Monday, March 8, 2010

Pot Roast

Although the chill weather seems to be fading fast, I wanted to try my hand at this winter classic. I combined a sort of mish-mash of recipes -- Mark Bittman's from "How To Cook Everything", Alton Brown's, and my Mom (I called her to ask her how she used to make it back when I was a kid). What I was after was that perfect falling-apart richness that you scarcely need a knife for, and it pretty much worked.

  • A pot roast, about 3 lbs. The cut was chuck round? I think. It was a big piece of cow, nicely marbled.
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • One head of garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 5 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • Two medium/large potatoes, chopped
  • 2-3 cups of red wine - I used about a third of a large bottle
  • Cumin
  • Salt and pepper
Rub the meat all over with 1/2 teaspoon of cumin and 1/2 teaspoon of Kosher salt. Preheat your oven to about 350, and heat up a cast-iron skillet that has a heavy lid. Pretty damn hot, I'd say -- I left it until it was nearly smoking over medium-high heat. Pour in about a tablespoon of vegetable oil, and sear the roast on all sides. Once nicely browned all over (this is for flavor and color) remove and put aside. In the same pan, sautee your onion and garlic with a bit of Kosher salt, until softened. Put the roast back in the pan, cover with the veggies, add the wine, and cover tightly. If you're using my proportions, and have a 12" skillet, this should juuuuuust fit.

Cook in the 350 degree oven for approximately 3 hours, and test for doneness. Does it smell wonderful? Does it pretty much fall apart at the sight of a fork? It's good. Eat now, or save until the next day to reheat -- it also lends itself to being stretched with additional potatoes, peas, etc. Economical and versatile, perfect for this kind of meal.

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