Categories
Recipes Roasts

Lisa’s Lazy Pot Roast in Clay

I’ve made this recipe a million times- mostly in cheap, oversized enamel roasting pans- whose loose fitting covers promote excessive dehydration. Thought I’d give my new Romertopf clay cooker a spin on this ol’ favorite. I’m sure any heavy, closely sized (roast should just fit) casserole or dutch oven with a tight lid would work as well. Adjust total roasting time for smaller/larger roast weights. My 2.7# Chuck was overdone to point of falling off bone though not dried out at 3 hours. Don’t be dismayed by the dark appearance of the roast exterior; it’s the rub! I don’t mess with the intricate “sauce” steps: just adjust the final broth addition so the natural pan sauce is of desirable consistency. I only added a quarter cup. The softened onions serve to bind the juices and preclude the need for reduction or thickeners. Let cool a bit in covered cooker before slicing or chunking to serve. Serve with potatoes/carrots etc cooked separately.

Lisa’s Lazy Pot Roast

Prep Time: 20 minutesCook Time: 180 minutesTotal Time: minutesServing Size: 6 From “The Complete Meat Cookbook” Aidells and Kelly

Ingredients

  •  1 tsp dried thyme
  •  1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  •  1 tbsp paprika
  •  1 tbsp kosher salt
  •  1 teaspoon Freshly ground pepper
  •  4 lb boneless beef chuck pot roast or beef brisket trimmed of excess fat
  •  2 tbsp vegetable oil
  •  1/2 cup water or beef or chicken stock or more if needed
  •  5 cups thinly sliced onion
  •  6 whole Garlic cloves, peeled, chopped
  •  1 pinch salt
  •  1 pinch Freshly ground pepper

Preparation

  • Flavor Step – Combine the herbs, paprika, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the meat thoroughly with the mixture. You can cook the roast immediately, but it will taste better if it sits for an hour or two at room temperature or overnight in a zipper-lock bag or, well wrapped, in the refrigerator.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large, heavy casserole or a Dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Brown the meat on all sides, about 7 minutes. Remove and set aside. Pour off any fat from the pan and deglaze the pan with the water or stock, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon or spatula. Put the roast back in the pan, cover it with the sliced onions and garlic, cover, and bake for 1 hour.
  • Remove the cover, turn the roast over so that it is on top of the onions, and continue to cook, uncovered, for another hour, adding more liquid if needed. Stir the onions around after about 30 minutes so they can brown more evenly.
  • Replace the cover and continue to cook for 1 hour more, or until the meat is fork-tender; brisket will take a little longer than chuck. Remove the meat from the pot and let it rest, covered loosely with foil, while you prepare the sauce. (At this point, you may refrigerate the pot roast for later reheating. Refrigerate the cooking liquid separately. To serve later, remove any congealed fat from the cooking liquid and strain it before using it to reheat the meat gently.)
  • To serve, strain and defat the sauce. Taste for salt and pepper. Cut the meat into thick slices or separate it into chunks. Spoon some sauce and onions over each serving.


 

Categories
Recipes Roasts

Sous Vide Chuck Roast

There’s loads of roast prejudice out there, prob’ly stemming from the tough, overcooked, dry-seeming “pot roasts” we were forced to eat as children. Sous Vide method will erase this prejudice from your minds with both tender and moist results from the lowliest of roasts: the chuck.

Equipment is no longer expensive or hard to obtain. My unit retails for less than $50 and is used with a home-insulated 8 quart stock pot (with worn-out teflon hardcoat interior) sitting on a silicone hot pad. I added an o-ring between the upper body and lower shroud to tighten-up the fit and prevent the stirring impeller from ticking against the shroud interior. Now it works great.

I’d already tried a Sous Vide Sirloin Tip and posted here. Chuck seemed the ultimate test with more fat and connective tissue to deal with. Rubbed a 2.7 pound Hay Creek chuck roast with 2 tsp salt, a tsp each of rosemary and thyme, and placed 6 cloves garlic around the roast in a gallon ziplock freezer bag. Placed partially closed bag vertically in pot and sucked out air via a small diameter tube (assisted by water pressure) while closing zipper. Set unit for 135 deg F with a target time of 24 to 36 hours. Removed after 26 hours, drained juices for gravy, and seared exterior of roast using cast iron skillet in 500 deg F oven for 8 minutes with one turn.

Incredibly moist, tender outcome. Still some fat and cartilage present at this cook time but bulk of roast so tender it could be used cold thin-sliced for sandwich cuts. Juices rich and make a highly savory gravy.


 

Categories
Recipes Roasts

Julias’ Boeuf Bourguignon

I had no concept of the origins of this popular 60’s beef recipe. Recently made my way thru the film “Julia & Julia”, sort of a parallel story of Julia Child’s , “JC”,(Meryl Streep) cooking experiences culminating in her TV show and cookbook and Julia Powell’s , “JP”(Amy Adams) retracing JC’s recipes in the book “My Year of Cooking Dangerously”. Recalled attempting to watch it before but was turned off by something annoying: maybe Amy Adams wide-eyed, naive approach but more likely husband’s (Chris Messina) aggressive enveloping of her recreations with Blue Planet marine invertebrate extensile lips – along with much non-verbal noise. Meryl – as always – amazing.

The revelation of JC’s greatness is made to JP in her recreation of “Boeuf Bourguignon” Much is made of this in the film and I was intrigued enough to find the recipe and try it out. I was sure of having made it before, prob’ly from Joy of Cooking , but didn’t recall any greatness.

Pretty much followed the recipe using 45 oz of deboned Hay Creek chuck roast, subbing chunked white onions for pearl, and skipping the sauce sieving.

Resulting tender-crisp, still earthy flavored mushrooms are quite distinct from other interpretations of this recipe and make all the difference. It’s worth a try!