Dad’s Pot Roast
November 3, 2011
For the most part, I tend to cook a new recipe every night. But there are a few things that I make on a regular basis (meaning, 2-3 times a year), and this is one of them. I am a meat-and-potatoes kind of gal…have been since the beginning. Pot roast is one of my favorite things, next to steak and mashed potatoes, and my dad gave me this recipe for it when I was in middle school. I’m pretty sure it’s my Granny’s recipe, although she may not have put in the garlic or herbs. Anyway, it’s been a standard for me ever since!
You have to get a nice, marble-y piece of meat…that’s what makes it good. You can add as many potatoes and carrots as your pot will allow…it seems I can never cook enough carrots! Just add a little more water if you need to when adding the veg. The water doesn’t have to completely cover, because the tight-fitting lid will create a steam bath in there, but it should almost cover the ingredients.
The best part about pot roast (well, second best, next to the taste!), is that it is super easy to make! I like to make it on days where I have a lot of other things going on…it only has a few ingredients, and prep time is only about 10-15 minutes. If you’re making gravy (which is totally necessary, in my book), that will take another few minutes at the end, but it’s worth the trouble.
Dad’s Pot Roast
2- 2 1/2 lb. Boston or chuck roast
1 medium onion, quartered
2 tbsp olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp marjoram
1/2 tsp oregano
2-4 potatoes, quartered
2-4 carrots, cut into 3″ pieces
2-3 cups water (or more, if needed)
You need a dutch oven, cast iron is best-it adds flavor! Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Salt and pepper both sides of the meat. On top of the stove, over medium-high heat, heat oil, and brown meat on both sides. Add water to the top of the meat and add onion, herbs, garlic and 1/2 tsp salt. Place a tight-fitting lid on top and cook in the oven for 1 1/2 hours. Remove from oven and add potatoes and carrots (and a little more water if needed), and cook one more hour. Mmm-mmm-good.
I like to use Wondra flour for my gravy–it makes it super easy. First thing you need to do is remove the meat and vegetables from the pan, and strain the juices. I usually reserve 2 cups of the juices for gravy, because my family likes gravy…it makes a lot of gravy. Put the 2 cups of strained juices back in the pan, and turn the heat on medium. Whisk together 4 tbsp Wondra flour and 1/2 cup water. Whisking constantly, add flour/water mixture to the pan, and continue stirring until boiling. Boil a few more minutes until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
Sometimes I like to get fancy and make red-wine gravy. In this case, just substitute 1/2 cup red wine for 1/2 cup of the juices. It gives the gravy a lot of yummy flavor!