Sunday, March 18, 2012

Better than ever Herb and Wine Pot Roast

There are some dishes that just taste like comfort. Pot roast is absolutely one of those. I can smell my mom opening the oven bag that she would often use to make this dish. We didn't eat too many meals that would be considered your standard American fare but this "meat and potatoes" standby still reminds me of running in the door just barely making it for dinner at 5 pm sharp. I decided to put my own little spin on this dish as so many recipes call for the "classic" version using ketchup for flavoring. I would like to think our pallets are a bit more sophisticated so I used a blend of red wine, diced tomato and plenty of fresh herbs to season this dish instead. I did stick with the traditional carrots, onions and potato though since some things just work well and don't need to be messed around with.

There are a lot of good things happening with this pot roast, the first being how easy it is to make (and its easily adaptable for the crockpot!) I always sear my meat first so I don't usually use the crock pot since once the dutch oven is dirty I figure why waste another pan but you can switch over if you want to be able to leave it cooking while you are away from the house. I put my carrots and onions in with the meat for almost the full time but left the potatoes out until that last 90 min so they wouldn't get over cooked and mushy but I have to admit, I think that might be part of the charm of pot roast. I also made a gravy to go with the dish by reducing by 2/3rd the juices and then straining and adding a touch of Wondra flour while whisking but feel free to serve as is. Don't forget to take some time when you are prepping and make sure the veggies are similar sizes to ensure even cooking.

Herb and Wine Pot Roast

3.5 lb Chuck Roast - tied (it's important to try and find this cut as its most flavorful)
2 lbs baby red potato - roughly peeled and diced
5 large carrots - diced
1 onion - rough chopped
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1 c dry red wine 
4 cloves of garlic - smashed and diced
2 stalk each of rosemary, thyme and sage
handful of fresh parsley
salt & pepper
canola or olive oil

1) Wash and pat roast dry, cover in salt and pepper
2) On the stove top, heat oil in dutch oven and place roast in when hot
3) Sear each side until crusty and brown about 5 -7 min
4) Remove roast and add onion, carrots and garlic, saute for a minute
5) Move aside and add roast back into pan and add wine, tomato and herbs
6) Cook for about 2 hours at 350F
7) Add potatoes and stir to submerge them in braising liquid
8) Finish cooking for an additional 60 -90 min or until potato are soft and meat is fork tender.
9) Carefully remove herb stems before serving