Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Pot Roast and Veggies

Always a family favorite, the secret to great post roast with veggies is to not cook the veggies as long as the roast. A good, tender pot roast needs to cook for 3-4 hours, and potatoes will turn to mush if you cook them for that long. This method ensures a tender roast, as well as tasty veggies. You could also use parsnips, turnips, or other root vegetables instead of carrots and potatoes - just make sure you have 3-4 pounds of veggies that you like and they are cut into relatively small pieces.

  • 1 large (4-5 pound) pot roast (chuck, brisket, or round)
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed or minced fine
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, or 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme)
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt (plus more for gravy)
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup beef broth (plus more for gravy)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper (plus more for gravy)
  • 2 pounds small red potatoes (or you can cut large red potatoes in quarters)
  • 1 pound carrots, cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces (or use "baby" carrots)
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce.

Lay the roast on a large sheet of aluminum foil (one big enough to seal the roast in, use two pieces crimped together in the middle if necessary). Rub the roast with garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper. Put half the onion slices on the foil underneath the meat and half on top. Crimp the ends of the foil together to seal up the roast and onions, leaving a small opening that you can pour the broth into. Add the broth and seal up the opening (tilt the roast so the broth doesn't spill back out!), making a tight packet of meat, onions, and broth. Put the roast in a roasting pan and put the pan in oven set to 250 degrees and cook for 3 hours.

Remove roast from oven and increase oven temperature to 350 degrees. Carefully dump the contents of the packet into the roasting pan (there will probably be more liquid than you started with, so don't spill!), making sure all the onions are mixed in with the juices. Arrange the potatoes and carrots around the roast in the pan (nestled into the juices as much as possible) and return to the oven for another hour, or until the veggies and roast are tender.

Place the roast on a carving board and tent with aluminum foil. Turn off the oven and put the potatoes and carrots in an oven-safe serving dish in the oven to keep warm. Strain the onions from the pan juices and skim off the fat (or use a fat separator). In a saucepan, heat the skimmed fat and enough vegetable oil to total 4 tablespoons over medium heat. Add 4 tablespoons flour and cook until it becomes light brown, stirring constantly. Combine skimmed pan juices with enough beef broth to total 2 cups liquid and slowly whisk into the hot flour/fat mixture. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 1 minute, until thickened (note: it will continue to thicken as it cools, so pull it from the heat when it's just a little bit thin). Stir in Worcestershire sauce, along with salt and pepper to taste (it may not need any salt if you used full-salt broth). Carve the roast and serve with veggies and gravy.

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