Chef Perry’s Perfect Pot-Roast

Perfect Pot Roast

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.

Perfect Pot Roast recipe
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.

Perfect Pot Roast recipe
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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.

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Add beef broth, vinegar, Worcestershire, and bay leaf to pan; bring to a simmer. Cover slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours.

Perfect Pot Roast recipe
Carefully remove potatoes and set aside. Add the carrots and roasted mushrooms. Cover and cook 2 more hours. Remove bay leaf from cooker, discard.

Defatting beef stock
Pour off juice and defat, heat the resulting broth in a medium saucepan to simmer. Combine flour and butter to make a smooth paste.

Thickening with butter and flour

Whisk the mixture vigorously into the simmering broth until thickened. Taste for seasonings, adding salt and pepper, vinegar or Worcestershire sauce as desired.

adding butter to stock

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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.

Perfect Pot Roast


Skillet Seared Rib Steak Dinner

Skillet seared rib steaks with spinach

A rib steak is a beef steak sliced from the rib primal of a beef animal, with rib bone attached. In the United States, the term rib-eye steak is used for a rib steak with the bone removed; however in some areas, and outside the U.S., the terms are often used interchangeably.

The term “cowboy ribeye” or “cowboy cut” is often used in American restaurants for a bone-in rib eye. The rib eye or “ribeye” was originally, as the name implies, the center best portion of the rib steak, without the bone. In Australia, “ribeye” is used when this cut is served with the bone in. With the bone removed, it is called “Scotch fillet”.

rib steaks

It is both flavorful and tender, coming from the lightly worked upper rib cage area. Its marbling of fat makes it very good for fast and hot cooking.

First and of foremost importance to searing the perfect skillet steak is the skillet.

You need a large, well-seasoned, cast iron skillet (12-16 inch, a similar sized dutch oven will work in a pinch). If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, go buy one. If you’re not willing to buy one, stop reading now, you can’t make this recipe.

Perfect Skillet-Seared Rib Steak

Perfect Skillet-Seared Rib Steak Dinner
2 bone-in rib steaks, at least 1 1/2-inches thick, about 1 pound each
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons grape-seed oil
1/2 cup butter
8-10 cloves of whole peeled garlic
1/2 cup white onion, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup dry Sherry

Pre-heat oven to 300F.

Perfect Skillet-Seared Rib Steak

Pat steaks dry with paper towels. Allow to rest at room temperature for at least 40 minutes and up to 2 hours.

Heat oil in a large cast iron skillet over high heat until heavily smoking. Season steaks liberally with salt and pepper, add steaks, onions, and garlic to the skillet and cook for 3-5 minutes per side, flipping just once.

Perfect Skillet-Seared Rib Steak

Remove steaks to a pre-warmed baking dish and place in preheated oven. Leave onions and garlic in the skillet, add parsley.

Reduce the heat under the pan to medium, and let cool slightly (add a little more oil if necessary).

Sauteing garlic and onion

Add sherry and butter and saute, stirring and scarping up any browned bits left from the meat, simmer until liquid is reduced by half. Replace steaks to the skillet and flip to coat evenly.

Sauteing garlic and onion

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Move steaks and sauce to a warm baking dish and place in the oven to finish (do NOT wipe the skillet clean!)

Cook to an internal temp of 130F. Remove steaks from oven and spoon with pan sauce. Tent loosely with foil. Allow to rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Seared rib steak

Meanwhile, cook spinach in skillet (see below.)

Baked sweet potatoes with chili butter

Baked Chili Sweet Potatoes
(Cook before the steaks, finish right before serving)

4 medium swet potatoes
2 tsp. Mexican chili powder
4 Tbs. butter
Salt & pepper to taste

Baked sweet potatoes

Preheat oven to 400°F.

With a sharp knife, slash sweet potato skin 4-5 times.

Place in pre-heated oven and bake until tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Baked sweet potatoes

Slice each potato open, lengthwise, and squeeze gently from the ends to create a pocket.

Using a fork, fluff and mix up the internal part of the potatoes with salt & pepper.

Baked sweet potatoes with chili butter

Place 1 Tbs. butter into each pocket, and sprinkle with chili powder. Set aside and allow butter to melt before serving.  

Sauteed spinach with lemon and almonds

Sauteed Fresh Spinach
2 Tb. butter
4 cloves fresh garlic, thinly sliced
2lbs fresh spinach leaves, washed and dried
1 fresh lemon, juiced
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

THIS is the reason (and the only reason) we didn’t finish our steaks in the skillet.

Over medium heat, add butter and garlic, cooking briefly, then add all spinach to the skillet and toss frequently until starting to reduce.

Sprinkle all with fresh lemon juice, toss again, sprinkle with almonds and serve.

Skillet Rib Steaks with garlic and onions

Plate all, spoon additional pan sauce over the steaks, and serve.


Chef Perry