Potted Roast Beast – Sunday Supper*
Sunday supper time is traditionally a time for family and friends to sit down at the table together and enjoy a big meal that one or two people lovingly slaved over all day long. If you’re one of those loving individuals, spending the day cooking can be the best part of your week (don’t tell anyone this of course). A pot roast is simple to put together but takes time to cook. Time that can be filled with one, two or even three craft beers, an afternoon movie on cable or the game if you’re a sport fan. Me? I spend it on Twitter or writing blog posts like this one.
Pot Roast is a hunk of beef, usually chuck, top/bottom round or rump cut that is lower in cost but full of flavor, it just takes a while to become tender from cooking. The best way of cooking them is by braising, which is a two-part method. First the meat is seared using some form of fat and then cooked in liquid at a lower temperature for a longer period of time. Beer is a great choice when braising. You can use as much beer as you like with out over powering the flavor of the meat like wine would. In the end you’ll have tender juicy meat and a rich gravy. Leftovers are even better so always cook more than you and your guests need. If you plan properly you can have 1 to 2 more meals for the week.
Potted Roast Beast – serves 4
- 2 – 3 lbs Beef Roast
- 1 Tbl Kosher Salt
- 1/2 tsp Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Dry Ground Mustard
- 2 Tbl Oil
- 22 oz English Strong Ale – this was 1 1pt. .9 fl oz bottle of Fuller’s 1845 which was perfect for the dish
- 2 cups Beef Stock
- 2 large Onions – #1 quartered, #2 sliced
- 3 stalks Celery
- 1 ea Carrot, diced or 6-8 baby carrots
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 8 springs Thyme or 1/2 tsp dry thyme
- 2 ea Bay leaves
- 6 oz Whole Grain Mustard
- TT Salt & Pepper
Two to four hours before cooking rub the roast with the salt, pepper and dry mustard. It’s really ok if you only have a 1/2 hour but I really like the seasonings to flavor the meat.
Pre-heat the oven to 300˚ Heat a large pan with 2 tablespoons of oil, add the meat and sear on all sides. If you can choose a pan that works both stove top and in the oven if not do this in the largest saute pan you have so you can add the stock to “deglaze” or get up all the yummy bits the meat leaves on the pan then transfer all into an over safe dish with a cover.
Add the beer and stock to the pan and bring to a bubble. Add the quartered onion, celery, carrots, garlic, thyme, bay leaves and 4 oz of mustard. Check to see where your liquid ends on your roast. You always want the liquid to reach at least half way up and this will depend on your pan so feel free to add more stock or even water to get it to the level you need.
Bring the heat up to a slow bubbling boil, cover and place in the oven. Total cooking time will be 3 1/2 – 4 hours depending on the thickness of the roast. You’ll want to turn the meat over about every 30 minutes or so and…
30 minutes before removing from the oven take out the cooked vegetables and herbs than add the sliced onion and 2 oz more of mustard. (oops, in the picture I obviously did that in the wrong order) I spread the top of my roast with the mustard but since I turned it one more time I don’t think it was necessary.
The cooking time can be kept track of but it’s more of an approximation. The length really various based on he type and thickness of the roast you use. What you really want to check is how easily the meat pulls apart with a fork. That is a personal preference but I wanted to still be able to cut my roast for service but didn’t want the guests to have to use a knife when eating.
When the meat is as “fork-tender” as you’d like remove the roast and set to the side. Put the pan back on the stove top and reduce the liquid by 1/4 – 1/2 it’s volume. This is good gravy my friends!
The last tip I have is to watch how you’re slicing the roast. Check it for which direction the “strings” or “grain” runs, you want to cut against it. This will effect the chewiness of the meat. Cutting against the grain makes the strings smaller and therefore the whole bite more tender. I decided to to cut mine in two inch cubes and gently tossed it in the gravy before plating with the Cheddar Mash Potatoes, Minted Peas, Pumpernickel Bread and a pint of Fuller’s Yorkshire Stingo completed the English pub dinner I was going for.
*Sunday Supper will be a continuing recipe collection.