Saturday, February 1, 2014

Roast: You Choose the Pot

I have been trying to drive down to visit my dad 2 days a week.  The dining room has mediocre menus, at best, so one day I bring lunch, and one day I bring lunch and dinner, and we just enjoy a family meal in his little apartment.

This seems simple enough, but I really stress over it.  He has a limited diet for many reasons, including diabetes, heart and blood pressure concerns, and plain and simple pickiness.  ;-)  He doesn't like casseroles, salad as a main dish is difficult for him to maneuver and chew, and very few veggies meet his "acceptable list."  Now add that in his new digs he has only a microwave for cooking, and it gets even more difficult.

Meatloaf and meatballs work very well to meet his preferences, and keeps its texture reasonably when reheated in the microwave.  I have also taken the meatloaf raw, formed it into a doughnut shape inside a casserole dish, and cooked it in the microwave for 15 minutes with good results.  I don't know, though, if he was getting sick of meatloaf and meatballs, but I was.

I recently picked up a beef brisket sandwich, a new menu item at the Costco food court, which he really liked.  This reminded me that I might make a pot roast.  We bought half a beef last spring, and had roasts that should work.  I got out 2 arm roasts to defrost, and set out to find a recipe.  

I found Super Simple Crock Pot Roast, while my kitchen forum friend, JC, found me Slow-Cooked Beer-Braised Beef, which gave instructions for 2 options: putting the beef, raw, into the crockpot, or browning it on the stove in a Dutch oven, and then putting in pan and all, and slow roasting in the oven.  

I decided to use the oven method, and do my own combination of the 2 recipes.

Beer-Onion Soup Mix Pot Roast

Preheat oven to 275 degrees

Arm or other chuck roast, approx 3 lbs 
thoroughly with paper towels, and season with salt and pepper.

Heat heavy, oven-safe pot that has a tight-fitting lid (just barely the size of the roast) over medium-high heat, add:
1-2 Tablespoons oil
the roast
and brown well on both/all sides.  -The roast will lift easily off the pan (not stick) when its properly seared. 

Put on top of roast:
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
12 oz beer (next time I'll double the beer or add at least a cup of water)
Pepper, Garlic powder, or your choice of spices

Put lid on pot, and place in oven for 6 to 8 hours.  Peek in during the latter hours of cooking to make sure there is still enough liquid.  

I put mine the oven at midnight, so it would be ready in the morning... Part to take to Dad, and the rest to leave for the family's dinner at home.  When I checked at 7 AM, the larger, red pot was almost dry and the roast was very dry on top.  I added more liquid and, thankfully, neither had burned.  But this is why I'll add more liquid and be more careful about pan size next time.

Coarsely chopped or chunked veggies of your choice:  potatoes, onion, carrots, turnips, beets...
and cook for an additional 45 minutes.

I wasn't sure that would be enough time for the veggies to cook through at such a low temperature, but they were perfect.  Tender, but not mushy.  

Also, I thought I'd need to remove the roast and veggies to make gravy, but the amount of liquid was minimal... Just enough to keep everything moist, and not require thickening.

For crockpot (I haven't tried this yet, so am basing this on the recipes linked above):  Browning the roast is optional.  Put the roast, onion soup mix, and beer or beer/water mixture, in the crockpot all at once.  Cook on low for 7 hours, or on high for an hour, and low for 4 hours.  Add veggies 45 minutes before serving, and continue cooking on low.

I've been having a little trouble with the family not finishing leftovers lately.  I didn't have that problem with this pot roast!  It's a winner... for ease and for taste.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...