What do you do when you’re stuck inside with a cat on a rainy day? A psychotic cat that hates rain, and tends to mope around professing her complete disapproval over the lack of sunshine? Well, as much as I would have loved to stay in bed for the day, snuggled up with a good book, Brenna was just not going to stand for it. So, I decided to make Pot Roast, something I have never made before. But first, I had to give the moaning, woe-is-me kitty, something to keep her busy. Thank God for the simple, cheap, and always available cardboard box. I have no idea why cats seem to be so obsessed with boxes, but if a simple piece of cardboard can keep Brenna occupied and out of my way, I’m not going to complain. Check out ModCloth’s Facebook Album, entitled Cats in Boxes; there really are some adorable photos of the cardboard box loving critters.
Pot Roast is a dish I am fond of, but only order at a restaurant, preferably one that knows how to cook good Southern-Style food. I don’t want to waste my calories on a dried-out piece of beef that tastes like shoe leather. So, for my first attempt at making this, I decided I needed to do a little research. What was I looking for exactly? A recipe with simple ingredients, nothing too crazy that would stand out too much. When I saw Tide and Thyme‘s version, I knew I had found a good place to start. It was all about the cabbage, which is one of the most under-used vegetables in savory dishes, unless it just happens to be sometime around St. Patrick’s Day. You either love it, or hate it; I happen to think it’s just one of the most amazing veggies in the world. Thank God B.O.B. Bob seems to like it as well, unlike my brother, who puts his nose up in the air with distaste at the mere mention of the leafy green. I knew right away that I was going to have to add way more veggies than any pot roast recipe out there calls for. I don’t know what these people are thinking. What good is left-over pot roast if there are no sides to eat it with? I also decided to swap out the beef broth that was recommended, and replace it with Swanson Beef Stock. It’s fairly affordable, and really adds a little bit more flavor in soups and sauces than broth will. You could always choose to make your own beef stock, but I find that there really is not that much of a difference, and I’ve got better things to do with my time; like watch Brenna fight with a box.
The result, was an amazing dinner to warm the belly, on a dreary overcast day. I suggest serving this with cornbread, or mashed potatoes if you prefer to go the more traditional route. I chose to leave the bits of onion in my gravy, why toss out all of that flavor? However, if you prefer a smoother gravy, feel free to use a fine mesh strainer to rid the gravy of the larger bits. Brenna’s thoughts on the recipe? For once she actually voiced an opinion. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Brenna beg so much for food, without it involving chicken or turkey. Apparently, she is in love with the smell of pot roast, or possibly she just takes after her Daddy, and she’s thrilled with the smell of Guinness. Either way, she didn’t get any, we need to save it to enjoy with all those left-over veggies.
POT ROAST WITH STOUT GRAVY
- 1 3-4 Pound Chuck Roast
- Kosher Salt
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 2 Onions, Diced
- 6 Garlic Cloves, Minced
- 2 Cups Beef Stock
- 1 (14.9-oz.) Can of Guinness
- 1/4 Cup Water
- 1 (16-oz.) Bag of Carrots, Cut into 2″ Pieces
- 1 Small Head of Cabbage, Cut into Wedges
- 1 (8-oz.) Package of Mushrooms
- 3 Tablespoons Cold Water
- 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
- 1 Teaspoon Horseradish (Optional)
- Heat oven to 450 degrees.
- Season beef generously with salt and pepper.
- Heat oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat for 2 minutes.
- Place roast in pan, and sear well on all sides until nice and brown.
- Remove roast to a plate and set aside.
- Add onions to the dutch oven and cook, stirring often, until the onions are starting to brown. About 4 minutes.
- Add garlic and cook for an additional minute.
- Add beef stock to the pan, and then slide the beef into the stock.
- Cover, and cook for 1 hour.
- Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
- Remove pan from the oven, add the Guinness and 1/4 Cup Water, re-cover, and cook for an additional 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- Remove pan from the oven, add vegetables, re-cover, and cook for an additional 45 minutes.
- Remove the roast and vegetables from the dutch oven, and cover them with foil to keep warm.
- Place dutch oven on stove-top over medium-high heat.
- Combine 3 Tablespoons Cold Water and 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch in a small dish, then add to the gravy.
- Cook, stirring constantly, until the gravy thickens.
- Add horseradish, and stir until combined.
- Don’t forget to turn your oven temperature down after the first hour.
- You can attempt to slice the pot roast, but it’s easier to use two forks and pull it apart into large chunks. It’s really all just about your personal preference.
- Feel free to play around with the amount of garlic cloves used in this recipe. How many you use, should really depend on how much you like garlic, as well as how large your garlic cloves are. Invest in a Garlic Press from The Pampered Chef, it’s one of my top-ten kitchen tools.
- I intended to add bay leaves to this recipe, but somehow forget. I think one or two would really bump up the taste of the gravy. Place them in the dutch oven when you add the beef stock. Just remember how many you put in, and to take them out before serving.
- A teaspoon of Dijon Mustard would be a wonderful addition to the gravy, especially if you are not a fan of horseradish.
- Try playing around with this dish with the addition of herbs. This is the perfect recipe for dried herbs, I wouldn’t bother using fresh since the cooking time is so long. I think thyme would be wonderful in this dish.
Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck