We turned the clocks back last weekend, so it gets dark really early now. There’s something about the weather cooling down and the days being shorter that makes me crave the dinners my mother used to serve when my siblings and I were growing up and going to school. We would come into the house through the basement, and as soon as we opened that basement door we could smell what was cooking for dinner.
One of those favorite unmistakeable aromas was pot roast. Full of roasted veggies, cooked until it could be cut with a fork, and it even had its own gravy! I couldn’t help myself when I found chuck roast on sale … so today I’m sharing this scrumptious pot roast with you. I realize that pot roast isn’t very creative, and most people probably have their own mother’s recipe. I can’t even tell you that this is MY mother’s recipe, because it’s not. I read lots of pot roast recipes before I made this one up on my own. By “made up”, I mean I did it by the seat of my pants. I didn’t follow any recipe, but generally remembered ideas from recipes found online. The new thing about this recipe for me is the marinating of the roast. Here it is:
Really Good Pot Roast
Dredge 1 or 2 beef chuck roasts (about 2. 5 lbs each) in 4 tablespoons flour with 2 tsp. each salt and pepper mixed in. Heat up a heavy skillet, melt 3 tablespoons of bacon grease (or vegetable oil) and brown the roasts on both sides over moderately high heat. You want the meat to be brown. Remove the roasts from the pan and set aside.
Chop up 1 onion, 5 carrots, 3 stalks of celery, and 3 teaspoons of minced garlic. Add them to the drippings in the pan, with a little more bacon grease or oil, and stir until they’re softening. Add 4 sprigs of fresh thyme or 1 1/2 teaspoons of dried thyme, and 1 tsp rosemary. Then pour an entire bottle of red wine into the pan and bring just to a boil.
Put the roasts into a single layer in a shallow roasting pan. Pour the hot wine and vegetables over the roasts and let them marinate for at least 30 minutes. (You let them cool and refrigerate overnight if you wish, but I didn’t do it that way.) Thirty minutes later I covered the roasting pan and placed it into the oven at 350 degrees for 2 hours. Remove the cover from the pan and let them cook for another hour or so. The liquid should reduce by half.
Remove the meat from the pan. Separate the fat from the liquid with a fat separator or put it into the refrigerator overnight so you can take the fat off of the top the next day. When you’re ready to serve the pot roast, pour the liquid over the roast and reheat at 325 degrees for about 45 minutes.
Serve with potatoes…either baked or mashed. And a salad.