I have to start with an apology for being gone all last week. I had a nasty cold that knocked me flat on my back, so I didn’t get any writing done at all much less any cooking. My poor husband had to fend for his self all week, so I know he’s happy that I’m back to feeling better.
Over the weekend I still wasn’t feeling that good but had enough energy to toss the ingredients for a pot roast into a pot so I thought I would share the simple, easy, goodness of it with you.
It really is amazing how many people think a pot roast is complicated to make. It’s not! It’s just a handful of ingredients that all cook together to form a nice warm comfort food for those cold wet days when it’s snowing outside like it was here in Denver this past weekend or when you’re sick and just want something that tastes good and has plenty of nutritional value to help with a cold.
You can add in whatever herbs and veggies you like. I tend to stick to root veggies because they hold up well to several hours of cooking without disintegrating into nothing and I can just add everything at the beginning of the cooking instead of worrying about coming back later to add things. The herbs I add usually depend on what I have at the moment when I’m making it but bay leaves are a must. Fresh thyme and rosemary are nice as well when I have them.
To make a good pot roast, just plan on using a good quality chuck roast. The fat in the chuck helps the meat tenderize and break down nicely. This is not one of those recipes to use a lean cut of mean, instead just buy cheap because the idea is to braise the meat until it’s falling apart. Lean meat never works here because it gets tough and chewy. Go for once, I’m going to tell you to go cheap.
This pot roast really is a cheap dish that offers so much value for what you get out of it. I usually make about a 3 to 4 pound one and it will make about 4 to 5 meals for us out of it. You can eat it with the veggies or take the meat out and use it on sandwiches, for quesadillas or tacos, or for Sheppard’s pie. Make it up on the weekend and you have plenty of leftovers for lunches and dinners later in the week. You can also freeze it for later.
I do mine on the stove in a large pot but this is also a recipe that works well in a crock pot. You just need to brown the meat first and then put it in the crock pot, covered with the veggies and water, then set the temperature and forget it for the day. Come home to a flavorful, yummy roast that your family will love. And don’t forget to serve it with the juices!
And don’t worry that I didn’t use stock here but used water instead. The meat and veggies simmer in the water, making it just as flavorful as if you used stock. There’s really no need on this one. Just remember this is a simple recipe that is also low-fat, healthy and gluten-free.
I also have a secret to my pot roast. I add a few whole jalapeno to the pot while it’s cooking to add just a little zip to the dish. Like with any pot roast if you can wait to eat it the next day, the flavors are so much better and the roast picks up the zing from the peppers.
Heidi’s Pot Roast
1 3 to 4 lb. chuck roast (bone in or out, doesn’t matter)
3 lbs. of red or Yukon gold potatoes (don’t use Russets, they won’t hold up to the cooking), cut into large pieces
1/2 lb. baby carrots
1 large onion, cut into large pieces
3 medium-sized jalapenos
3 to 4 small bay leaves or 2 large ones
Salt and Pepper to taste (I put in 2 tsp. whole peppercorns)
3 Tbsp. olive oil
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Add chuck roast and sear until browned before turning over to brown on the other side (don’t move your meat once you place it into the pan, until ready to flip, otherwise you lose the browning effect), about 4 to 5 minutes per side.
Once you’ve given the second side time to brown, toss in the prepared veggies on top of the roast and add enough water to the pot to cover the meat and veggies. Season with salt and pepper. Add the bay leaves or other herbs. Bring to a boil, before dropping the temperature down to a simmer. Leave it to simmer uncovered, until meat is falling apart (about 4 hours for me). Liquid should reduce by almost half but do check to make sure it doesn’t run out of water or you’ll burn your roast.
Remove bay leaves and jalapenos before serving. Serve when ready or hold in fridge until the next day for even better flavors.
Makes about 8 to 10 servings.
More yummy pot roast recipes: