Friday, October 9, 2015

Amazing Balsamic Pot Roast

Falling leaves, dropping temps, and rich foods. Can you feel it? Fall is here, my friends! 

I looove fall! And to celebrate sweaters, boots, blankets, and all things 'fall', I kicked off October with the quintessential Fall Meal: Pot Roast, Squash Soup, and Mashed Potoates.

Now I'm here to share the recipe with you. *You're welcome.*

The secret to making a delicious pot roast is selecting the right meat. I usually defer to my husband's expertise here, but there is one thing I want you to know when making the perfect pot roast. That is; choose the right cut! My favorite is Chuck Roast. It's got the key element of a good pot roast: lots of marbling. Marbling is good for a pot roast because, when cooked for long enough and low enough, all of that fat and connective tissue melts and makes the meat tender and melt-in-your-mouth delicious.

Now that you understand why your meat selection is so important, let's get started!

As always, gather your ingredients first. You'll need Chuck Roast, Onions, Carrots, Balsamic Vinegar, Worcestershire Sauce, Crushed Red Pepper, Honey, Beef Broth, Soy Sauce, and (not shown) Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper.

Before you get started, get your meat ready. You want to really slather it with salt and pepper. I prefer Kosher Salt and fresh cracked Pepper, because they seem to stick better, but really, any you choose is fine. No matter what you use, really get in there with it. It'll seem like too much. That's good. Really coat all sides with it! Then set it aside for later.

Now that the meat is ready, the first step is to heat your olive oil in a large dutch oven or a pot that is oven safe on medium high heat. While the oil is heating, peel your onions and cut them in half. Also, cut your carrots into about one inch pieces. You can peel them, but it's not necessary. (I didn't. Because I'm lazy.) Once the oil is very very hot (but not smoking), add in the onions. Brown them really well on both sides. They may come apart a little. That's ok. 

Once that's done, remove them and set them aside for now. Add the carrots to the pot and do the same thing with them. Toss them in the pot until they have a nice, browned color. Remember. The point isn't to cook them. It's just to get a nice color started on the outside.
Remove the carrots and set them aside with the onions. Both should look good enough to eat (but don't! You'll need them later).

Now, remember that meat you set aside earlier? Get it ready. It's time for it to shine! Add a little more Olive Oil (or butter, if you want something extra rich) to your pot and let it heat up again. The bottom of the pan should be nice and charred from the carrots and onions. That's good stuff! Once the oil (or butter) is heated, add the chuck roast to the pot.

Sear it on all sides so that it gets a reeeallly nice brown color (about 1-2 minutes each side). Make sure to get all sides. The browner, the better. Once it's seared well, set it aside for now.

In the pan, you should see lots of charred, brown bits in the bottom of the pan. Keep it! That's all of the flavor! So, now we'll do what's called deglazing. That just means adding Beef Broth (about a cup) to your pan and scraping the bottom of the pot. That will loosen all of the char and add the excellent flavor to your roast. In a separate bowl, mix together the Balsamic Vinegar, Worcestershire Sauce, Soy Sauce, Honey, and Red Pepper Flakes. Set it aside.

Once the pot is deglazed, add your chuck roast back to the pan. Try to make it so that the meat is all on one layer at the bottom of the pot (if it's large enough). Then add the sauce mixture over the top and (if needed) add enough extra beef broth so that it covers the meat about halfway. (I didn't have to add any more broth, but you may have to.

Next, you want to add the onion and carrots to the top of the meat. Preheat your oven to 275°

Cover the roast with a lid and place in the oven. You'll need to cook it 4-5 hours to make sure it's nice and tender. (I cooked ours for 4 hours and the fat wasn't quite all the way rendered. So next time I'd make it closer to 5 hours.)

Now just let 'er cook! Don't peek, be patient, and at the end of the timer, you'll be rewarded! Once it's done, shred the meat with two forks. That should be easy, since the meat will just fall apart. Here's what you should end up with:
As I said, we served ours with mashed potatoes and squash soup. Enjoy!


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