Saturday, November 24, 2012

Old Fashioned Pot Roast by Brenda Whiteside

I'm not the only writer in our group that doesn't cook. It's not that I can't cook or won't cook, but I really don't like to cook - not on a regular basis anyway. I used to of course, when I first got married. And my poor husband suffered through my learning years. My mom didn't bake (unless she stirred a box cake together). She used mostly canned vegetables. I didn't even know you could buy fresh spinach until I was around twenty-five. A lady in line at the grocery store behind me saw me set a couple of cans of spinach on the conveyor. Her wide-eyed comment was "oh, I didn't know you could get spinach in a can!" Oh, really? Hadn't she seen Popeye cartoons?

Eventually, I became a pretty darned good cook and knew the value of fresh over canned foods. And I still occasionally cook when the spirit hits me. I just don't enjoy cooking on a daily basis. Luckily I have a husband and daughter-in-law that love to cook. We moved to a small family farm at the beginning of this year and share our rambling farmhouse with my son and his wife. Yea - two cooks in the house leaves me hands free!

Coming up with a recipe is not easy. I like to ad lib when I do cook. My pot roast usually gets good reviews so here it is. Simple stuff - that's how I like to eat and cook.

Note: The amount you use of the ingredients is dependent upon how many people you want to feed. And I prefer organic. I also prefer a cut of beef that has a touch of fat on it. I'm not a big chuck fan, but this sort of recipe lends itself to the cheapest of cuts so you can keep your cost down. You might want to skim off the fat if you choose too fatty a cut.

One Pot Roast of any size and any cut
Carrots (cut in chunks)
Potatoes (I prefer golden or red) cut in large chunks
Fresh Green Beans (each end snipped off)
One Onion (sliced up)
A clove or two of fresh Garlic (minced or smashed up)
Italian Blend of herbs (sage, oregano, basil)
Salt (if you HAVE to! I never use salt but I bet you will)

Put several tbs. of flour on a plate. Add pepper and herbs and mix with a fork. Dredge the meat in the flour. Really gob it on because this will help the juices from cooking get a little thick. Yum. Kind of like gravy.

Poor enough cooking oil in the pan to cover the bottom. Heat and then brown the meat on all side.

Once browned, remove the meat and set aside. Dip at least one side of the potatoes in the flour mixture and brown them. (This is my secret trick and it really makes the whole pot of veggies that much better)

Once all the potatoes are browned, add the remaining vegetables and the roast and enough water to almost cover.

Bring to a boil, cover and lower the heat so it just sort of bubbles. You can leave it on top of the stove or put it in the oven (still covered) at 350 degrees.

The hard part is telling you how long to cook it. The meat should be falling apart and the veggies soft to a fork. I would guess 4-6 hours but you'll have to be the judge for the amount you've cooked. Hint: check your liquids now and then. If you cook a long time, you might need to add a little water.



Margo Hoornstra said...

Here's to those of us who don't really like to cook. This recipe sounds very good and, more important, very easy. Thanks for sharing.

Brenda Whiteside said...

Thanks, Margo!

Jannine Gallant said...

I'm going to have to try dipping the potatoes in the flour. I can see where it really would improve them! I do like to cook, and I'm always up for a new technique.

Brenda Whiteside said...

Hope you like it, Jannine!

LisaRayns said...

I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving!

Brenda Whiteside said...

And I hope yours was great too, Lisa.