I like to cook. I do. I like trying new recipes and cooking for company. But the task of cooking dinner for my family night after night, week after week, can be daunting. I get stuck in recipe ruts, and nothing breaks me out of a rut like getting a recipe recommendation from a friend. Even if it’s a common recipe. A new try to and old way is sometimes just what my ho-hum weeknight cooking needs. The recipes I’m interested in are other moms’ tried-and-true recipes. The workhorse recipe.
So, I thought I would do a little trading. I’ll share one of mine with you, and (if you feel like it) you can share one with me!
This is my Perfectly Adequate Pot Roast recipe. When you’re reading a recipe online do you ever get that “used car salesman” feel? All these crazy words being thrown around like “Wold’s best!”, “Best Ever!”, “Most Addictive!!”, “It’s like crack!” (really? how is that appealing).
I will make no such claims. It’s a pot roast, it’s easy, it tastes good.
This recipe is based on this pot roast recipe. Over time I have changed it and tweaked it. I start with a large pot roast in the 3 lb. range. I use my dutch-oven to cook my roasts. I know people love their slow cookers but I prefer my dutch-oven, hands down! The meat can be browned and cooked all in the same pot. When the roast comes out, it is falling apart and it has a lovely golden brown color. When I cook a roast in the crock pot it’s always a little on the tough side, and tends to be an unappetizing gray color.
First, I put my beloved dutch-oven on the stove and turn the heat up to medium-high. I add about 3 tablespoons of oil to the bottom of the pan and let the oil heat up. Meanwhile I liberally coat the roast with salt. Then I peel a handful of garlic cloves, and I roughly chop 1 yellow onion. I rarely use herbs but in this case I had some leftover so I also added some rosemary and thyme sprigs (EDITORIAL NOTE: the rosemary turned out to be a bad idea. It was over-powering. I won’t be including it again)
Once the oil is hot I brown the roast on all sides.
At this point I remove the roast from the pot.
Using a paper towel I wipe out any leftover oil.
Now I add my wet ingredients. 1 cup of Dr. Pepper, 1 1/2 cups of low sodium beef broth (this particular day I used chicken broth because it’s all I had in the house), and a few good sloshes of Worcestershire sauce. If you’re worried about the roast tasting sweet, don’t be. The Dr. Pepper adds great flavor but it doesn’t taste sweet.
As I’m adding the liquids I use my whisk to scrape up all those lovely brown bits in the bottom of the pot.
Next I throw in the roast, onion, garlic, and herbs into the pot. (Note to self: next time put the herbs in a cheese-cloth so you won’t be fishing chewy herbs out of the broth).
Place the pot in the oven set for 200 degrees, and let it cook all day long. Now you can go do the 7,439 things you need to do today, and let dinner take care of it’s self. All day your house will be filled with that fantastic pot roast smell.
About 3 hours before you plan on serving your roast, gather up any root veggies you have lying about. This time I happened to have carrots, russet potatoes, a few red potatoes, and some sweet potatoes.
Peel (or don’t), and chop.
You don’t have to have and adorable blue-eyed baby sitting on the counter, but it’s fun if you do.
At this point I take out my roast and remove the herbs and onions. They served us well but it’s time to vacate and make room for the veggies.
Toss in your vegetables and return to the oven for another three hours.
Remove the roast, pull it apart, and heap the vegetable around it. Be sure to have a pitcher of that liquid gold sitting on the table. Serve to your adoring family who will spend the duration of the meal signing your praises. Right? You mean your family doesn’t do that? Mine either. But I do get the occasional “good dinner mom!” and that’s pretty close in my book.
Okay, I shared mine; now your turn!
Perfectly Adequate Pot Roast
1 3-5 lb. pot roast
1 8 oz. can of Dr. Pepper
1 1/2 cups of low sodium beef broth
3 T of Worcestershire sauce
1 yellow onion roughly chopped
5 garlic cloves
An assortment of root veggies chopped and peeled if you prefer.
Liberally coat roast with salt, brown on all sides in oil, remove roast and any leftover oil. Add Dr. Pepper, beef broth, and Worcestershire sauce. Place the roast back in the pot and add the onion, garlic, and herbs. Three hours before serving, take out the roast out the oven, remove the onion and herbs, and add veggies. Return to oven and finish cooking for the remaining three hours. Total cooking time: about 8 hours (I’ve been known to stretch it to 9 hours with no ill affects). Serves: a family of 6 plus leftovers for the next day.