I woke up this morning to see the snow falling and the wind blowing and making it dance past the windows. If there is something that winter teaches a person, it is that warm, comforting meals are one of the few things that make these days (of shoveling) bearable. Simply, put together a few basic ingredients, let it slowly roast in the oven for hours, and you will have that wonderful, comforting smell wafting through your house in no time. Plus, since a pot roast doesn’t need attention, you are free to go out sledding with the kids, curl up at the fireplace with a book, or shovel the driveway.
Again, this is “Jeanine’s Pot Roast” because everyone has their own way of doing things. There are as many ways to make a roast as there are colours of crayons, so feel free to use this only as a guide to create YOUR pot roast. If you don’t like something, omit it, or if you insist on adding something else, feel free. This is just the way that I have developed that my family enjoy.
- 2-3 lb Chuck Roast (my preferred slow cooking roast)
- 900 ml of low sodium, gluten-free beef broth
- 1 medium onion, cut into wedges
- 2 sticks of celery, cut into large pieces
- 1 handful of mini carrots (or 2-3 carrots, cut up)
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 3/4 tsp dried rosemary
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
Place your roast, onions, celery sticks and carrots in a heavy casserole or stock pot with a tight fitting lid. Pour the beef broth over the roast & vegetables, and add in the pepper, rosemary, thyme and bay leaf.
Cover and bake at 275°F for 3-4 hours. The roast will be done when a fork can easily be inserted into the roast, and the meat is fall-apart tender.
Remove roast from casserole to plate, and cover with foil. Let it sit for 10 minutes before cutting.
While the roast is resting, it is time to make a delicious gravy. Strain the remaining beef broth into a medium stock pot. This will remove the cooked vegetables and herbs. Bring the broth to a boil over medium-high heat. Whisk together the cold water and cornstarch. While the broth mixture is boiling, slowly whisk in some of the water/cornstarch mixture. Your gravy will thicken. Add only enough of the cornstarch mixture until you reach your desired consistency. Remember, gravy will always thicken a little bit more as it cools, so you still want your gravy to be on the slightly runny side, so that it is not thick when you serve it. Season your gravy with salt & pepper to your liking.
Using a sharp knife (or even an electric knife), cut the roast across the grain, or across the muscle fibers. Cutting the meat this way will shorten the fibers, making your meat seem more tender.
I like to boil small potatoes and carrots in a separate pot, and just top with and the meat with the gravy when serving.
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