Plain and Simple.... POT ROAST
Everyone seems to have their own recipe for Pot Roast and in most cases, it's a recipe that is handed down from generation to generation. I would venture to say that you make it like your mom made it and your grandmother before her. My mom would make Pot Roast with carrots, potatoes, turnips, onions, and mushrooms. She would use very little beef broth and allow the natural juices from the fat of the meat steam cook the vegetables in the oven. It would be served with a hot Dijon mustard on the side and the juice lightly poured over the vegetables. Oh so good it was. I've made it that way myself; however, I also like making it the way I am about to show you, by slow cooking the vegetables with the meat and then processing the vegetable and juice until it becomes a puree. I cook the potatoes separately this time around by cutting them in halves, sauteing the cut side in olive oil and then finishing with a baking in the oven during the final hour of the Pot Roast cooking. They are freaking great that way! OK, here's what we need for a Pot Roast for 4 people:
2 to 3 lb. Chuck roast (should be at least 3 inches thick)
2 Large carrots (12" x 1" is a large carrot), cut in 2 inch lengths
2 Large yellow onions, quartered
2 Celery stocks, cut in 2 inch lengths
8 Cloves of garlic, chopped
1 Medium parsnip, cut in 2 inch lengths
2 Cups of white button mushrooms, left whole, stems trimmed
1 Tablespoon of Dijon style mustard
1 Tablespoon of tomato paste
1/4 Cup of chopped parsley
4 Large Russet potatoes, skin on, clean ( do not cut in halves until just before sauteing)
2 1/2 Cups of Burgundy wine (or your choice of Pinot or Merlot)
2 1/2 Cups of beef stock
1 Teaspoon of Pepper and 1 teaspoon of salt
2 Tablespoons of flour and 1 Tablespoon of garlic powder
1/4 Cup of olive oil
Preheat your oven to 350. In a small bowl, mix the flour, garlic powder, and 1/2 of the pepper. Make sure your roast has been patted dry. Take a tablespoon of the olive oil and rub the entire surface of your roast so it is well coated. Next, roll or rub the flour and garlic powder mix all over the meat. There should be enough of it so that the roast will be well coated. Over medium high heat, heat up 1/3 of the remaining olive oil in a large saute pan and sear all sides of the roast until golden brown. This locks in the juices and flavors. Transfer the roast onto a large enough "dutch" oven to fit the roast and the vegetables. You can also use a large pot. Now bring the stove top heat to medium and saute the onions, garlic, and mushrooms in the same frying pan, stirring frequently. Saute for a couple of minutes. Remove the ingredients from the pan and transfer it to the dutch oven. Now deglaze the frying pan by pouring half the wine and carefully and slowly scrape the bottom as the wine comes to a boil. Turn heat down a bit and continue to cook for another couple of minutes.
Either on the stovetop or microwave, heat up the beef broth and unused wine. Add the rest of the vegetables (except the potatoes) to the dutch oven and around the roast. Pour the wine from the frying pan over the roast and the heated remainder of the wine and broth should be poured over the vegetables. The liquid should fill the pot a couple of inches deep, give or take. Anyway, finish by sprinkling the rest of the pepper and the salt over the vegetables, cover and transfer to the oven. Reduce oven temperature to 300 and slow cook for 2 hours. After one hour, turn the roast over and stir the vegetables.
After the first couple of hours, add the remaining olive oil to a saute pan and saute the potatoes cut side down over medium high heat. Saute until nice and golden brown. Transfer to a baking dish and slide in the rack below the Pot Roast pot. Increase oven temperature to 325 and continue baking for one final hour. This should give the potatoes time to cook nicely.
When 3 hours are up, remove the Pot Roast and set aside. Transfer the vegetables to a food processor and add some of the liquid and puree for about 30 seconds. Return puree to the pot with remainder of liquid, add the tomato paste and Dijon mustard and stir well so everything is incorporated. At this time, I should mention that if you can spare some of the mushrooms from being pureed, that would be nice. Anyway, arrange the potatoes around the roast on a serving platter and pour some of the sauce over the roast and potatoes. Sprinkle some of the parsley over the roast for garnish. The rest of the liquid can be transferred to a serving bowl and parsley stirred in. Slice the roast in 1 inch thick slices and serve with 2 potato halves per person, along with a nice helping of extra sauce. Dijon mustard can be served on the side, as it tastes wonderful with the meat. Have a nice loaf of peasant's bread to sop up the extra sauce, you don't want any of it to get away!