Introduction: Pot Roast

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On a cold day few things warm you up like a slow cooked hearty pot roast. Made from the deeply flavorful chuck roast cut of beef, enough root vegetables and onions to feed the Irish for a year, and fortified with such perks as red wine and bacon, this pot roast recipe will fulfill your deepest desires more completely than most other food and keep you coming back for second and third helpings..

This is a modified recipe that originally appeared in the February 2008 issue of Bon Appetit.

Without further a due, Let's roast some pot!

Step 1: Recipe

Awesome Root Vegetable Pot Roast

  • 2 teaspoons thyme
    • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
    • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
    • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
    • 1 4-pound boneless grass-fed beef chuck roast
    • 6 ounces thick cut bacon
    • 2 cups dry red wine
    • 1 cup chicken broth
    • 2 large onions
    • 9 shallots
    • 12 garlic cloves
    • 3 bay leaves
    • 4 large carrots (about 1 pound), peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
    • 4 medium parsnips (about 1 pound), peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
    • 1 celery root, peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
    • 1/2 cup pitted and halved prunes **optional**
    • 2 potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces **optional**
    • 2 yams, cut into 1-inch pieces **optional**

Note: this pot roast recipe is actually cooked in a heavy roasting pan, rather than a pot. Ideally pot roast is cooked inside an oven safe pot like a cast iron dutch oven, or in slow cooking crock pot. Cooking the pot roast in a vessel shaped like a pot will help to keep it moist and will build flavor, but it's absolutely fine to cook the pot roast in a roasting pan if you don't happen to have an oven safe pot or dutch oven available, simply use aluminum foil to cover the roasting pan tightly.

Step 2: Brown Bacon

Cut the bacon into 1" long strips and brown it in a heavy skillet or pot.

Once the bacon is cooked, set the bacon aside and leave the drippings in the pan.

Step 3: Mix Spices and Coat the Beef

Combine the first six spices in the ingredients list and mix thoroughly.

Rub the spice mix all over the piece of meat, making sure to coat all surfaces evenly.

Step 4: Sear Meat Exterior

Cooking one side at a time, sear the exterior of the beef in the bacon drippings. Cook each side for about 3 minutes and then rotate.

Remove the beef from the skillet and set it aside in the roasting pan.

Step 5: Deglaze Pan

Don't go clean that pan just yet, it's built up some great flavors from the bacon and the spice rub on the meat.

Take the 2 cups of dry red wine and use it deglaze the pan over high heat.

Pour the wine into the pan over high heat and use a wooden spoon to free all of the tasty brown bits from the bottom of the pan. The wine will help all of the bits stuck on the bottom of the pan come off, and when you're done, if you've scraped thoroughly, the pan should be clean.

Boil off the alcohol in the wine for a few minutes and reduce the volume a bit. After it's cooked for 10 minutes or so, pour the sauce into the roasting pan around the beef.

Step 6: Add Bacon, Liquids and Veggies

Add the bacon and the chicken stock into the roasting pan.

Next, go over to the cutting board and prepare the onions, garlic and shallots.

The onions should be peeled and cut into 1" chunks.
The shallots should be peeled and halved.
The garlic should be peeled and smashed.

Combine the onions, shallots and garlic, along with the 3 bay leaves into the roasting pan, adding in an additional pinch of kosher salt.

Step 7: Cover and Cook at 350 F for 90 Minutes

Cover the roasting pan in tin foil and cook in a 350 F oven for 1.5 hours.

Step 8: Flip Roast and Cook for Additional Hour

At the end of the 90 minutes, flip the roast over, recover, and continue cooking for an additional hour.

If there isn't enough liquid in the roasting pan at the end of the first round of cooking, pour in the remaining wine (should be around 2/3 cup left in the bottle, unless you've been drinking of course), and an additional cup of chicken stock.

Step 9: Add Carrots, Parsnips and Celery Root and Continue Cooking

At the end of this second round of roasting, you should see that the onions, shallots and garlic have formed a chunky sauce with the wine, stock and drippings from the meat. The volume of the roast should have decreased, but it should still remain moist and delicate when poked with your finger. If it looks as though it's drying out, than your tin foil is not forming a proper seal with the pan and steam is escaping from your roast too quickly as it cooks.

Peel and chop the carrots, parsnips and celery root into 1" cubes and add them into the mix.

If you prefer a slightly sweeter pot roast, add in the 1/2 cup of pitted and halved dried prunes at this point as well.

Adding in the potatoes and yams at this point is optional as well. Some people prefer a starchier pot roast, and others prefer a thinner more savory pot roast. Personally, I leave the potatoes out and prefer serving the pot roast along side some mashed potatoes.

Recover the pan with tinfoil and continue cooking an additional 1 - 1.5 hours until the vegetables have cooked and softened thoroughly.

Step 10: Remove, Cut Across the Grain and Serve

Remove the roast from the oven, taking time to bask in the glorious smells that should be filling your kitchen and let it stand for 20 minutes.

Remove the foil from roasting pan and slice the meat across the grain in 1/4" strips. Make some test cuts to figure out which way the grain of the meat is running. The roast should be very stringy at this point, and so it should be easy to figure out which way the grain is running.

Plate the pot roast along with plenty of the vegetables and sauce from the roasting pan and finish the dish with a few slices of heavily toasted sour dough bread and a light sprinkling of parsley.