Juan’s Pot Roast
The most polite way to begin is to introduce all the
participants to each other. The idea is to be able to
use a cheap cut of meat (tough) and make it good.
Then you have root Vegetables to go with it. Most
commonly they are Potatoes and Carrots but I like to
Hello Parsnips, I would like you to meet Potatoes and
1. A tough (or maybe not so tough) cut of Beef
Eye of the Round
2. Root Vegetables
Salsify………... poor man’s oyster
3. Olive Oil
4. Course Ground Black Pepper
5. Onions & or Garlic
6. Mushrooms (sliced)………a nice little pile of
8. Green Beans………Optional
Or whatever kind you like
10. Beef Broth
11. Red Wine………….Optional
12. Tomatoes or a can thereof….Optional
Pot roast is most often made with Chuck but the idea
is to render tough (any) cuts tender. When I find a
good deal on a tough cut (even a piece of round steak
or some stew meat), I often make some kind of Pot
Roast with it.
Usually I smoke Brisket to make Texas Bar-B-Q but
that takes a long time so sometimes I make Pot Roast.
Sometimes I even use cuts that are not too tough and
just cook them less.
The first thing is to brown the meat on all sides.
Dump some Olive Oil into a pot that’s big enough for
The meat………….Crock Pots are nice for this (but I
Don’t have one right now).
When I remember (sometimes I don’t even remember why I
came in the kitchen) I like to put lots of Black (course ground)
Pepper on the meat before browning. You can do it later.
Brown the meat on all sides and especially on the sides with fat.
Right along now you could go out to your garden, gather some
herbs and put them in the pot. I had some garlic already sautéed
(in Olive Oil) for something else I was doing so I just dumped
about half of it in but you don’t have to sauté it if you don’t want
to. If you do, don’t let it cook much past just barely brown (or it
will be bitter) and dump the nicely flavored Oil in too. If I use
Onions, I like to use the little ones and leave them whole.
Now add enough Beef (sometimes I use chicken or vegetable
depending on what I have in the pantry) Broth to cover the meat
by at least an inch above it. Now would be a good time to add a
little wine. If you use tomatoes, you coud dump them in now.
Sometimes I use Madera (not much….about half a wine glass);
sometimes just whatever red I happen to have already opened.
Sometimes I don’t use any
wine………………………………it’s up to you. If I’m standing
around talking with friends in the kitchen, I might dump in
whatever I’m drinking……….Beer, Cognac, whatever.
Put the fire on medium high and cook while you’re messing with
other stuff. Turn it down a little when starts boiling.
I like for things to look like what they are.
So I cut Carrots long ways.
An easy way to do potatoes is to cut them in half and then lay
the flat side down.
This keeps them from rolling around and trying to escape out the
back door while you cut them into big chunks.
Dump all the Roots (maybe also Rutabaga, Turnip, Salsify or
who knows what). You could also add Mushrooms or whatever
else you might like at this point.
But if you use Leeks don’t add them now or they will get too
Add enough water (or more stock if you like) to cover all.
Cook all until its still firm but can be pierced with (but resist) a
fork. You are going to take them out of the pot and put them in a
roasting pan and you don’t want them to break up. I don’t have a
picture of it but the easiest way to move them is to take the meat
out with a big fork and set it aside temporarily. Then you can tilt
the pot and scoop out the Roots……..or use tongs. Put the meat
back in the pot after you move the roots and lower the heat to
medium. Depending on the cut, it could take from an hour and a
half to three or four hours to get tender……….you just half to
keep trying a little piece until you like it.
This is the part that I do differently from most folks who just
cook it all in the same pot…………………. and it’s very
important. You could actually have skipped the transfer and just
put the roots in the baking pan and added the broth later and I’ve
done it this way but I think there is a subtle difference in flavor
and texture if they cook with the meat first………….I don’t
Ladle or pour enough of the broth onto the Roots to cover them.
Put the Roots in the oven and turn the heat to °350.
Bake them for a while and peek in and fuss and putts
around about every 20 minuets or so.
The Roots soak up the broth and then they begin to
develop a firm outer “skin”. This way they are not
mushy and have a nice firm texture as well as the
Beef flavor. Take them out when they just start to
brown a little. If they cook too long they will get
rubbery………….poke them with a fork occasionally.
Serve the Pot Roast with some Green stuff of some
kind for nutritional balance.
The most important thing is to serve it with plenty
pills for all us decrepit Old Poots.
Here it’s served (not on the plate yet) with some
Caramelized Onions and Parsnips, White Asparagus
with Aioli……………. different recipes on this site.
I like to include some fruit in the desert for more