Monday, March 28, 2011

Grandma's Classic Pot Roast

For some reason, pot roast doesn't conjure up images of succulent braised meat bursting with flavor as it falls apart on your fork. Not sure why that is, as that has definitely not been our experience. Maybe it has something to do with how simple and basic a pot roast is. Usually the foods that get the most attention are complex and a great challenge to prepare (soufflé for example). A well made pot roast on the other hand is a prime example of winter time comfort food. The best part is the gravy this makes, there's nothing like a good beef gravy with some mashed potatoes and, well beef. Now since we know that Spring is officially here what are we doing making comfort food? You'd never know spring is here based on the weather we've been having. It has rained for pretty much the last 10 days. Buckets upon buckets upon buckets. Which is good, we've needed it but we've hit that point where enough is enough! We're getting all set to enjoy our backyard and all we've got is rain. At least it's good for the new lawn in the backyard, it's hard to over-water new sod under normal conditions but this rain is pushing it. Actually Eric is more concerned about the dog wrecking the new lawn than he is about the rain. She loves the lawn. Loves it in ways that just aren't healthy for the poor poor grass. That darn pooch is just too smart, she's managed to defeat two different fences Eric has put up around the grass. After first stretching some plastic fencing around some posts he put up at the edge of the lawn, she found that she could just take a running start and bowl right through the fence. It was pretty funny for a minute, until she started running around and pulling up chunks of lawn. Eric was not pleased, so yesterday he pulled out his stock of 2x4s and other wooden planks and set out to really get a solid, dog proof indestructible fence up. Extra layers of fencing, reinforced posts and cross pieces and wrought iron barricades. A whole afternoon of no dog on the lawn, Eric couldn't have been happier. Charisse woke him up this morning and pointed out the bedroom window: there was the dog, in the middle of the lawn, happy as could be. 

Grandma's Classic Pot Roast
What You Will Need

1 4-5 pound chuck roast
1 large onion quartered
4 garlic cloves minced
5 carrots halved
4 cups beef broth
sprigs of parsley and thyme
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper
flour for dusting
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water
2 Tbs sherry
3 Tbs cornstarch

Preheat oven to 300*

Heat oil in a dutch oven over high flame. Salt and pepper the roast and lightly flour the entire surface. Brown the roast on all sides and transfer to a plate. Turn the heat down to medium and brown the garlic and onions for about 5 minutes.

Using some kitchen twine, tie the sprigs of thyme and parsley together and place herb bundle in the pot along with the bay leaves and broth. Bring to boil. Return roast to pot along with any drippings from the plate. Cover and transfer to oven. Cook for 2 1/2 hours. At this point, add the carrots to the pot and continue cooking for another 30 minutes.

Once done cooking, remove the roast from the pot and cover with foil to keep warm. Remove carrots and onions with a slotted spoon and cover to keep warm. Bring the sauce to a boil, add the sherry and reduce by about half. Make sure to remove the bay leaves and herb bundle.

Mix the water and cornstarch until smooth, and whisk in the sauce. Simmer until the gravy thickens to desired consistency.

Slice the roast, serve over mashed potatoes with carrots and top with gravy.


  1. My mom used to make the best pot roast...she hasn't made it in looks really similar to this thanks for sharing!

  2. I love dog stories...they sure are determined :)

    Unfortunately, it's still pot roast weather your recipe looks like the perfect solution to warm the soul.

  3. yummy - it IS just like my Grammy's!!!!!

  4. Love this post, for the comforting pot roast recipe, which is not as easy as it sounds to perfect, and I'm sorry but the dog story got me laughing! Dogs will be dogs!

  5. I love pot roast. Haven't had one in quite awhile. This post reminds me it's time!

  6. Wow, so easy but it looks soo delish! Thanks for sharing!

    RLV @ { }

  7. My gran used to make pot roast. I love slow-cooked meats so I will have to give it a try.

  8. This pot roast looks amazingly pull-apart good. Total comfort food!

  9. This pot roast looks amazing! Don't you just love hand-me-down recipes from family? I know I do!

  10. I always found it hard to photograph meat and gravy. For some reason mine didnt look good enough to want to eat. I like how you make it with Potatoes. Yum!

  11. I have a hard time making those melt-in-your-mouth meat dishes, too :) We can sympathize about the lawn, haha!!