Can do it all. And modest to boot.

Simple, but so good

Posted: June 28th, 2009 | Author: alyssa | Filed under: Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Pot Roast.  The easiest thing in the world, but I have finally cracked the code.  Its good no matter what you do, but when done just right, its comforting, mouth watering, and happiness in beef form.  Today was gross and rainy, and I just broke up with a guy, so it was the perfect day for comfort food.  Luckily, I had a chuck roast in the freezer, so I immediately thought: Pot roast.

I have it stuck in my head that pot roast is a lazy dish, so its really easy for me to become lazy while cooking it, however with a little prep work, it becomes the best food on the planet.  Pot roast can be made in a regular dutch oven style pot, OR you can use my second favorite kitchen appliance of all time (the first, of course, being my standing mixer) the crock pot.  Unfortunately for those of us that are the fan of one step cooking, that will not produce the optimal beefy deliciousness.  First you have to brown the meat for a few minutes.  Just enough so it gets a little crust, and some of the fat starts to break down.  However if you just transfer it to the crock pot after that, you lose all that beef and fat that is on the bottom of the browning pan.  This was the first problem that I faced, and the solution, which is so easy, but apparently not obvious to me for the past 8 months, is red wine.  Now I have a tendency to solve a lot of problems with alcohol, but in this case, it is totally valid.  Just deglaze the pan with red wine,  just enough to have about 1/4 inch on the bottom of the pan.  While the pan is still hot, pour in the wine and just scrape your fork or spatula across the pan to get all that fat and meat to mix in with the wine.  Let that reduce for a couple minutes to really concentrate that red wine flavor and then just pour it over the beef in the crock pot.  You can use whatever wine you like, but I would recommend that you don’t use just a cheap cooking wine, because usually that wine tastes like crap.  I don’t really drink red wine that regularly, so when I find a bottle I like, I tend to buy an extra and use it for cooking.  Today I used a Gnarly Head Cab Sav, but whatever works for you is great…your the one eating :) .  Anyway…after the wine discovery, my next problem was what other liquids to use.  Water is too bland, beef broth just doesn’t taste right, and pure wine is a little excessive, even for me.

Now, my mother is NOT a good cook, and even better, she hates to cook, so I haven’t really gotten a lot from her on the culinary side.  However, I do remember her tending to use onion soup mix in her beef stew, and I always really liked it.  SO I thought I would give it a shot.  I ended up using a combination of 1 cup water, onion soup mix to taste, and half of a large beef bullion cube.  I mixed it all together and poured it over the beef, which just barely covered the meat.  The, and here is the easy part, put the lid on the crock pot, and put it on high for six hours.  Wait…false…first, I added two garlic cloves cut in half to the liquid.  THEN I put the lid on a cooked it.

By the time its done, the liquids have all mixed with the beef juices, the meat is falling apart, and the garlic is pretty much dissolved.  Just take the meat out and let it sit for a few minutes, and then add some flour and water…maybe some more wine, a little corn starch if you prefer it to flour until the broth thickens and the garlic is completely broken down.  Salt and pepper to taste and spoon it over the meat.

Over all I know that pot roast isn’t exactly gourmet, but its one of my favorites and just because something is easy, doesn’t mean you should sacrifice amazing flavor.

Thanks to all of you that read me…if there are any of you… :)

2 Comments on “Simple, but so good”

  1. 1 leah said at 8:48 am on June 29th, 2009:

    mmm…pot roast, potatoes, carrots….now that’s comfort food! great idea using the onion soup mix.

  2. 2 Johanna said at 11:49 am on June 29th, 2009:

    I made a crock pot roast back during the winter that involved….oddly enough…. coffee. It was a java pot roast. And I think basically solving problems (culinary or otherwise) with red wine and/or coffee is part of how we have stayed friends for so long. :)

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