Do not fear the pot roast

I really think pot roasts get a bad rap. Too many people simply feel obligated to make them after church on Sunday afternoons which more often than not results in a very bland, boring roast.  Pot roasts need to be revived! They are absolutely the quintessential Sunday meal. But just because they are a classic doesn’t mean you can’t spice things up a little bit!

Since I have been pretending that it is actually fall here in Dallas and that temperatures are cooler,  I thought this Sunday would be the perfect time to work on my pot roast recipe. Wes has been kind enough to play along.

After an incredibly busy weekend, I was craving a Sunday dinner that was comforting and yummy, but not time consuming.  What started off as an idea to make PW’s “drippy beef” sandwiches, turned into a full on pot roast, complete with Yorkshire puddings (popovers).  Yorkshire puddings were an absolute must in my house growing up. They are perfect for stuffing with roast beef, or sopping up all the delicious juices that come from the roast. 

Early Sunday afternoon, I began prepping dinner.  Low and slow is the way to go with this pot roast, so I made sure to have it in the oven by 2, giving it at least 5 hours of cook time.  I didn’t really follow any recipe in particular, just combined a few different flavors that I’ve tried before.  This also could be done in a crock pot if you didn’t want to heat up your house too much.  Although, my pot roasts have always turned out better when I have cooked them in a dutch oven at 275 instead of a crock pot. 

I also made sure to tease the dogs a little bit.

Ready, set….

Don’t worry, I’m not completely cruel. They got plenty of dog treats after dinner was prepped.

Even though it was a little early in the season to bring out a pot roast, Wes seemed to love it. I heard countless “mmms” at the table, so I’m counting this one as a success. It will be even more perfect once temperatures drop below 70. 

Sunday Pot Roast

Inspired by PW Drippy Beef sandwiches

3 pound roast
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 cup red wine
2 cans beef stock
1 can water
8 ounces peperoncini peppers and juice
Worcestershire (maybe 3 tbsps or so)
Dash of soy sauce
2 bay leaves
2 tsp Oregano
2 tsp Thyme
1 tsp Parsley flakes
2 tsp salt
Dash red pepper flakes
8 carrots cut into pieces
10 red potatos quartered

Preheat oven to 275.

Lightly salt and pepper the roast, then coat lightly with flour.  Bring heat to medium high and warm olive oil in a dutch oven.  Cook the roast for about 2 minutes per side in the olive oil, until it is a light brown color.  Remove roast from the dutch oven and set aside.

Add butter to the dutch oven and saute onions and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes.  Pour in red wine and scrape the bottom of the dutch oven loosening up anything that was cooked on to the bottom or sides of the pan.  This stuff is full of flavor!

Once the wine has cooked down a bit, place roast back in pot. Pour in beef stock, water, peperoncini peppers, worcestershire, soy, and spices.
Cook for about 5 hours.  Adjust seasonings to taste when roast is finished.
I like to shred the beef, but you can try and cut it into slices.  It can be difficult to slice because the meat typically will shred itself.  About thirty minutes before the roast is finished, cook the potatos and carrots. I like to do this separately to keep the veggies from getting too mushy. Once they are nearly finished, I add them to the roast to let them cook together for a few minutes. 
As I mentioned earlier, no pot roast is complete without Yorkshire Pudding. There are so many different variations of Yorkshire puddings, but this is the recipe that is from my Nana’s cookbook. Her recipe did not have cheese in it, but I like to sprinkle in a little cheddar cheese into the batter.

Yorkshire puddings

4 eggs
2 cups flour
2 cups milk (2% or whole)
1 tsp salt
Shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter muffin tins making sure to coat completely.

Whisk eggs.  Add in flour, milk, salt, and cheese. Stir until just combined. Do not over mix.  Let batter sit until it reaches room temperature.

Pour batter into muffin tins until they are 3/4 full.  Bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees, then turn heat down to 350 degrees and bake for 15 minutes.  When finished, immediately poke the tops to create a vent for steam and remove from the muffin tins.

And all together now…

Walking into my house yesterday evening to this aroma after spending the afternoon trying to get cats adopted was amazing.  The smell alone immediately made me feel more relaxed. The glass of wine I had soon thereafter also helped.

I’m sure you are reading this thinking pot roasts, seriously? You’re probably even judging me a bit. I mean I’m even a little embarassed that I wrote a whole post about pot roasts.  But, I really want to encourage you to give them a chance. To me,  eating a homemade pot roast feels the same as cuddling up on the couch bundled in your favorite blanket with a cup of hot chocolate in one hand and a homemade chocolate chip cookie in the other. Who doesn’t love that?

And, more importantly, this pot roast comforted me last night when my tv went out during Kyle Chandler’s acceptance speech at the Emmys.  I was near tears.  Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.

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