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On Sundays, I usually make ‘mega-meals’ which means a meal that is bigger than for the two of us. It’s a meal to split three ways – for us, for his parents and for my parents. Both our parents are aging and while they get “Meals On Wheels” – it gives me great pleasure to give them a homemade meal each week.
I’m am sharing with you the most incredible, flexible pot roast recipe EVER! Seriously, this recipe gives you the guidelines and basics…all you do is fill in the blanks with different, spices, fluids and herbs. I have had so much fun playing with this recipe. When I’m in the creative, exotic mood – I play with Chinese Five Spice and cinnamon in the flour mixture to get exotic depth of flavors.
This time I took the lazy way out for I didn’t want to spend much time in the kitchen…would rather spend it with my hubby. Today’s pot roast interpretation is the “Lazy Day” version.
I found the recipe on Epicurious.com and it is dated from 1963. Time tested for sure. Over the years, I have had fun playing with all the options.
I start with a basic flour dredge of 1/4 cup flour, 2 tbsp. Montreal Steak Seasoning and a good hefty shake of Lawry’s seasoned salt.
I had a 3 1/2 lb. chuck roast from a special at a local grocer. It was a bit fatty so I carved off all visible signs of the nasty stuff.
Before diving in and braising the beef, I prepared all the veggies that were going to go in to the pot. This time I used onions, garlic (lots of it!) and carrots. The recipe is so flexible that you can add your favorite veggies – I’ve used turnips, fennel and mushrooms in the past.
Speaking of carrots, I don’t skimp on fresh veggies – lazy day or not. I always buy a bunch of carrots with tops attached…fresh and full of flavor…and oh so pretty!
Next step is to line up your herbs and spices. Again, this recipe gives you lots of room for creativity! Today, I’m going the rosemary (2 sprigs), Worcestershire sauce (1 TBS) and bay leaf (2) route. There are so many variations of spices to play with…I like to go into the reviews of the recipe and see what other cooks have come up with.
A moment of digression here, I have the pleasure of having a delightful little spice shop near my house and I have sworn never to buy grocery store spices again!
I love my visits to Heather’s and my chats with the owner over recipes…(another blog post for sure!)
Back to the recipe.
Veggies cut. Spices, herbs and seasonings lined up.
Time to braise the meat.
High temperatures. Frying pan. Canola oil.
Brown the meat on both sides until you get a nice crust on the meat.
Remove the meat from the frying pan, drain the excess oil and immediately throw in the veggies.
I add some fresh ground pepper, turn the heat down a bit and stir the veggies so they collect what’s left of the drippings from the beef in the pan. After a few minutes, I toss in a cup of red wine!
Stir the veggies and wine to collect all the flavors and toss it all over the braised meat in a dutch oven or roaster.
This is a LOW and SLOW recipe – better cooked at a low temperature of 300 degrees for 3 1/2 to 5 hours. Check the meat and when it falls apart with a fork, it’s done.
While it’s cooking, enjoy the smells that will permeate your kitchen…and enjoy your lazy day!