Monday, September 8, 2008

Oven Pot Roast

It has been a long time since I've had pot roast. Meat so tender it falls apart in shreds. Hearty, comforting root vegetables glistening with pot juices. Aromas of thyme and winter savory wafting from the bowl. And the best part about pot roast - LEFTOVERS. A perfect meal on a cool fall day.

I started with a 2.8 pound arm roast. This one was nicely marbled with fat which is so important for a tender and juicy end product as it slowly cooks.

I seasoned the roast liberally with some salt, pepper and yellow prepared mustard. You don't really taste the mustard in the end but it does add another dimension to the flavor that would be lacking, I think.

The roast was first seared in a hot heavy pot with a bit of olive oil for about 5 minutes on a side. This also creates another layer of flavor with the caramelized brown bits flavoring the whole dish.

Some of the other ingredients for this pot roast are shown below. I made a bed of onions, garlic and fresh herbs (thyme, winter savory and sage). A bit of red wine was used to provide moisture and flavor. I like a fruity zinfandel.

I placed the onoins, herbs and half the garlic on the bottom of the pan under and placed the seared meat on top. Additional garlic and yellow mustard were sprinkled on top and then about 1/2 cup of red wine was added. The pot was covered and placed in a 250 degree F oven for its long slow cooking. I left it alone for three hours.

After three hours a couple of cups each of carrots and rutabagas were cut into large chunks and added to the pot. The temperature was raised to 275 °F and it was allowed to cook covered for another hour and a half until the vegetables were thoroughly softened.

You can see the end product at the top. Notice how much moisture is in the pot. This comes from the onions and the meat mostly. It is a delicious broth flavored with the meat, herbs and subtly by the mustard.

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