Wading in a pool of abstraction © Robert Sommers 2023

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Bobby's first pot roast

I have never been a cook but honestly, have eaten food my entire life, or as long as I remember anyway. Suddenly in the waning years of my sixth decade, I have had a hankering to develop my culinary skills. Osso Buco and duck confit last week. This weekend's project was a pot roast. My first ever. Good cold, rainy weather food.

I went to Major Market the other day and the wonderful butcher, Julio, picked out the perfect chuck roast that he would use. It was a special cut but I can't remember the exact name. I decided to make a pot roast with root vegetables and ended up using carrots, turnips and organic red potatoes.

My mother was an excellent cook and made a great pot roast but honestly, Leslie is not real keen on them and prefers brisket. I think the memory of her grandmother's dry pot roast still lingers. I asked her to bear with me for one attempt and she was a good sport and acquiesced.

I sort of sampled from two or three pot roast recipes I found online. Basic stuff, nothing fancy. I prepped my vegetables. I then cooked some onion and garlic in olive oil in the dutch oven and then browned the carrots and turnips a bit.

Removing the carrots and turnips I then seared the large hunk of beef, which I had already seasoned with a generous amount of kosher salt and pepper.

I added red wine and bone broth and then deglazed all the precious dark bits on the bottom with a whisk. I added the vegetables back in, poured in a few more cups of broth to halfway cover the meat and stuck it in the oven at 275 degrees for a little over three hours. We added fresh rosemary and a bayleaf as well as some dried thyme, not having any fresh around. Leslie added mushrooms.

Some recipes call for tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce, we decided to skip it. I added six cloves of garlic which were also not called for but we are garlic people and so we did anyway. 

It cooked for about two hours and then I added the potatoes, which get mushy if cooked too long. It cooked for another hour and we served.

It was wonderful and my wife loved it too. Needed a bit more salt, which we took care of. Next time if I ever cook turnips again I will wait and put them in with the potatoes as they did get too mushy. I would also add more wine.

But the meal was great nonetheless. Meat falling off the bone and flavorful and the potatoes perfectly done. Carrots caramelized and super sweet. A perfect dinner for a cold January night.  Simple. I am sure you all cook these things with regularity and perhaps this is a yawner but it is all new to me.

And there you have it, my first pot roast. With a lot of help from my wife of course. 



RoxAnn said...

Looks delicious. Slow oven is the key and adding the veggies later. Good job!

Anonymous said...

Yummmm...I think it's time for me to make pot roast! You inspired me and Jay will be very happy because he grew up having Sunday pot roast! I may use the crock pot!

Blue Heron said...

Excellent! My friend Jeff came down from Alaska today and brought me a moose roast. My next project!

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Lena said...

Did I read this correctly? You used ONIONS! Now I know I can sneak a few in next time I make a casserole for you. ~ L