According to my cursory research on Wikipedia, the concept of the pot roast is thought to have originated from French immigrants to New England, who brought their cooking method of à l’étouffée (braising) for tenderizing meats. The Americanized pot roast – sometimes known as the ‘Yankee pot roast’ – is a variation of the French boeuf à la mode, modified by influences from German Americans and American Jews.
Taking a break from the sweet treats I’ve been posting about over the last week, today’s recipe is for a hearty pot roast seasoned with rosemary and thyme. Mr. Chuckles tested out this recipe last month and it was a perfect meal for a cool autumn or winter day.
Adapted from Serious Eats.
Serves: 6 | Prep time: 20 minutes | Cook time: 3 to 5 hours
- One piece chuck roast (3 to 5 lbs)
- 2 to 2½ cups beef stock
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 onions
- 6 carrots, sliced
- 4 fresh rosemary sprigs
- 3 fresh thyme springs
- Pepper and salt to taste
1) Preheat oven to 275 F.
2) Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium to high heat. Add olive oil and allow to heat up.
3) Generously salt and pepper the chuck roast on both sides.
4) Peel and cut onions in half from root to tip. When the pot is very hot, place onions in the oil and brown on both sides, about 1 minute per side. Remove onions and place aside.
5) With the burner on high, deglaze the pot by adding 1 cup of beef stock, whisking constantly. This will loosen all the burned flavourful bits from the bottom of the pot.
6) Add carrots into the pot. Toss until slightly brown for about 1 minute, and then remove and set aside.
7) Allow pot to reheat. Add another tablespoon of olive oil.
8) Place meat into the pot and sear it, about 1 minute per side. Remove and set aside.
9) With burner on high, deglaze the pot again by adding 1 cup of beef stock, whisking constantly. When most of the flavourful bits have been loosened, place meat back into the pot.
10) Add back the carrots and onions. Pour remaining beef stock into the pot to cover the meat halfway.
11) Add the fresh rosemary and thyme sprigs. Tuck them into the juice to ensure that the flavours are evenly distributed.
12) Cover the pot, place in oven, and allow to roast for 3 to 5 hours, depending on size of the roast. A 3 pound roast will require about 3 to 3½ hours. A 5 pound roast will require 4 to 5 hours cook time.
13) When cooking is complete and the roast is tender, remove the meat to a cutting board and slice against the grain. Serve immediately.
👨🍳 Notes from Mr. Chuckles
We used our Dutch oven, a thick cooking pot made of seasoned cast iron, to prepare this dish. A Dutch oven is quite a versatile tool and is perfect for making not only meaty dishes like this pot roast, but also stews or even bread. We have the Ikea SENIOR that I purchased several years ago as a lower end alternative to the iconic ones from Le Creuset. It works well and I would recommend it as a nifty addition to the kitchen.
The pot roast is an ideal way to prepare tougher cuts such as chuck steak, short ribs, and 7-bone roast. The slow cooking process allows the meat to tenderize, and the accompanying rich liquid can serve as a gravy. Our piece of chuck roast came from our local chain grocery store, but our recommended butcher shop in Toronto for high quality meats is Cumbraes. Worth checking out if you’re ever in our neck of the woods.