Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Pot Roast Dinner
One of favorite dinners is a Pot Roast Dinner. Growing up my mother would make very nice Sunday Dinners, most often we had Pot Roast or Roast Chicken. We would all look forward to these delicious meals. Pot Roast is a wonderful meal that always tastes great, and is easy to prepare.
Whenever boneless roasts are on sale, I buy a couple. Pot roasts don't need to be the most expensive cut of meat either, since they cook for quite some time, even an inexpensive cut of meat turns out tender.
Last week, as an anniversary treat for my husband, I decided to cook him one of his favorite meals- Pot Roast Dinner. The meal turned out wonderfully, and the whole family really enjoyed our meal. I thought it would be good to share the easy step by step process of cooking a Pot Roast Dinner.
First brown all sides of your pot roast in a large pot. Make sure you watch carefully as it can brown very fast.
I learned this lesson when I was a young homemaker- I left the pot roast to brown and got distracted with something- next thing I know my house is filled with horrid smoke. Fortunately no fire- but it was so smokey I brought my two children who at the time were like 3 and 4 years old and put them on a lawn chair outside- then went back in to retrieve the smoking pan- which I set outside to cool off. Then had to open all the windows and doors to air out the house-the smoke detectors were beeping and smoke was billowing out the front windows and door. Which was very embarrassing because I lived right next door to a fire station! Luckily there was no need for them to come over. Lesson learned- never leave browning meat unattended!
When the roast is browned on all sides add water to the pan until it reaches the top of the roast without covering the roast. Add a large chopped onion or two medium chopped onions. Season with salt and pepper and I use a few dashes of Italian herb blend. Bring to a low boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cover. Check on it occasionally to make sure it is at a nice simmer- add more water if needed to keep water at the same level. Simmer for at least 3 hours and between 3 and 5 hours, before adding other veggies.
This can also be done in a crock pot- after browning roast on the stove- you can transfer the roast to a crock pot- be sure and de-galze the browning pan with a little water and add it to the crock pot- this will help give the liquid flavor for the gravy. When I cook mine in a crock pot I cook it on high for 6-8 hours.
After pot roast has simmered for 3 hours add to the pan some baby carrots or chopped carrots. This time I made roasted red potatoes but I often just add small red potatoes to the pot roast pan at this same point. Add more water for veggies if needed. Continue to simmer until veggies are cooked through.
Instead of steamed potatoes this time I made roasted red potatoes. Clean as many red potatoes as you will need for your family. Cut into bite size pieces as shown below. Drizzle with a couple tablespoons of olive oil, enough so potatoes have a thin layer of oil on them- then add a little salt and pepper, Italian herb blend and a few dashes of paprika- all to taste. Then toss until all potatoes are coated with herbs and spices. Coat rimmed baking sheet with a little olive oil and spread out potatoes on pan. Bake at 375 F. until they are browned and tender. Turn potatoes about halfway through cooking. 40 minutes to an hour depending on how many you are cooking and how your oven runs.
Just before serving when the pot roast is done- remove roast to a serving plate- remove veggies with a slotted spoon to a serving plate. Then use the leftover broth to make a simple gravy.
I make my gravy by adding 3-4 T of butter to a sauce pan and melting on medium high- I add to the butter between 1/4 and 1/3 cup flour. I cook over medium high heat stirring the whole time until it forms a paste- I then add a ladle of the hot broth to the pan and whisk until smooth, then I add half of the rest of the broth, whisk until smooth- it is usually very thick at this point- I add the rest of the broth- whisk until smooth- still over medium high heat- then I slowly add milk- whisking in between until I have enough gravy- I add salt and pepper to taste- and whisk gravy until it reaches desired consistency. My family loves this gravy. Serve meat with the gravy- the meat should be so tender that you can easily cut it with a fork.
My whole family loves this classic special meal. I hope yours will too!