I hate how the weekends fly right by. I always have high hopes for my weekends and somehow house work and obligations always seem to creep in and take over. This makes my Sunday evenings more stressful as I run around trying to get things ready for the week and desperately hope to get 1 hour to myself to catch up on the newspaper or watch one of the 2 shows that I love on Sunday nights. This weekend was no exception. Last night, I was working on the blog while trying to watch a movie with Eric, a movie that we rented 2 days ago and never found time to watch; a basket of clean laundry was waiting to be folded and I found myself wishing for simpler Sundays.
Sundays is a day that has always had a greater feeling of rest. Sunday afternoon naps are always better than Saturday ones. Movies watched on a Sunday always feel less rushed and Sunday food is always warm, delicious and satisfying.
Last week, I made pot roast for Sunday dinner and it was amazing. It cooked most of the day and filled the house with a wonderful and lingering smell; I could still smell it Monday after coming home from work! I don’t make pot roast often, it’s such a “1950′s American Sunday Dinner” and that’s not usually my style, but there is something to be said for the American nostalgia that comes with making pot roast on a Sunday. It makes me feel like Joan Cleaver (the mom from Leave it to Beaver).
I found a recipe that got rave reviews, by Ina Garten on Foodnetwork.com. Most of Ina’s recipes get rave reviews but this one was out of the park. And after making it, I fully concur.
Start the recipe by prepping all the ingredients. There is a lot of chopping. You should end up with garlic, onions, carrots, celery, leeks and fresh herbs.
Prep the meat by allowing it to come to room temperature before you cook it. (This will prevent the meat from being tough or chewy.) Dry the meat with paper towels and then season it on all sides with salt and pepper.
Dredge the entire cut of meat in flour.
Heat oil in the dutch oven over medium heat and brown all sides of the roast, about 4-5 minutes per side.
Remove the roast to a large plate. Add more olive oil to the pot and add in the garlic, onion, carrots, celery, leeks, salt and pepper. Saute for 10-15 minutes until tender but not brown.
Add the rest of the ingredients except for the herb bundle.
Use kitchen twine to tie together the rosemary and thyme and add it to the pot.
Cover the pot and bring it to a boil. Place in a 325 degree oven for 1 hour and then turn the heat down to 250 degrees for another 1.5 hours for a total of 2.5 hours in the oven. The house will smell amazing and it should look like this when you take the lid off (don’t forget pot holders! the whole dutch oven will be extremely hot!).
Remove the roast and cover. At this point, if you only have a blender, blend about half of the cooking juice and stir it back into the pot. I have an immersion blender so I just used that right in the pot itself to blend all over to make the sauce smoother.
While the pot roast was cooking, I also prepared some potatoes in the Irish fashion. Simply boil them for about 20 minutes, drain the water out and put a sheet of crumbled newspaper in the top of the pot with the lid on. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes. The newspaper will suck up the moisture and leave your potatoes light and fluffy! It sounds strange, I know, but it worked so well.
To serve your pot roast, slice it and pour the sauce over it on a large platter.
Serve along side the Irish potatoes.
This was the best pot roast I have ever eaten/made. The sauce was rich and thick and the meat was juicy and tender. The potatoes were fluffy and paired perfectly with the sauce. It was the perfect meal for a Sunday afternoon and a great way to start a new week with a warm, full and happy belly.
Here’s the recipe from Foodnetwork.com:
- 1 (4 to 5-pound) prime boneless beef chuck roast, tied
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- All-purpose flour
- Good olive oil
- 2 cups chopped carrots (4 carrots)
- 2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
- 2 cups chopped celery (4 stalks)
- 2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 to 4 leeks)
- 5 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 2 cups good red wine, such as Burgundy
- 2 tablespoons Cognac or brandy
- 1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes in puree
- 1 cup chicken stock, preferably homemade
- 1 chicken bouillon cube
- 3 branches fresh thyme
- 2 branches fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- Pat the beef dry with a paper towel. Season the roast all over with 1 tablespoon salt and 1½ teaspoons pepper. Dredge the whole roast in flour, including the ends. In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the roast and sear for 4 to 5 minutes, until nicely browned. Turn and sear the other side and then turn and sear the ends. This should take 4 to 5 minutes for each side. Remove the roast to a large plate.
- Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the Dutch oven. Add the carrots, onions, celery, leeks, garlic, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1½ teaspoons pepper and cook over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender but not browned. Add the wine and Cognac and bring to a boil. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, bouillon cube, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Tie the thyme and rosemary together with kitchen string and add to the pot. Put the roast back into the pot, bring to a boil, and cover. Place in the oven for 2½ hours, until the meat is fork tender or about 160 degrees F internally. Turn the heat down to 250 degrees F after about an hour to keep the sauce at a simmer.
- Remove the roast to a cutting board. Remove the herb bundle and discard. Skim off as much fat as possible from the sauce. Transfer half the sauce and vegetables to a blender or a food processor fitted with the steel blade and puree until smooth. Pour the puree back into the pot, place on the stovetop over low heat, and return the sauce to a simmer. Place 2 tablespoons flour and the butter in a small bowl and mash them together with a fork. Stir into the sauce and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring until thickened. Taste for seasonings. Remove the strings from the roast, and slice the meat. Serve warm with the sauce spooned over it.