Pot Roast with Mushrooms and Root Vegetables

Nothing says “Sunday Dinner” quite like pot roast. Traditionally this braised meat dish used tougher cuts of meat like chuck that would be tenderized by the long, slow cooking. Personally, I prefer bottom round or sirloin tip that are leaner but just as flavorful. Whatever cut of meat you use the initial browning step is essential to extracting a rich beefy flavor. This is a New England-style pot roast in that the vegetables are cooked along with the meat. Not only does this result in tender, tasty vegetables but the vegetables perfume the roast. Incidentally, this recipe reflects how I made my pot roast today. Feel free to improvise or increase the quantities. One nice thing about pot roast is that is almost impossible to mess up!

Ingredients

  • 2-pound beef roast
  • 2 Tbsp. flour, rice flour works fine
  • 2 Tbsp. oil, more if needed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • ½ pound mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic, pre-minced from a jar is fine in this recipe
  • 1 cup brown stock and 1 cup red wine or two cups of either
  • 1 tsp. each dried thyme, savory, parsley, and rosemary or 1 Tbsp. of each fresh, or a combination
  • 6 small beets or equal amount of halved or quartered larger beets, peeled
  • 2 large carrots, scraped and cut into pieces about the size of the beets
  • ½ pound small red potatoes or firm white potatoes cut into appropriate sized pieces
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Pat the meat dry with paper towels then coat lightly and evenly with the flour. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or similar pot. When nearly smoking brown the meat on all sides. Do not rush this step. Meat and flour will stick to the pan; that is good. Add a bit more oil if needed. Set the meat aside and pour off any excess oil.

Return the meat to the pot along with the onion, mushrooms, garlic, stock and wine, and herbs. Bring to a boil on top of the stove, cover, and place in a 350° (325° for convection) oven. After 30 minutes add the beets to the pot. Thirty minutes later add the carrots and potatoes. Cook another half hour for a total of 90 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Remove the roast and vegetables to a platter and serve with strained pot juices and horseradish.

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