Feels Like Home

I won't speak for all Americans, but I'll venture to guess that the smell of a pot roast in the oven makes a few of us think of home. Some variation of the classic pot roast lives in our senses, and brings us back to family. Because we said hello to fall this past weekend, it was the right time to fill the house with warm smells, and hang out at home with my sister and Brian. There's gonna be a whole lot more of it coming up, and I can't wait.

There's nothing fancy about this recipe. Just simple, quality ingredients, a big old dutch oven and lots of time to cook.

Pot Roast and Gravy

3-4 lbs boneless chuck roast
2 cups carrots (chopped)
3 stalks celery (chopped)
2 large onions (chopped)
4 medium yellow or red potatoes (cubed)
1/2 lb cremini mushrooms (quartered)
5 cloves garlic (chopped)
5 sprigs fresh thyme
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 cup dry red wine
3 cups beef broth
olive oil
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Get a big dutch oven on the stove top over medium/ medium-high heat.

Take your chuck roast and pat it dry with some paper towels. Don't trim the fat. Letting the meat cook in the fat makes it so delicious. You can cut the fat after it cooks, if you so please.

Coat the meat in generous amounts of kosher salt and pepper. All of it. Top, bottom, sides, nooks, crannies. Then coat the whole piece of meat in a thin layer of flour.

Add olive oil to your hot dutch oven, and drop in your meat. Cook each side for about 4 minutes, until each side is nice and browned,12-16 minutes total. The flour will give you a nice crust and help hold in the flavor.

Remove the meat from the pot and place on a plate. Add more olive oil to the pan, and lower heat to medium. Add the onion and celery, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook for about 10 minutes to sweat out the veggies. Add the garlic, carrots and mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes. 

Now nestle the meat back in the pan between the veggies. Add a bit more salt and pepper at this point. Add the red wine, beef broth, thyme and rosemary. Bring to a simmer. Once simmering, cover your pot and place in the oven for 2 1/2 - 3 hours, until the meat starts falling apart. Add the potatoes to the pot with 1 hour left.

Remove the roast to a cutting board, and cover with piece of foil. Let it rest! Remove the veggies with a slotted spoon to a bowl, and cover. Remove any remaining thyme or rosemary sticks from the liquid. Transfer liquid to a bowl, we will use it to make the gravy.

In the same dutch oven, heat 2 tbsp butter over medium heat. Add about 2 tbsp flour to the melted butter and stir into a smooth paste. Slowly whisk in about 2 cups of the liquid, until it is smooth and starts to bubble. Whisk continuously until it has thickened up to the consistency of a gravy. This will only take about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, and transfer to a serving dish.

Slice the meat, and serve with the warm gravy and veggies.

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