Thursday, January 22, 2009

Basic pot roast

I usually make my pot roast in the slow cooker, but this was really, really good.

adapted from "How to Cook Everything" by Mark Bittman

1 clove garlic
1 piece chuck or rump roast
1 bay leaf
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. olive or peanut oil
2 c. chopped onions
1 c. peeled and chopped carrots
1/2 c. red wine
1 c. beef broth

Peel the garlic clove and cut it into tiny slivers; insert the slivers into several spots around the roast, poking holes with a thin-bladed knife. Rub meat with salt and pepper.
Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven. Brown meat on all sides, taking your time. Adjust the heat so the meat browns but the fat does not burn. Remove the meat to a platter and add the vegetables to the Dutch oven. Cook over medium-high heat until softened, about 10 minutes.
Add the red wine and cook, scraping the bottom, until the wine has just about evaporated. Add about half the stock and the bay leaf, return the roast to the pot, and turn the heat down to very low.
Turn the meat every 15 minutes and cook until it is tender == about 1.5 to 2.5 hours. Add a little more stock if the roast appears to be drying out, an unlikely possibility and a sign that your heat is too high.
Remove the meat from the pot and keep it warm. Skim the fat from the surface of the remaining juice. Turn the heat to high and cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot, until the liquid is thick and almost evaporated. Slice the meat and serve with the pan juices.

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