Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Ranch Kitchen's Country Pot Roast


Sundays afternoons are pretty special to us.  It's our time to unwind and get ready for the week ahead.  It's a slower moving day that is pretty well needed after the fast and furious weeks we have. 

Lunch or supper are usually bigger productions than our usual meal during the week.  If we cook lunch, then I make sure to have enough for leftovers that night and vice versa for the next days meal on Monday.

Sunday afternoons are usually spent at our barn working the heifers, in our garden, or fishing in our ponds.  And some times it's just catching up with the family and grandparents or paying them a visit.  I can remember Sundays being the day we always went to my grandfathers and played Spite and Malice.  We'd play for hours and always had the best time.  He'd usually surprise us with a watermelon or my step-grandmother would have a fabulous dessert to eat or cooked a big lunch. 

This past weekend I cooked a large pot roast with vegetables that was right up there with the best of the meals I've cooked most recently.  The cut of the beef was the most important factor in making this pot roast. You must always make sure when you can to choose a roast to make sure it's a 'select or prime grade' of beef that has the USDA (US Department of Agriculture) shield on the package label.  Many meat markets can fool you with a labeling of choice or prime.  If it doesn't have the USDA label, you simply are taking a risk at purchasing a lesser cut of meat thereby cooking one tough roast.  I've sadly made this mistake before and it's really disappointing to sit down to a great looking meat that is as tough as a piece of leather strap to eat! 

For more information on great cuts of beef I have linked three sources below that has a wealth of information. 

Certified Hereford Beef  - What we proudly raise and serve our family!

Prime Steakhouses - great information on all cuts of high grade beef! 

Follow this link for the USDA's recommendations for safe temperatures for beef .

I cooked this roast in my large Le Creuset 5 1/2 quart round French Oven that Scott got me one year for Christmas.  He told me after he choked on the price that I'd better use it A LOT!  I can safely say we have and it was well worth the price and he has reaped the benefits from it. 

Honestly, you can use any type of pan to cook a roast in though.  I've used large metal pans from the grocery store, wrapping several roast together when cooking for large crowds.  And I've used glass baking dishes like the Pyrex 13 x 9 brand rectangular dishes wrapped with foil as well.  Although I didn't use foil of course with my Le Creuset, I highly suggest it with the metal pans and Pyrex as it makes cleanup so much easier. 

In discussing this recipe with my mom, she reminded me how she always put green bell peppers in her pot roast along with the other vegetables.  I know that would make it even better and the smell coming out your oven would be even better! 

Many people braise their roast before that place the vegetable on top or in the oven to cook.  Braising is simply cooking the roast on a medium high heat to seal in the juices.  I, however have rarely done that and find my roast are still great by simply roasting it.

This roast took right at 2 1/2 hours to cook.  It's perfect meal to place in your oven when you have other things to do on a Sunday afternoon!

***I laughed out loud at my husband as he walked in as I was taking pictures of our meal (my girls are now used to me taking pictures of food - all the time) As he walked in he was like,  "that's not my plate is it?!"  He thought the large roast picture at the top of this post was his plate! 

The Ranch Kitchen's Country Pot Roast

1 large Prime or Select Beef Chuck Roast
2 onions, sliced and quartered
8 - 10 red potatoes, quartered
8 carrots, cleaned and chopped 2 inch sections
1 package of brown gravy mix, powdered
4 tbsp. Tony Chachere's Spice N' Herb Seasoning  http://shop.tonychachere.com/spice-n-herb-seasoning-5-oz-p-21722.html
1 tbsp. Original Mixed-Up Pepper Marinade & Seasoning by Jane's Krazy Mixed Up Seasonings

***chopped celery, green bell peppers would be great additions to this roast.

Place roast in your pot seasoning generously with Tony Chachere's Spice N' Herb Seasoning and Jane's Krazy Original Mixed-Up Pepper Marinade.  I used the Spice N' Herb to the point that it's covers every square inch of the meat.  Gently pepper the roast with the Mixed-Up Pepper Marinade.

Place cubed potatoes, carrots, and onions in layers on top of your roast.  Top with package of brown gravy powdered mix on top of vegetables.  This will steam and cook along with your roast and vegetables and help you have the most amazing pan juices! 

Gently against the side of your pot pour in enough water (about 3 - 4 cups) to come up the sides of your roast and pan by 3/4.  Place  the roast in an oven that has been preheated to 350 - 375 degrees for 2 1/2 hours.   I usually cook a little higher than most in my oven at 375 degrees.  We personally like our roast cooked to a internal temperature of 165 degrees if you use a thermometer or when sliced it has a slight pink center. 

Place your lid on your roast and go have some fun!  In 2 1/2 hours you'll have a great meal that will smell heavenly as you go about your afternoon of relaxation. 

***Make sure that before you slice your roast that you allow it to sit for at least five minutes so that the juices can 'seal' in your meat and not all run out. This is a really important step. 

I like to serve my pot roast with a side salad, fresh purple hull peas, and bread of some kind. 

Scott's plate!

Country Pot Roast Leftover Stew

Quick Recipe:

Sometimes I'll take my left over roast, shred it, and along with the left over vegetables make a quick stew the next day.  I'll add one can each of beef broth, drained whole kernel corn, green beans, Lima beans, juice left in can stewed tomatoes, extra seasoning, an extra onion, and couple of cups of water. Bring it all to a boil and another great dinner is on the table in no time! 



Alise @ The Ranch Kitchen

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