Well things have shifted majorly in my world. I realize its been over a year since my last update. Since then I have gotten a new job, moved, got pregnant, had a beautiful baby girl, and after a very brief maternity leave (if you want to call it that), I am back working part time from home.
During my pregnancy, I didn’t have any of those “crazy pregnancy cravings” you hear so much about. Chalk it up to my enjoyment of most foods, or what have you, I found myself eating the same foods as usual, when I wanted to eat. That was the problem. I was exhausted most of the time, still working 40 + hours a week, to cook food. On top of that, nothing really sounded good. I ate a lot of cheeseburgers, macaroni and cheese, and there were many a night of bread/cheese/meat plates. It was summer after all, and we had just moved to a second story apartment with no A/C. I was NOT going to be turning on the oven any time soon. None of this made for good writing material in my opinion. I have a food blog dedicated to celebrating food, not whining about how my condition makes things sound yucky.
Getting to the point, its now autumn, my favorite time of year. I have had weeks of doing nothing but child rearing and watching the food network, and I’ve been itching to get back in the kitchen. I’ve been warming up the past couple weeks starting off with roasted root veggies and chicken, some soups, and baking cornbread.
Tonight’s dinner started early. Pot Roast! Pot Roast is one of those meals that immediately brings me back to holiday dinners at my grandmother’s, and while I make my pot roast differently than she did, the end result is that same comforting meaty hug. Remember, pot roast takes some time to cook if you want that truly fall apart, melt in your mouth, tenderness, so give yourself time.
I’m starting off with a 2lb chuck roast. There are only two of us eating, and this will stretch from dinner tonight to lunches tomorrow (pot roast is the one leftover my husband gobbles up). If you are serving 4 or more and want some leftovers, choose a 4+ lb roast. I should also mention, this can be done with a Brisket as well, but you will need to alter the cooking time. I am allowing 3 hours per pound of meat. I don’t use a meat thermometer with pot roast to tell if its done. I simply stick a fork in it and try to pull some meat off. If it comes off easy, its done, plus I get to sneak a taste before dinner. 😀
You can cook a pot roast on its own, but I like to add some starchy veggies to cook in with the meat and soak up all that beefy goodness as they roast together. You can use, turnips, potatoes, corn, parsnips, carrots, whatever you fancy. Since its fall, I have been into the seasonal root veggies. I found some Parsnips and Rainbow Carrots at the produce market, so that’s what I am using along side two smallish yellow onions, and the half empty container of baby bella mushrooms I found in the back of my refrigerator (oops).
I started this process by chopping the parsnips and carrots into 1 inch pieces, and quartering the onions. In a pan I heated up about 3 Tbsp of Olive oil and 1 tbsp of butter. I browned all of my veggies with some salt and pepper first, just to get some color, and added them to my cooking vessel (dutch oven, deep casserole dish, roasting pan, whatever you are using).
Then I seasoned (generous sprinkle of salt and pepper) and browned the meat on both sides creating a crust that will keep everything nice and juicy.
This took about 4 or 5 minutes on each side, medium high heat.
I set this bad boy on top of my veggies, and poured in 1/3 of a cup of chicken stock into the sizzling hot pan to pull up all the yummy brown bits that stuck to the bottom, and then poured it all over the meat and veggies. You can substitute the Chicken stock for beef, veggie, a nice dark beer, or even water.
I added 1 can of diced tomatoes, a few dashes of Worcester Sauce, a few dashes of red wine vinegar, and enough chicken stock to come up about half way on the meat (about 2 cups).
This is going to cook at 275 until done. Like I said, about 3 hours/lb, so mine will cook about 6 hours.
The finished product! Now time to eat.
Pot Roast Dinner for Two
2 Medium Yellow Onions
4 Rainbow Carrots
Any amount of Baby Bella Mushrooms (I used about 1 cup)
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
2 Lb Chuck Roast
1 14.5 oz Can Diced Tomatoes
2 1/3 cups Low Sodium Chicken Stock
1 Tbsp Worcester Sauce
1 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste