I guess it is time to tackle the classic. Let’s face it, a good pot roast is hard to beat. For those of you out there whose grandmother convinced you that this was a hard dish to cook, she made it tough because, while it takes all day, it is not complicated. It is all about textures and cooking times.
The classic is a chuck roast, rump roast, or any other large chunk of beef roast. I am going to just toss this out here now, just about any chunk of not so tender meat will work. This recipe is more of a procedure and I have used it on pork, goat, venison, lamb, and even ostrich (you know – that really big bird on the wildlife shows). Basically, the idea is this, meat that is on the tough side can be slow cooked for hours until it breaks down into a more tender state.
Let’s start cooking. It is going to take day after all. You need a roast (or other chunk of meat) and a pot large enough to hold it and cover it in water.
Personally, I like to add a good sear to the flavor from the beginning so I am going to start like this:
1/4 cup of vegetable oil
(1) large yellow onion (diced)
The oil goes into the pot first and gets heated to a nice high heat. Add the meat and sear as much of the surface as possible. Once you have a good layer of sear working, cut the heat back to low and pull the pot off the heat to let it cool for just a minute. Now, it is time to start cooking. Fill the pot until the meat is covered with water or broth (your choice). If you want, you can throw in a packet of dried French onion soup. Check on this periodically to make sure you keep the liquid from running low.
Put the pan on the low heat, add the diced onion, cover and let it simmer cook for a few hours. When the meat separates easily when you drag a fork across the meat, it is time to add the next layers of ingredients. If you are mushroom fan, portabella, standard white, or even shitake mushrooms will work. Toss the in and let slow cook about another hour.
It is finishing time. Potatoes, carrots, jicama, celery, and any other similar veggie are now ready to chop and add. Keep slow cooking about thirty more minutes, then take it off the heat. Let it rest a few minutes and you are ready to serve and eat.
Like I said at the beginning, this is not hard, it just takes all day and every family has a history of what goes in it. Have fun, experiment, have friends over, and eat plenty.