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March 2013

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Shrek, Big Kitty Eyes

scoobiedoggie in familygourmet

Recipe: Oven Braised Pot Roast

Oven Braised Pot Roast

Recipe by: Nancy Fisher

Description: Slow braised beef and carrots. Served with mashed or baked potatoes with a silky beef gravy, it is more than any family could ask for. Easy to double or triple for crowds, this simple recipe will please just about anyone.

Prep time: 30-45 minutes                     Total time: 4 ½ to 5 hours
Oven temp: 275º                                     Serves: 4-6 people

Ingredients needed:
1 chuck roast (approx. 4 lbs)
1 large onion, diced
3 stalks of celery, diced
3 cloves of garlic, chopped finely or smashed
1 tablespoon tomato paste (optional)
3-5 large carrots cut into large chunks (or approx. 15-25 baby carrots)
½ cup dried mushrooms (reconstituted in hot water) or 1 cup sliced fresh (optional)
2 bay leaves
64 oz beef broth or stock (homemade or carton; canned is not recommended)
1 cup of red wine (optional)
3-4 tablespoons of cornstarch
Salt and Pepper
Extra virgin olive oil

Special Equipment needed:
Large heavy-sided Dutch oven with heavy lid
Aluminum Foil

Preheat oven to 275º.

Drizzle a small amount of olive oil in the bottom of a Dutch oven and heat over medium-high to high heat. When the pan is hot, salt and pepper both sides of the roast and place it in the pan. Brown both sides of meat to a dark, crispy brown (5-8 min per side). Remove meat from pan and set aside.

Reduce heat to medium and add onions and celery to pan. Stirring often and scrapping brown bits off of the bottom of the pan, cook until translucent (approx. 10 min). Add garlic and cook for about a minute. Stir in tomato paste, cooking for another 2 to 3 min (paste will darken slightly). Using a small amount of beef broth (approx 1 cup) deglaze pan until no more vegetables or tomato paste is stuck to the pan bottom or walls.

Place roast back into the pan and add the carrots (and mushrooms) to pot. Pour broth over roast until it is almost covered but the top is still exposed and reserve the rest for making the gravy. Bring liquid to a boil and add bay leaves.

Cover tightly with aluminum foil and place lid over foil making a very tight seal. Cook in oven at 275º for 4 hours.

Carefully, remove from oven and remove lid. Watching for stream, remove foil as well. Put meat and any veggies you wish to eat into an oven safe dish covered with foil to keep warm in a low oven. Discard bay leaves. Strain broth and discard icky bits.

If using red wine, set broth aside for now and put the pan on the stove over medium-high heat. Add wine and bring to a boil, scrapping pan and reducing until little or no smell of alcohol remains in the steam coming off of the pan (5-10 min). Add broth back to pan. Pour in all but about one cup of reserved broth and bring to a hard simmer. Simmer and reduce liquid to about half (approx. 20 min). Reduce heat to medium.

Stir cornstarch into last cup of broth until dissolved and slowly add to pot. Stir continuously over medium heat until the gravy is thick and bubbly (about 5 min).

Serve with mashed or baked potatoes. Pour gravy over meat, veggies, and potatoes for a delicious meal the whole family will enjoy.

There will probably be extra gravy. I save it to use over meatloaf or Salisbury steak (it may be thinner but will still taste good). It also makes an awesome treat for pets over dry food. You can make less gravy if you wish though by reducing the amount of broth used to 32 oz and cornstarch to approx. 2 tablespoons.

The tomato paste, mushrooms, and wine all work to make the gravy beefier and richer. All three add-ons are not necessary for good results. I usually use one or two of them just to enrich the broth a bit. I tend to switch back and forth between them depending on what I have on hand.

An easy add on to this meal is popovers. I use a simple blender recipe from Alton Brown that I will post soon.

The meat can be made even more succulent by cooking a day ahead and soaking over night in its own juices. Cook with fewer carrots and mushrooms and discard them when finished. Make a side veggie to have with the meal. Cut the meat into nice size chunks while still cold and warm in the gravy before serving. 


Oh that looked good!