hunk of beef – not too lean, you need some fat on it
beef or vegetable broth or water
Step 1: I am making “roast” for 2 and I am using 2 small round steaks that have a bit of fat marbling them. You need a bit of fat, don’t buy the meat with no fat at all. You could buy a bigger chuck roast if you want a larger meal. Just buy whatever is least expensive. You don’t need to worry about whether it is tender meat because you are going to be cooking it slowly for a long time; it will get tender from the cooking.
In a large skillet or a roasting pan, brown all sides of the roast in a bit of olive oil and butter till browned over rather high heat. Add salt and pepper to the meat while cooking. Remove the meat and put in the roasting pan or on a plate. You only want to brown the outside of the meat, not cook it. I am browning mine in a cast iron skillet.
Dice up some vegetables – onion, carrot, and celery. I also had a parsnip that I used. If you aren’t familiar with parsnips I urge you to try them! They look much like large white carrots and cook like them also. They have a bit of a peppery taste and really can add some flavor to your food.Today I used 1/2 of a large onion, 2 carrots, 2 stalks of celery, and 1/2 of a parsnip. Add these vegetables to your skillet that you browned the meat in. Lower the heat you don’t really want to brown the vegetables, just cook and stir them till they are starting to cook a bit, the onion will be turning limpish. Don’t over cook, remember you will be cooking this in with the meat.
Put the vegetables in the bottom of a roasting pan and lay the meat on top of the vegetables. Sprinkle salt, pepper and other seasonings over all. I use thyme, garlic powder, parsley. Use what you like.I added about 1/4 cup water to the roasting pan because there isn’t much fat in this meat today. If I had some out already I would have used some beef or vegetable stock, but I didn’t want to open a can just for that.
Cover the roasting pan and put in oven that is heated to 275 degrees. I am cooking it slow today. You could raise the heat higher and it will cook sooner, but I am not in a hurry today.I set the timer for 2 hours. I will check the meat then.
After about 1 1/2 hours, I took out the roaster and added in some potatoes. I also added some more water because the chopped veggies had pretty much soaked up all the liquid. I increased the heat to 350 degrees and set the timer for 1 hour. Add the potatoes on top of the other veggies and place meat on top of potatoes.
The potatoes were actually done after about 35 minutes. Here is the final product. The meat was a bit dry, I probably should have used more liquid, but I wanted the potatoes to be “roasted” and a little brown, not steamed. A different cut of meat with more fat would have been less dry. I made some green beans to go on the side.
You can use this cooking method with other meat also, pork roast or chicken. If using chicken pieces, I would remove the skin and you don’t really need to brown it. Chicken would also require more liquid – pour in some chicken or vegetable broth to cover the chopped veggies. Check during cooking to see if more is needed.
You can also cook this in a crockpot.
You could make and Italian style pot roast by adding a can of chopped tomatoes instead of other liquid, and add some Italian seasoning.
I had some extra veggies that I needed to use up because they had been in the refrigerator for awhile. So I chopped up some more carrots, celery, onion and parsnip and lightly cooked them in the cast iron pan I used earlier. I didn’t season them or cook them as long as the ones I used for the roast. When they had cooled, I put them in freezer baggies and put them in the freezer. Next time I make a roast, these will be ready and waiting.