Sunday, December 15, 2013

DIY -- Pot roast!!

OK, I apologize.  When I was telling you how to make chili-mac, I forgot to say you should buy at least a 12 inch frying pan.  You just can't make up a pound of meat plus the other ingredients in a 9 inch pan.

So now that you went back out and bought a 12 inch frying pan, you are ready to make pot roast.

You will also need a knife, the larger and heavier the better, for two things.

For ingredients, you want a tough piece of meat at least a pound and a half.  Look for chuck steak.
You also want 4-5 carrots,
4-5 medium to small potatoes,
a 12-14 ounce can of crushed tomatoes or 6 mushrooms,
a medium onion, and
at least one stalk of celery. 
You can also add a package of frozen sweet corn to this. 
For seasonings, you really only need black pepper but you can also add a TBSP of parsley and three good pinches of thyme. 
Plus you need 1/4 cup flour.

This takes about an hour and a half but for at least an hour you will be free to do other things while the meat and vegetables cook. 

The best thing about this dish is that if you start 3 hours before dinner time, you have extra time to make sure the meat gets tender, and if it finishes cooking early, you just turn the heat off and re-heat in the last half hour.  Instant leftovers, and we all know that leftovers taste better than fresh-cooked sometimes.

Sprinkle half the flour on one side of the meat and use the butt of the knife handle to beat it in.  Works up a sweat and an appetite, tenderizes the meat, and creates the groundworks of gravy.

Now flour the other side of the meat.

Scrape the skin off the carrots and wash the potatoes well.
Chop the onion and celery and chunk the carrots; trash the mushroom stems and dice the caps.

Put 1/4 cup oil in the frying pan and heat it on 4.  When it's hot, sear the meat on one side, then flip it and sear on the other. 

Add the onion and celery and turn the heat down to 3.  When the onion starts to get transparent, add the carrots, then position the potatoes on top. 

Mix the seasonings with the tomatoes and pour in, OR
sprinkle the seasonings into the pan with the diced mushrooms and add 1 cup of water.

Put the lid on the pan, put the heat on 2 1/2, and let cook.

Check after half an hour; if the liquid has mostly dried, add more.

At the one hour mark, use a fork to try to break off a little of the meat.  If you can't even get the fork into the meat, put in another half cup of liquid and cover again.

After another half hour, do the fork test again.  When you're sure the meat is tender, add the sweet corn if you're using it, put the lid back on and let it heat up, no less than 10 minutes.

This is a fabulous dinner for 4-5 people and you can stretch it to 6 if you serve a salad and dessert.

You can make this a day in advance of your guests coming, then clean the house and make the dessert, and just re-heat it before dinner.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

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