Monday, November 10, 2014

Mama's Special Pot Roast

On Special Sundays when we had company, sometimes Mama would make a pot roast. It was so wonderful. I would wander around just waiting to set the table when she called me in. My Mama could make a Pot Roast like no other.

We would always have green beans with slivers of almonds and butter and creamed corn. There was usually a salad for each place setting and a glass of Sweet Tea. I always put that out when dinner was almost ready. Mama made her own salad dressing out of vinegar and oil. I liked mayonnaise on my salad. There wasn't any fancy salad dressing then and you ate what Mama made and liked it.

Pot Roast
Prep Time:  20 Minutes                Cook Time:  4 Hours        Servings:  10
Ingredients
1 whole Chuck Roast (5 To 6 Pounds)
1/2 cup of flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 whole onions (large yellow onions)
2 pods of garlic, finely grated.
6 – 8 whole carrots  
Salt and Pepper to taste (I like Kosher or Sea Salt)
1 cup Red Wine (optional)
2 - to 3 cups beef stock
A couple of splashes of Worcestershire Sauce
1 cup of fresh coffee (leave out the wine if you would rather have the coffee)
3 sprigs fresh thyme
3 sprigs fresh Rosemary
5 large potatoes or about 10 - 12 small red potatoes

Preparation Instructions
Choose a nicely marbled piece of Chuck roast. This particular cut of beef will flavor the pot roast like no other. Generously salt and pepper the roastthen rub it with flour all over.
Iron Dutch Oven
Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Mama always used a deep iron skillet that had a lid. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil (sometimes I add a teaspoon or two of butter).
Cut two onions in half and cut 6 to 8 carrots into 2-inch slices (you can peel the carrots, but you don’t have to). When the oil in the pot is very hot (not smoking), add in the halved onions, minced garlic, and carrots, browning them on one side and then the other. Take out the onions, garlic, and carrots and put aside on a plate.
If needed, add a bit more olive oil to the very hot pan. Place the meat in the pan and sear it on all sides until it is nice and brown all over. Remove the roast to a plate.
Marbled Chuck Roast 
With the burner still on high, use either red wine or beef broth (about 1 cup) to deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom with a spatula to get all of that scrumptious browned flavor up.
When the pan is deglazed, add the Worcestershire Sauce and cup of coffee, place the roast back into the pan and add enough beef stock to cover the meat halfway (about 2 to 3 cups). Add in the onion and the carrots, as well as 3 or 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary and 3 sprigs of fresh thyme.
Put the lid on, then roast in a 275F oven for 5 hours.

Mama's Special Pot Roast
Wash and peel the potatoes if you like potatoes peeled. You can put in the whole potato or cut into large pieces. Place in a bowl of water that covers the potatoes with ice in the bowl if you want to get the prep done early. After the roast has cooked about 3½ hours, drain the potatoes and put in the pot. Cover and continue to cook until done.

BTW: Using flour to brown the roast results in a thicker gravy. You do not have to use the flour if you want it Aujous. 

Afterwards (at least 2 hours) we would all have coffee and a piece of Mama's Apple Pie with Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream. The ice cream was made in a ice cream machine that was powered by strength and elbow grease. It was Uncle Billy's job to make the ice cream. It was my job to sit on top of the towels on the top while Uncle Billy turned the crank. It was the best ice cream ever. It would give you a brain freeze if you ate it too fast. In the winter, Mama would melt cheddar cheese on the pie. She sure could cook. 

Funny, there didn't seem to be as many obese people then. The only time we had sweets was dessert on Sunday. As a special treat, Mama would make pancakes on a Saturday morning when we had company. We lived in Birmingham and they have the best syrup there. It is Golden Eagle Syrup.