Sunday, October 24, 2004

Pot Roast

from Cook's Illustrated

We made a pot roast last night, and Jim remarked that it was better than his mother's and that, in fact, it was the best he had ever had.

1 pot roast, about 3 pounds, seasoned with salt and pepper

We used a chuck shoulder pot roast because that is what Jim bought at Costco; however, the recipe recommended using a blade roast or a 7-bone roast, and that is what I will do next time.

Adjust your oven rack to the middle position and heat to 300 degrees. While it is preheating, heat 2 tablespoons of canola oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven and brown the roast on both sides (about 4 or 5 minutes per side). When your roast is brown, reduce your heat to medium and remove it to a platter. Add 1 chopped carrot, 1 chopped celery rib, and 1 chopped medium onion to the pan and saute them until they are beginning to brown (about 6 to 8 minutes). Now add two cloves of minced garlic and 2 teaspoons of sugar and cook for another 30 seconds. Return the roast to the pan. Add 1 cup of reduced-sodium beef broth and 1 cup of reduced-sodium chicken broth to the pan and enough water so that liquid comes to the half-way mark on the roast (apparently, the use of equal parts of beef and chicken broth, is the perfect combination to obtaining an authentic "pot-roast" flavor). Bring the liquid to a simmer, and then cover with a piece of foil and the lid (the foil prevents steam from escaping from the lid), and place in the oven.

Cook for 3 1/2 hours, turning the meat over every half hour.

Remove meat from pan and place on a cutting board (tent with foil to keep it warm). Reduce cooking liquid to 1 1/2 cups (if desired, you may strain the vegetables from it). When reduced, add 1/4 cup red wine and then reduce again to 1 1/2 cups. Slice meat and arrange it on a platter, then spoon a little of the reduced 'gravy' on it.

Serves 4 - 6.

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