At the request of my youngest son Andrew, I am going to post his absolutely favorite thing I make. I didn’t make a lot of pot roasts when my kids were growing up. It definitely was not my favorite thing. As I began to have confidence in my ability to change things about a recipe I didn’t like and make substitutions that actually worked, I expanded the number of things I was willing to make.
An incredible chef I met years ago gave me an invaluable piece of advice. The first time you make a new recipe, don’t change anything! Until you have had it the way it is meant to be made, only then can you make changes based on what you did and did not like about it with any kind of accuracy. Best advice ever!
While I love my Instant Pot, and I like my crock pot, Pot Roast, in my humble opinion, should be slow cooked in the oven. I use a cast iron Dutch oven, and cook it in a 275 F oven. If you have never done it this way, even if you have done it on the stovetop, please try it this way. The tenderness of the meat and vegetables and blending of the flavors is far superior to any other method. In my humble opinion!
Andrew and I discussed the fact that we like mashed potatoes a lot better than chunks of potato. Ok, but you have to put chunks of potatoes in stews and pot roasts, right? No. You. Don’t.
As for the meat, it slow cooks so long you can definitely get away with cheaper cuts of meat. But like anything, the better the cut, the better the result. Get what fits your budget. A chuck roast is delicious but a London broil is amazing.
I’m also a lot more versatile with veggies. Carrots are great but carrots and parsnips are better. Work with your likes, but even if you don’t care for parsnips, they are wonderful in this recipe.
Ok, here we go! If you don’t have a cast iron Dutch oven, any oven safe pot with a lid that fits well will work. I like to have all my vegetables ready to go, so I do it like this: Peel 2 large sweet onions and cut them into chunks. Next, peel 3 medium carrots and 2 parsnips (or use all carrots if you like) and cut them all up into chunks. Mince 2 cloves of garlic. Set your pot on the burner on high and add 2T olive oil. When it’s nice and hot, dump in your onions, carrots, and parsnips. I use a heavy wooden spoon to continuously toss them around in the pot until they begin to brown. Don’t blink. They will burn. Scoop out the veggies to a bowl. Now, take your 3 – 4 lb chuck roast, (or London broil) and generously season both sides with Kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper. Add another 1T olive oil to the pot and when it’s hot, toss in the minced garlic and stir it for a few seconds til you can smell it, and then drop in the meat.
I need to remind you here to please use tongs to maneuver meat. If you stab it, poke it, or otherwise make holes in it you will lose juices and your meat won’t be as tender.
Anyhow… sear those juices in for about 5 minutes, then turn and sear the other side for 5 minutes. Add the browned vegetables back to the pot, and pour on 1C dry red wine (cooking wine is fine for this) and 4C beef stock. (I always use stock, not broth. It is stronger and tastes better.) Get that oven preheating to 275 F. Bring ingredients in the pot to a boil, and drop in 2 – 3 fresh thyme sprigs and 1 bay leaf. Put the lid firmly on the pot and set it in the oven. You are going to leave it there for at least five hours.
Scrub, peel, and cube about 4 lbs potatoes. I like small golden potatoes, but use what you like. For Goodness sake peel them! We aren’t barbarians!
Anyway, put your cubed, peeled potatoes in a big pot of generously salted water that covers the potatoes by 2 inches. Put the lid on and let sit until about 30 min before meat is done. Then, bring to a boil on med-hi, turn to medium, and continue to boil until fork – tender. Drain very well. Put pot back on stove over low heat and put drained potatoes back in. Toss gently to evaporate excess water. Add 3T butter, 1/2C heavy cream (or whole milk) and Kosher salt & coarse ground black pepper to taste. Cover and keep warm.
Carefully pull roast from oven. Remove meat and vegetables to a platter. Discard thyme sprigs and the bay leaf. Cover it loosely with foil to keep warm. Place pot of cooking liquid on stove over medium. While it comes to a boil, whisk 2T cornstarch into 2T water to make a slurry. When liquid is boiling, pour in cornstarch slurry and whisk continuously until it thickens. Once it thickens continue to cook and stir 2 min. Easiest and most delicious gravy ever! Serve meat & vegetables, mashed potatoes, and gravy immediately.
Andrew piles his plate like this: a big scoop of mashed potatoes first, a piece of meat on top, vegetables on the side, and gravy everywhere. I think I should tell you this about Andrew: he doesn’t really like vegetables. When he was a boy I used to find ways to hide vegetables in his food so he would eat them. It didn’t always work, especially after he caught on! But in this pot roast, he eats them all and he enjoys them.
I hope you and your family enjoy Andrew’s Favorite Pot Roast.