The aroma of a savory, tender pot roast, lends itself to crisp afternoons, leaves gently raining to the ground, skittering across roads, crunching underfoot. A crackling fire, frosty mornings, the cheers, grunts and whistles of a football game on TV…Autumn has officially arrived and along with it, comes my desire for slow cooked, hearty dishes, such as this Sunday Pot Roast, paired with a with a warm loaf of Russian Black bread and a crisp green salad and well, that’s dinner folks!
I love coming together after a busy week and sitting down to dinner with one another; nothing seems to draw people to the table like the smell of a savory, slow cooked meal like this tender pot roast, slow roasting in the oven for hours on a quiet (or not so quiet) Sunday afternoon.
This past week we had firewood delivered, yay! In Colorado, most of the time we go from a glorious Indian Summer, to wham, helloooo winter! But, so far this year, we’ve had a bit of it all; our first snowfall and just this morning it was 35 degrees when I took my son to school with an expected high of 79! The leaves are a brighter yellow with deep golds, reds and oranges mixed in, it’s been a beautiful fall. My closet is jammed with cross-seasonal clothes as I await the final hot spell to make its last appearance before I hibernate for the winter. Well not really, though the ‘hood is much quieter in the winter, there are those of us who brave the elements come rain, snow, sleet or shine. In fact I kind of come alive in colder weather, actually, not kind of, I really do come alive! I have more energy somehow, can anyone relate?
This is a recipe from The Pioneer Woman, don’t you love her? I do! Everything I’ve ever made of hers I have
liked loved, she’s my kind of gal! I’ve modified it slightly for my tastes.
I hope you will run out and buy the ingredients to make this succulent and comforting meal this Sunday for your family dinner and, if you do, I’d love to hear what you think. The photo’s do not do it justice; the tender juiciness of the meat, the creaminess of the carrots and potatoes, the richness of the sauce, amazing flavors that have been slow cooked throughout.
Let’s get started, oh and now would be a good time to make sure your pot will fit (with the lid) into the oven, moving racks if needed and preheat to 275 degrees.
Start by cutting two onions in half, removing the outer skin. Heat your oil on medium to high heat, on the hotter side (but not smoking) and carefully place your onions in your dutch oven or large soup pot, cut side down. Brown for a few minutes on each side. Remove to a plate.
While your onions are browning, cut your carrots into 2 inch chunks, you can peel them, but you don’t need too, adds to the rustic look of the dish, but please wash them well. The onions look more burned that brown, but I think its the photo, because they were a lovely brown.
Once your onions are finished, add your carrots to the hot pot and toss them around until slightly browned, a minute or two.
Next, salt and pepper your pot roast. Use your hand to rub it in, salt all 4 sides, it’s a large cut of meat! Set aside.
TIP: You want a well marbled (fat) cut of meat, the flavor will increase greatly with marbling and that fat melts away into the the meat while slow cooking, making a normally tough cut of meat, tender.
You can add potatoes if you’d like, I love slow cooked potatoes, but not everyone loves them so this is completely optional. If you don’t like potatoes, whip up a batch of mashed potatoes or if you have fingerling or other small potatoes, you can just toss them in with the roast at the time you put it into the oven. However I had some larger potatoes so opted to cut in half and brown the cut side the same way I did the onions. After browning for a minute, remove to plate with onions and carrots.
Now we’re ready to do the meat, get that temperature back up nice and high, you want a good crusty sear on each side of the roast. If needed, add a few more teaspoons of olive oil or a couple pats of butter.
Carefully put in your meat, it should steam and spit and spurt at you! That’s good! Sear for about 1 minute on each side, you may need to hold it on the short sides with tongs. Remove roast to plate.
With the burner still on high to medium-high, deglaze your pan using either red wine (yum) or beef broth (also yum). Pour in about a cup, while hot and carefully scrape the bottom to remove all of those delicious brown bits from the bottom of the pan and release them into the sauce. You can use a wooden spoon or a whisk.
