Pot roast is both a special company dish and a comfort-food family favorite. Pot roast is sometimes a generic term for a braised beef roast with vegetables such as potatoes, onions, carrots and celery. Pot roast can be a chuck roast, round roast, rump roast or a shoulder roast. Most pot roast cuts come from less tender parts, but are benefited from braising. This gives a less expensive piece of beef to be served in a special way.
Pot roasts can be baked in the oven or cooked in a Dutch oven on the stove top. Pot roasts can even be cooked in a crock pot. A basic method for braising a pot roast is browning it, cooking until nearly done, then adding vegetables during the last part of cooking. This gives the beef the chance to slowly cook until tender while keeping the vegetables from disintegrating in the pan from being cooked too long in the oven.
Oven Baked Beef Pot Roast with Vegetables
Take a 3-pound cut of beef pot roast and season lightly with salt and pepper. Dust lightly with flour. Brown the meat in a pan on the stove in a little bit of oil, then place in a roasting pan in the oven. Alternately, just sprinkle with salt and pepper, and dust with flour and simply place in the roasting pan with a cover. Add in a bit of beef stock or red wine. Cover the roasting pan and place in a preheated 350 to 375 degree oven. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours. Add in cut potatoes, onions and diced carrots around the roast. Toss all the vegetables in the drippings from the roast. Cover again, and continue to bake for another 45 minutes to an hour, or until the vegetables are tender along with the roast. Serve the vegetables with the roast, and use the drippings as a base for gravy, if desired.
Stove Top Beef Pot Roast with Vegetables
Take a 3-pound cut of beef pot roast and season with salt, pepper and sprinkle lightly with flour. Brown the beef roast in a little oil until browned on all sides. Add in a bit of beef stock, about 1/2 to 1 cup. Reduce heat to low and cover with a lid. Cook for about 2 hours. Add in cut potatoes, onion, diced carrots and celery to the pot. Cover again and cook until both the vegetables and roast are fork tender, about an hour more. Serve the vegetables with the roast. Use the pan juices as a base for the gravy, if desired.
Variations for a Basic Pot Roast
– Use sweet potatoes in place of baking potatoes
– Add thyme, bay leaves or rosemary
– Stud the roast with fresh garlic cloves
– Season with cracked peppercorns