It took me years and years of failed practice to make a good roast. For years I didn't even try because I assumed I didn't even like anything remotely like a beef roast, or a pork roast, for that matter.
It had always seemed gross, roasts from my cooking or others - off flavors, too oily?, too watery, bland... just wrong! Count me out.
But watching years of Gordon Ramsay, and other like classic chefs, revere the Sunday Pot Roast, it stayed in the back of my mind that there was just something I wasn't doing right.
Fast forward to this fall... and winter... and a great many roasts that I experimented with, determined to crack the code.
Dan had requested roasts this cold season, because he had always been a fan. And a Sunday roast is such a quaint tradition, something I would love to have up my cooking sleeve, in line with a delicious Roast Chicken, or a great Pulled Pork Shoulder, or a Chicken Noodle Soup. You just need this comfort food for cold weather, plain and simple.
We stock a dense array of little 2-3lb. roasts at the farm store, and this would work with all of them, from Chuck Roasts, Chuck Arm Roasts, Round Roasts, etc. I found the precise cooking time for a roast this small.
The awesome and unexpected thing in making a great pot roast is what you get at the end of the eating of cooking and the eating of the pot roast -- the distilled flavor -- in the form of a jiggly savory broth - not a dehydrated, processed bouillon, not broth, but the concentrate of everything savory-good in the kitchen. It's the gold that made classic cuisine delicious 10x.
I remember watching the Gordon Ramsay portion of the Master Chef series. He collected the pan juices and said you must save every bit of them, "For this is flavor money can not buy" in his English/Scottish accent. It is so very true.
But first, the recipe and technique, and
the real secret to cooking a good roast:
It needs 9 hrs to cook. Not 5, as you might think for such a small roast.
What I do is get everything ready to the point of having browned the meat and veggies and everything is in the crock pot, after dinner the night before. All I do is turn on the crock pot and then plate at dinner at 5pm.
Super Flavor Beef Roast Recipe
Servings:Feeds 2 hungry farmers & 2 little ones, with some leftovers
1 Beef Roast (2-3lbs) - Chuck/Chuck Arm, Round, Beef Roast
4 Small Yellow Potatoes - Optional
4 Stocks of Celery - Optional
1 pint - Fond Bone Broth (or other broth)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Grab a roast of your liking at the farm store
(If you are thinking ahead, defrost and generously salt both sides of the roast a day or two ahead of roasting, you will be glad you did, but it's not a deal breaker if you don't)
Turn your big flame on high heat. Wait until the pan is hot enough to gently sizzle a droplet of water you flick off your finger. Place the meat inside and make sure as much surface area of the meat is touching the pan as possible.
While you're waiting for the first side of the roast to brown, cut up your potatoes and celery. The veggies are flexible. This is all I had. I did actually add a little diced garlic.
5. Flip the roast when the first side has nice color to it.
6. Move your roast (which has been browned on both sides) to your empty crock pot.
7. Transfer your chopped veggies to your hot pan. Deglaze the pan drippings with some bone broth. Generously salt and pepper the veggies. Blast them with high heat.
8. When you have some color on the potatoes, move the veggies into the crock pot. I arrange them below the roast.
9. Set your crock pot to low.
10. Back to FLAVOR MAKING: Go back to the pan you've been using. Now we must harvest all of the flavor that we've made (not pour it down the kitchen drain!). It doesn't look like much, but it is:
11. Pour the rest of the broth in the pan, with the big flame heat on low. Let the broth loosen all of the bits on the pan, with a flat wooden spoon. Then transfer too the crock pot.
Set your crock pot to Low, and crock it for 9 hrs. Then enjoy! And let me know how you like it!
I also added celery leaves, garden kraut, creme fraiche and a little salt on top.
... and! If you want to make these broth-y potatoes really good - smash them a bit and fry them in bacon grease until browned and crispy!
And be sure to harvest every last drop of the goodness at the bottom of the crock pot! It'll look like gelatin with a cap of fat. Get it all. Put it in a glass Tupperware and pull it out any time you cook a meal - add a big spoonful to eggs, steak, anything savory! You will elevate your cooking tremendously!