Pot Roast (2)

A little less than a year ago, I posted a recipe for pot roast, which I made based on Alton Brown's recipe. Well, chuck roast was on sale at the market so I decided to make a roast completely on my own without Alton's help this time. This one is cooked on the stove top instead of the oven - but you could definitely do it in a slow cooker too - and I got to use some of the herbs in my garden to flavor it, which was cool.

2 lb. chuck roast
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 slices bacon
1/2 onion
2 to 3 cloves of garlic
2 cups beef broth
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
Start by seasoning the meat with salt, pepper, cumin, and cayenne. I like the cayenne because it adds a little spiciness and the cumin adds smokiness. If you hate either of these flavors, you can leave them out.

I used elephant garlic (because that's what we had) so I cut it up into regular garlic clove-sized pieces. If you're normal and you have normal garlic, just give each clove a smash. Give the onion a rough chop - I just left it in two big chunks. The onion and garlic will both break down during the cooking process so the prep doesn't matter much in the end.
Heat up a pan that's large enough to hold all the ingredients and the roast over a low flame and add bacon. Let it cook until the fat has rendered out and then push the bacon off to the side. If there isn't much fat in the pan (maybe if the bacon was too lean), add some olive oil and then toss in the onions and garlic. Let them cook until they get a bit of color and then push them off to the side with the bacon. Place the chuck roast in the pan to get a good sear on each side. Then remove it and put on a plate.
Deglaze the pan with about 1/2 cup of stock. Use a spoon to scrape up any yummy bits of bacon, onion, garlic, and/or beef that stuck to the bottom of the pan. Then return the roast to the pan, add the remaining stock (it should come halfway up the side of the meat) and add in the herbs. Make sure to tuck the herbs into the braising liquid to make sure the flavor can permeate all of the ingredients.
Reduce the heat as low as you can and then place the lid on the pan and let the roast cook for 3 hours. You might want to come back every hour or so to flip the meat, but that's not 100% necessary.
After three hours, the roast will have shrunk quite a bit. And if you use a fork or tongs, you should be able to just rip a piece right off. It should be that tender. If it isn't, you'll want to let the roast cook a bit longer.
If it's ready, you can plate it.
And then work on the sauce. Crank the heat up to high and let the sauce furiously boil until it reduces to a glaze. There might be a lot of fat/oil on top of the glaze so if you have a gravy separator, that would be useful. Or, you can pour the sauce into a tall cup and then use a turkey baster to suck out the fat... or you could just pour it off. Oh, and don't forget to fish out the bacon pieces and stems from the herbs.
Pour some of the glaze/sauce over the top of the roast.
And then slice a few portions for you and your dinner guests. It's tender enough that you don't need a fancy knife. I used a dull steak knife and it went through like a hot (dull steak) knife through butter.
You can pour a little more glaze/sauce over the sliced portions for good measure (and presentation).
Serve with a carb and a few vegetables. I chose coconut peas and rice, but jazzed it up with a few toasted and chopped cashews (YUM), an arugula salad, and roasted carrots.
Tender, moist, flavorful, amazing pot roast, I promise!

Here's the recipe page:


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