If you have time and like your cooking to be extremely relaxing, as in mostly sitting around, drinking wine and listening to jazz, this is the recipe for you. Just the right soul food for the cold days ahead.
The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting cold. Soon, the time will come where some warm comfort food is the best thing in the world. For this occasion, I present you a truly delicious pot roast recipe that I’ve adapted from this recipe I found on the net.
- 1 kg beef (budget cuts are good)
- 2 onions
- Red wine
- Potatoes (waxy)
From Permanent Stocks
This is stuff you should already have in the house. But check anyway.
- Olive oil
- Wheat flour
- Beef stock
- Dried thyme
- Bay leaves
Use an equal amount of carrots, parsnips and potatoes. The meat should have some fat in it, so budget cuts are good. I picked up a relatively cheap Bürgermeisterstück when I tested this recipe and that worked very well. This recipe is best cooked in a cast iron Dutch oven. I use this one.
- Preheat the oven to 150°C.
- Prepare about 500 ml to 1 l of beef broth. This depends on how much meat you have and how big your Dutch oven is. The meat and vegetables should later be well covered by liquid.
- Dice the onions and the garlic.
- Wash the meat and dry it with paper towels. Coat both sides of the roast generously with salt.
- Put your Dutch oven on your stove at high and heat up 1 - 2 tablespoons of olive oil in it. Sear meat for 10 minutes on each side, taking care not to move it around. Remove the meat from the pot and set it aside on a plate.
- Reduce heat to medium and add more olive oil if needed. Cook onions and garlic until slightly brown, stirring occasionally.
- Add about 3 - 4 tablespoons of flour, depending on how much onions you’re using. This should soak up most of the fluid in the Dutch oven. Cook this for about 1 minute and then pour in a generous helping of red wine. When the wine has evaporated a bit, pour in the beef broth. Bring everything to a boil and use a wooden implement to scrape off everything stuck to the bottom of the Dutch oven.
- Season with a bit of salt (check how much salt the beef broth brought to the party) and a generous helping of pepper and thyme. Add 2 to 4 bay leaves (depending on size). Now put the roast back in the Dutch oven, taking care to include all juices that have collected on the plate. Cover the Dutch oven with its lid and move it to the oven. Cook everything for 2 1⁄2 hours. In the meantime: Clean and peel the carrots, parsnips and potatoes. Dice all of this in roughly equal segments. How big you make these depends entirely on your taste.
- Remove the Dutch oven from your oven and remove the lid. Turn the meat over. Add carrots, parsnips and potatoes and push everything into the liquid as much as possible. If you have too little liquid add a bit of water or, if you need more liquid, some more beef broth. Everything should be well covered. Put the lid back in place and return your Dutch oven to the oven. Cook for 1 1⁄2 hours.
- Remove bay leaves. Transfer the meat to a cutting board and remove access fat and (if your cut has any) bones. Use two forks to shred the meat into chunks. Serve with vegetables and sauce from the Dutch oven.
This is what my pot roast looked like when it was done:
Create the Right Atmosphere
The amount of steps makes this look more daunting than it is. It really is a very simple recipe and there isn’t actually that much to do. You’re mostly just waiting around, converting time into flavour. While you’re cooking (and waiting), I recommend you have the rest of the cooking wine – maybe share it with someone you’re cooking for.
While I was making this dish, I was listening to the most excellent collaborations between Houston Person and Ron Carter, which go very well with an autumn afternoon, a nice red and a pot roast. Take your pick, they’ve released six albums together: Something in Common, Now’s the Time, Dialogues, Just Between Friends, Chemistry, Remember Love.