Making a pot roast dinner is always a family favorite for us. I can remember the days of having a pot roast when I was a child and just the smell of it cooking was enough to make you feel good and you could not wait for dinnertime. Pot roast takes a long time, but with this recipe most of the work is done before the cooking and then you have four hours or so to do other things, relax and wait for the wonderful meal to come. This recipe from America’s Test Kitchen is a really simple one and is a little bit different from the pot roast recipe I have posted in the past. With this recipe you let the meat cook for several hours without having to turn it every 30 minutes like I have in the past.
Classic Pot Roast
1 (3 1/2- to 4-pound) boneless beef chuck-eye roast, pulled into two pieces at natural seam and trimmed of large knobs of fat
2 tablespoons butter
2 medium onions, halved and sliced thin (about 2 cups)
1 large carrot, chopped medium (about 1 cup)
1 celery rib, chopped medium (about 3/4 cup)
2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
1 cup beef broth, plus 1 to 2 cups for sauce
1/2 cup dry red wine, plus 1/4 cup for sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 sprig plus 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
Ground black pepper
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Sprinkle the pieces of meat with 1 tablespoon of kosher salt (1½ teaspoons if using table salt), place the meat on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet, and let the meat stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 300 degrees. Heat the butter in a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium heat. When the foaming subsides, add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened and beginning to brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the carrot and celery; continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes longer. Add the garlic and cook until it is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in 1 cup of beef broth, ½ cup of red wine, tomato paste, bay leaf, and thyme sprig; bring the mixture to simmer.
Pat the beef dry with paper towels and season it generously with pepper. Using 3 pieces of kitchen twine, tie each piece of meat into a loaf shape for even cooking.
Nestle the meat on top of the vegetables. Cover the pot tightly with a large piece of aluminum foil and cover the pot with a lid; transfer the pot to the oven. Cook the beef until it is fully tender and a sharp knife easily slips in and out of the meat, about 3½ to 4 hours, turning the meat halfway through the cooking process.
Transfer the roasts to a cutting board and tent the meat loosely with foil. Strain the liquid through a mesh strainer into a 4-cup liquid measuring cup. Discard the bay leaf and the thyme sprig. Transfer the vegetables to a blender jar. Allow the liquid to settle for 5 minutes, then skim any fat off the surface. Add more beef broth as necessary to bring the liquid amount to 3 cups. Place the liquid in the blender with the vegetables and blend everything until it is smooth, about 2 minutes. Transfer the sauce to a medium saucepan and bring it to a simmer over medium heat.
While the sauce heats, remove the twine from the roast and slice it against the grain into ½-inch-thick slices. Transfer the meat to a large serving platter. Stir the chopped thyme, the remaining ¼ cup of red wine, and the balsamic vinegar into the sauce and season it to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon half of the sauce over the meat; pass the remaining sauce separately.
This meal is wonderful and the sauce just tops everything off. Splitting the roast into 2 smaller roasts makes a big difference in the cooking time and really helps to soften and break down the meat, making it just melt and fall apart when you go to slice it. This recipe also only puts half of the broth in up front so instead of the meat braising in all of the liquid through the cooking time, it sits above a lot of the liquid, letting the roasts brown while cooking so you can skip searing the meat beforehand. The sauce tastes wonderful as well and makes great gravy for the meat, the vegetables and of course the mashed potatoes that you need to serve with any pot roast. I’ll certainly be using this recipe again when I make pot roast.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. I just wanted to say a quick thank you to all that have been following along and visited the blog last week to help make it the busiest week I have ever had on the blog. Thanks for all of your interest in the recipes and I plan to keep on sharing all kinds of good things. Until next time, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!