Hey there and welcome to another installment of the Meal Plan. Can you believe that we are already into November and are only a little more than a month away from the beginning of winter and Christmas. The months have flown by this year. And since by this point I’ve covered some of the most popular autumn foods, I figured that we should take a look at some of the other foods enjoyed around this time of year, similar to the chili newsletter released last week. This week, I am feeling in the mood for Pot-Roast.
Pot-roast is the American variation on the French dish Boeuf à la mode (beef in the style). The dish is made by slow-cooking a beef roast inside of broth, usually with some vegetables and herbs alongside. This results in a tender meat that pulls apart like the layers of an onion when it’s done.
When choosing the right kind of beef, my advice is to always go for the toughest cuts, or lean one with lots of connective tissue. Once you start slow-cooking it, those connective tissues dissolve away, leaving behind flavourful meat that’ll peel away at the slightest touch. These can include shoulder cuts, chunk roasts, briskets, rump roast, or bottom rounds.
It’s also important to take into consideration which vegetables and broths you cook alongside your roast, as their flavours will be added to the meat. The most popular vegetables cooked in pop-roast are carrots, onions, peas, potatoes, and corn, but celery, garlic, tomatoes, tomatoes, parsnip, and thyme can also be added. As for broths, most people will just use beef or chicken broth mixed with vegetable oil. But if you’d like some more flavour, you can spice it up with some vinegar, beer, and white or red wine.
If you’d like to try your hand at a pot-roast this November, myrecipes.com has a relatively simple recipe for your to cut your teeth on. Or for those of you who’re pot-roast veterans, maybe it’ll give you some ideas to play around with in your own recipes.
- 1 (2-pound) boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut in half
- ¼ cup lower-sodium soy sauce
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 package dried morels
- 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
- 3 tablespoons sun-dried tomato paste
- 2 medium onions, quartered
- 1 package carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 16 small red potatoes, halved
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 ½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons water
- Rosemary sprigs
- Combine roast, soy sauce, and garlic in a large zip-top plastic bag; seal bag, and marinate in refrigerator at least 8 hours, turning bag occasionally.
- Bring broth to a boil in a small saucepan. Add mushrooms. Remove from heat and cover and let stand 20 minutes. Drain mushrooms through a cheesecloth-lines colander over a bowl, reserving broth mixture.
- Remove roast from bag, reserving marinade. Sprinkle roast with pepper, gently pressing pepper into roast. Combine reserved marinade, mushroom broth mixture, and tomato paste; stir well, and set aside.
- Place mushrooms, onion, carrot and potato in a 6-quart electric slow cooker; toss gently.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add roast, browning well on all sides. Place roast over vegetables in slow cooker. Pour tomato paste mixture into pan, scraping to loosen browned bits.
- Pour tomato paste mixture over roast and vegetables. Cover with lid; cook on high-heat setting 1 hour. Reduce to low-heat setting, and cook 8 hours or until roast is tender. Place roast and vegetables on a serving platter; keep warm. Reserve liquid in slow cooker; increase to high-heat setting.
- Place flour in a small bowl. Gradually add water, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Add flour mixture to liquid in slow cooker. Cook uncovered, 15 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring frequently. Serve gravy with roast and vegetables.
- Makes 8 servings.