Thursday, December 22, 2011

Pot Roast

There's something so special about a tender juicy roast, surrounded by vegetables and herbs, that's been simmering all day in the kitchen.  Maybe it's the savory smell that fills your home, or for me, it makes me feel like I'm in my Mom's kitchen again.  When I was growing up this dish was definitely one of my favorites, and now, I'm proud to say that after making this pot roast myself a few times, it finally tastes almost as good as Mom's!

Makes about 4 servings

1 (3-4 pound) beef chuck roast
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 cup beef broth
1 cup dry red wine
1 large onion, quartered
2 garlic cloves, chopped
4 large Yukon gold potatoes
2 carrots, chopped (Or you can substitute one bunch baby carrots)
2 celery stalks, chopped with tops reserved
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf


Season all sides of the beef with salt and pepper.  In a large Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Brown the meat on all sides and ends.  Be patient, this part is important!  You want the meat to have a nice crust on the outside.

Pour in the wine and bring to a boil.  Let simmer for 2 minutes.   

Add the beef broth and tomatoes and let simmer for 2 more minutes.  Place the herbs, garlic, and onion around the roast and season with salt and pepper. 
Cover the pot and reduce heat to low.  Cook for 2 hours, basting the roast about every 30 minutes.

Scatter the vegetables around the pot roast. 

Cover the pot and cook about another hour, until the vegetables all completely cooked through and the meat is fork tender.  If you like celery tops in your pot roast put them in the pot at the last 30 minutes of cooking time so that they won't completely disintegrate.

*Note* I like to break my pot roast dish apart with a wooden spoon and incorporate all the veggies before serving, but you can leave yours whole and slice for presentation if you'd like.

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