?

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Annette W. said...

I agree cooking on top of the stove is great! Consider adding broth next time, too!!

Stephanie said...

Annette, I find if I brown the roast well enough that I don't need broth. In essence the stuck on bits create their own broth that I use to make gravy. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it!

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