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Pot Roast with Mushrooms and Tomatoes

December 8, 2009

I’m not a meat-and-potatoes kind of person.  Maybe that’s because I don’t really like potatoes.   

Yet when I was thinking about what to cook in my recently-procured Dutch oven, the first thing I thought of was a pot roast.  I asked Nate if he wanted me to make a pot roast and he said yes before I’d even finished the question.  I think it was so I wouldn’t have time to change my mind. 

I just started an online subscription to Cooks Illustrated, which is where the pot roast recipe came from (in addition to the majority of the other recipes you’ve been seeing on this blog as of late).

You might notice in the photo below that the pot roast veggies are being cooked in a pan, not in a Dutch oven.  That’s because I was using the Dutch oven to make the no-knead bread, and if I hadn’t started to cook the veggies and the meat before the bread was done, we wouldn’t have eaten dinner until probably 10:30 p.m.  Pot roasts take a long time.  

After deglazing the pan and making sure I’d scraped up all the bits, I turned off the heat and waited until the bread was done.  Then I poured everything into the Dutch oven and proceeded with the instructions as written.  The meat was so tender and flavorful, and it went really well with the mashed potatoes.  Perfect for a Sunday night dinner! 

Pot Roast with Mushrooms and Tomatoes

(From Cooks Illustrated)

Notes: I like veggies, so I doubled the amount of carrots and celery and added some extra mushrooms.  I also didn’t have any beef broth, and it turned out fine with just chicken broth.  I don’t remember exactly what cut of meat we used, but it was “English” something or another.  If in doubt as to what cut of meat to use, you can always ask a butcher.  I also didn’t have any of the fresh herbs, so I used dried thyme and skipped the rosemary.

1 chuck-eye roast (about 3 1/2 pounds), boneless
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion , chopped medium
1 small carrot , chopped medium
1 small rib celery , chopped medium
10 ounces white button mushrooms , cleaned and quartered
2 medium cloves garlic , minced
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup low-sodium beef broth
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 sprig fresh thyme
  1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes , with juice
1 1/2 cups water
1 sprig fresh rosemary

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Sprinkle roast generously with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Brown roast thoroughly on all sides, reducing heat if fat begins to smoke, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer roast to large plate; set aside. Reduce heat to medium; add onion, carrot, celery, and mushrooms to pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and sugar; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chicken and beef broths, dry red wine, thyme, and diced tomatoes, with juice, scraping bottom of pan with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits. Return roast and any accumulated juices to pot; add enough water to come halfway up sides of roast. Bring liquid to simmer over medium heat, then place large piece of foil over pot and cover tightly with lid; transfer pot to oven. Cook, turning roast every 30 minutes, until fully tender and meat fork or sharp knife easily slips in and out of meat, 3 1/2 to 4 hours (my pot roast was done after about 3 hours).

Transfer roast to carving board; tent with foil to keep warm. Allow liquid in pot to settle about 5 minutes, then use wide spoon to skim fat off surface. Add sprig of fresh rosemary and boil liquid over high heat until reduced to 1 1/2 cups; discard rosemary and thyme sprigs. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Using chef’s or carving knife, cut meat into 1/2-inch-thick slices, or pull apart into large pieces; transfer meat to warmed serving platter or bowl, pour sauce and vegetables over meat, and serve

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