Pot Roast

Hello Fellow Foodies!

If you know me personally, and even if you just follow me here or on Facebook, you know that I am not a fan of traditional "American" comfort food. Long have I maligned the likes of meatloaf, mac&cheese, sloppy joe's, etc...

You may have guessed by now that I have never, ever in my life as an adult, or as a professional chef made a pot roast. There are several foods that until very recently I have flatly refused to eat due to traumatic childhood experience. Let me state for the record that my mom is an average working mom type cook. My siblings and I grew up in the 70's and 80's when prepackaged, canned, frozen, and chemically altered was the rule of the grocery store. Veggies came in cans. When we did have fresh veggies, my lovely-tired-overworked-under paid mom would cook them like all other women in the 70's-TO DEATH!!! Broccoli was limp and yellow, Brussels sprouts were stinky and translucent, cauliflower was cooked until it took on a bluish hue of mushiness. We had a lot of ground beef too. Meatloaf, burgers, burgers cooked in Ragu pasta sauce in the oven, American Chopsuey...don't ask-YOU REALLY DON'T WANNA KNOW!!!

So by now you might guess that something like the great American pot roast (braised roast of beef; for my non-USA readers) was something that we as kids dreaded. It was always a very cheap cut of beef. It was always fatty, tendon filled, stringy, and dreadful to eat-sorry mom, really I am, but I became a vegetarian at the age of 17 just so I could avoid eating the Sunday pot roast.

OK...Back to the present...A while ago we were blessed by having a friend with a small herd of 100% grass fed, grass finished, no hormones or antibiotic treated, as organic as you get, cattle. We went in halfsies with another family to purchase a cow from my good friend, Teri. Now I have way more beef that I can use. There is half a cow in my freezer all cut up and wrapped in beautiful butcher's paper with labels on each bit so I know what I have.

A few days Ago I decided to tackle the rump roast...what to do with it? Well I mused about stroganof, beef stew, pounding it out for fajitas, or perhaps jerky. Then I remembered that my hubby had asked a few months back about why I never make pot roast. So I thought "well, why don't I go the traditional route and just make a darn pot roast?"-so I did!

Here is how it went:
You need a large CROCKPOT for this one
Pot Roast (Or Braised Roast of beef)
1 four pound-ish rump roast of beef
1 onion-cut into 8 pieces
3-4 garlic cloves-cleaned and left whole
2 large baking potatoes-cut into 1 inch chunks
6 ribs of celery-cut into 1-1 1/2 inch pieces
2 cups of good quality beef stock
1 cup of wine-I used Shiraz
a few sprigs of fresh thyme and rosemary
In a very hot cast iron skillet, brown the roast 2 minutes per side turning to seal the entire piece of meat in crusty yumminess.

Place the onions. garlic, potatoes, and celery in the bottom of your crockpot. Add the browned beef. Sprinkle the carrots around the roast. Pour in the stock and the wine. Toss the herbs on top of the mix. Place the lid on your crockpot, set it to high, and walk away for about 8 hours. SERIOUSLY...just walk away!

You will be rewarded with something akin to a rustic beef stew. The cooking liquid in mine was-admittedly- a little thin. You can avoid this by adding 1 or 2 tablespoons of flour to your stock and whisking it lump-free before you add it to your crockpot.

VARIAION: If you don't have a Crockpot, use a large roasting pan with at least 3 inch high sides. follow the recipe above and place a piece of foil over the top and seal it tightly so as little liquid as possible escapes. Turn your oven to 200 and cook for 6-7 hours.

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