I’m all about the comfort food and, let’s face it…it doesn’t get much more comforting that a rich, beefy, unctuous beef pot roast.
Now, you can train a monkey to flop a hunk of cow in a crockpot and douse with with French onion soup mix, but for a next-level roast, prepared with a refined French-style layering of flavors you need to do a little more work, a little more attention to detail…a little more love.
Little things like using two steaks instead of a single, thicker roast, allow a better marriage of beef and veggie flavors. Roasting your mushrooms, and sauteing the shallots and garlic allow them to maintain their own distinct flavors, a little acid cuts the rich fattiness of the meat, and cooking your ingredients at varying times allows for a consistent texture, nothing too tough and nothing too mushy. Perfection isn’t easy, but it’s so, so worth it.
And, let’s face it…a cow died for your dinner, you owe him that.
Here’s what I’m talking about…
Chef P’s Pot Roast
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 tsp bacon drippings
2 boneless chuck roast steaks, trimmed (3-pounds total)
2 Tbsp coarse sea salt
2 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp porcini mushroom powder
2 cups coarsely chopped shallots
8 garlic cloves
3 cup beef stock
1 bay leaf
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 cups peeled baby carrots
12 oz white mushrooms, halved and roasted
2 pounds russet potatoes, unpeeled and cut in half
1/4 cup soft butter + 1/4 cup flour
Sea salt to taste
Fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
Roast your mushrooms and set aside.
Heat olive oil and bacon drippings in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle steaks with salt, pepper, and porcini powder, dredge in flour.
Add shallots and garlic cloves to the skillet; sauté 8 minutes or well browned and crusted, remove solids, and set aside. Add steaks to pan; cook 5 minutes, turning to brown on both sides. Remove meat from pan.
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Return one browned steak to slow cooker. Layer onions and garlic, then cut potatoes over the top. Dust with more mushroom powder, and top with second steak.
Add beef broth, vinegar, Worcestershire, and bay leaf to pan; bring to a simmer. Cover slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours.
Carefully remove potatoes and set aside. Add the carrots and roasted mushrooms. Cover and cook 2 more hours. Remove bay leaf from cooker, discard.
Pour off juice and defat, heat the resulting broth in a medium saucepan to simmer. Combine flour and butter to make a smooth paste.
Whisk the mixture vigorously into the simmering broth until thickened. Taste for seasonings, adding salt and pepper, vinegar or Worcestershire sauce as desired.
Shred meat with 2 forks, return to slow-cooker along with broth and all veggies. Stir and allow to warm through. Garnish with cilantro leaves, sprinkle with coarse black pepper, smoked paprika, and serve with hot dinner rolls.
BTW, like most roasted meals, this dish impoves with age. It’s better the next day, it’s divine on day three.