Once you’ve released all of those juicy, flavorful bits, place the roast back in the pot and add enough beef broth to cover the meat about halfway up, 2-3 cups should do nicely. Return the onions, carrots and potatoes to the pot, tucking them in and around the meat.
Next add your sprigs of rosemary and thyme, fresh is yummier, but dried will work in a pinch.
It’s now ready for you to put the lid on and place in that preheated 275 degree oven, don’t be tempted to open it either, slow cook at least 3 hours before you peak, it can easily for longer if needed, at about 5 hours you might need to check the liquid levels, if it as cooked down too much you can add a bit more beef stock, but return to the oven for at least so those flavors can blend.
To round the meal out, let’s make some Russian Black bread. This is a hearty bread, that pairs so well with the pot roast, the flavors compliment one another perfectly and you can use this soft, hearty bread to sop up all those wonderful bits and juices left from the pot roast and veggies.
For the recipe and instructions, click here for Russian Black Bread.
Once you have the roast in the oven and your bread ingredients in the machine, feel free to go and take a long nap, light a fire and read a good book, watch your favorite football team, crunch through some leaves…relax and watch the magic happen as the smells start to waft through the house, I love that word, waft, don’t you!
When it’s slow cooked a sufficient amount of time, minimum of 3 hours for a smaller roast and 4-6 for a larger roast, carefully remove from the oven and plate the roast breaking into serving size sections, carrots, potatoes and onions for serving (or just serve right from the pot, just be careful). Serve with a crisp green salad and a loaf of Russian Black bread and it’s dinner.
Here’s the printable recipe!
- 1 whole (3-5 pound) Chuck Roast (well marbled with fat, will yield a more tender pot roast)
- 2-4 Tablespoons olive oil (or 2 TBL olive oil and 2 TBL butter)
- 2 whole onions, peeled and cut in half
- 6-8 whole carrots, washed, cut into 2 in pieces (peeling is optional)
- 4-8 potatoes (if using russet, just 2-4 small medium ones, if using baby potatoes or fingerlings as many as you think your family will eat), cut potatoes that are larger in half or thirds
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 cup red wine (optional, beef broth or stock may be used instead)
- 2-3 cups beef broth or stock
- 3 sprigs fresh Thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
- 3-4 sprigs fresh Rosemary (or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary)
- Preheat your oven to 275 degrees, moving racks around to make sure your pot (with the lid) will fit in the oven.
- Heat your oil (and butter if desired) in a large dutch oven or pot, medium to medium high heat, until hot but not smoking.
- Salt and pepper your chuck roast well, it's a large piece of meat, don't be shy about salting it. Set aside.
- Cut your onions in half and carefully place cut side down in hot oil, brown for 1-2 minutes per side, remove to plate.
- While pot still hot, toss in cut carrots (2 inches or so) and stir around hot pan until slightly browned, about a minute. Remove to plate.
- If needed add a few additional teaspoons of oil or butter and toss in potatoes, cut side down. Brown for 1-2 minutes and then remove to plate.
- Turn up the heat a bit, so that the pan is screaming hot, but still not smoking. Carefully using tongs add your meat to the pot, searing well on each side for about 1-2 minutes per side.
- Once all sides are seared, remove to plate.
- Next keeping the temp up still on the pot, deglaze your pan by pouring in 1 cup of wine or broth, using a whisk or wooden spoon stir around until reduced slightly and all of the yummy brown bits are scraped off the bottom of the pan.
- Return you meat to the pot, tucking in the carrots, potatoes and onions all around.
- Pour in additional beef broth until about halfway up the side of the meat.
- Add your sprigs of rosemary and thyme, tucking around the veggies and meat.
- Cover and don't peak, cook for 3 hours (for a smaller roast) and 4-6 hours for a larger roast.
- Serve with warm Russian Black Bread and a crisp green salad.