Recipe: Pot Roast
Pot roast is simply braised beef, and it may be dressed up or down, according to passport or predilection. All you really need is the beef, which could be a chuck roast, English roast, top round, bottom round, rump or brisket; a braising liquid, which could be wine, beer, canned tomatoes, stock, water or a combination; and the vegetables, which in addition to those in my recipe, could include fennel, fresh mushrooms, turnips and garlic. We enjoyed this pot roast over pasta, but my favorite pot roast recipes are served over smashed potatoes — magnifique!
Yield: 6 servings, depending on size of roast
Active Time: 45 minutes
Simmer Time: 4-5 hours
- 1, 3-4 pound boneless English or chuck roast
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 1/2-3 1/2 cups red wine, plus extra for de-glazing pan and rehydrating mushrooms
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 2 pieces raw bacon, cut into 2-inch pieces, optional
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary or thyme, or 3 teaspoons dried rosemary or thyme, crushed
- 1/2 cup dried wild mushrooms, such as morels or chanterelles
- 3 stalks celery, sliced
- 1/2 pound carrots, peeled and sliced (or 1/2 pound baby carrots)
- 1/2 pound parsnips, peeled and sliced
- 1 tablespoon corn starch, optional*
*If you'd prefer a thicker final gravy, before adding rehydrated mushrooms, remove 1/2 cup of sauce. Let cool a minute then whisk in corn starch. Before adding mushrooms to pan, whisk corn starch mixture into the simmering sauce, then stir in mushrooms.
1. Aggressively season both sides of roast with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Pound the flour into the beef with a meat mallet or small cutting board.
2. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil to medium-high. Brown the meat on all sides and remove to a platter. Deglaze pan with 2 tablespoons of wine, whisking the pan and sides to remove any browned, stuck bits of meat.
3. Reduce the meat to medium, add the onion and bacon, if using, and cook five minutes until most of the fat is rendered from bacon. Add the bay leaf, rosemary or thyme, and 2 1/2 cups of wine. Cook 5 minutes; return roast to pan, cover tightly and simmer 4-5 hours, turning beef over half-way through cooking time; add additional liquid if needed.
4. Rehydrate mushrooms to cover in red wine. Remove softened mushrooms from wine; chop and reserve. Add wine to roast, discarding sediment at the bottom.
5. In the last hour of cooking time, add the celery, carrots and parsnips. In the last 15 minutes of cooking time, stir in the corn starch mixture, if using, then rehydrated mushrooms. Simmer until meat and vegetables are fork-tender.
This recipe was written by Peggy Lampman and originally posted on AnnArbor.com on Feb. 24, 2011.