I’m almost done with all my Christmas wrapping. I have two more gifts to buy both for my husband. I wish I could tell you what they are… you’d laugh your tail off. My girlfriend, Andrea, described them as the equivalent of Jimmy giving me a vacuum cleaner for Christmas. Believe me when I say, that would be a huge mistake! But I know my husband and I know he’ll be pleased. The beauty of this year is that although I have no money my modest gifts all have thought, consideration and much love behind them. For instance, and I can say this because I don’t think either of my two sisters read my blog, (thanks, y’all), I have for both Cynthia and Pamela a pretty little bag full of travel size shampoo and conditioner tubes. I get them every month in my hair color kit that comes in the mail. And as I’ve been using this hair color system for a few years now I have BAGS of these travel size products stored in my closet. They’ll love them! Of the highest quality these hair products enhance hair texture and color. Humble gifts, yes, but ones that will give sincere pleasure. I’ve taken that perspective with this meal, this humble and ordinary pot roast. It is pretty much a no-fail dish which gives such satisfaction and appreciation to the diner. My entire family will be coming over to our house this weekend to revel in each other’s company, catching up on family news and achievements of the year. It will give me great joy to serve them this simple but fall-apart tender and delicious dinner. That’s part of everyone’s Christmas gift. Glorious, unforgettable dinners at our house. Dinners full of laughter between cousins and secrets whispered in corners. More warm and loving memories to store in our ample collection. For those of you who’d like to know just what exactly it is I bought for Jimmy, keep reading. Jim, this is a spoiler alert. If you don’t want to know what you’re getting this Christmas close up this page and move on to answering your never-ending e-mails.
He’s getting a shovel. I broke his old shovel while I was digging up a palm we lost during Hurricane Irma. Now he’s getting a brand new one! But that’s not all he’s getting. I also bought him a new pool filter. Nice, huh? It’s all fine. He’ll enjoy his utilitarian gifts but most of all he’ll enjoy family time and great meals. Especially this one. This dish is infinitely easy, however, it cannot be rushed. If you don’t have the time it’s best to save this pot roast for another day. It is of paramount importance that the meat is well-browned on all sides. The browning adds mucho flavor to the dish. You’re only searing the meat not cooking it through. The hours in the oven will slow-roast it to tender, savory perfection. I don’t include potatoes in this dish as it reminds me too much of beef stew, which is fine, except I don’t want beef stew. I want pot roast. I serve it with mashed potatoes prepared with real butter, some cream cheese and a generous suggestion of sour cream. The juices left in the pot make a fabulous gravy if a bit of corn starch is whisked in and the gravy allowed to thicken. Mushrooms may be browned and included in the pot but I find they have a tendency to get soggy so it’s up to you. Oh, and the leftovers make for tremendous sandwiches when served up on toasted sour dough bread. Merry Christmas everyone! Here’s to getting it all done with peace and gladness in our hearts!
Classic Sunday Pot Roast
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- one 2 1/2-3 pound boneless beef shoulder roast (much less fat than a chuck roast)
- 6 small onions, peeled and cut in half from end to end
- 1 head of garlic, cut in half lengthwise
- 5 carrots, washed, ends cut but not peeled, cut into 3-4″ lengths
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 cups beef broth, don’t fret if you don’t have any. Chicken broth works just fine!
- 2-3 sprigs fresh marjoram, if you can find it
- 5 or 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 5 or 6 sprigs fresh rosemary
- salt and pepper throughout the cooking process
- Pre-heat oven to 300°.
- Over medium-high, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a heavy Dutch oven which has a lid.
- Add the onions to the pot and brown on both sides. Remove to a waiting bowl.
- Add the carrots and the garlic halves cut side down. Move the carrots to brown a bit on all sides. Remove from the pot and set aside with the onions.
- Add the third tablespoon of oil to the pot, salt and pepper all sides of the beef and sear all sides until it has been browned all over.
- Remove the beef from the pot and reserve with the vegetables.
- Pour the wine and broth in the pot and with a wooden spoon scrape off all the browned bits and season with salt and pepper.
- Place the roast back in the pot and nestle the vegetables around it.
- Tuck the fresh herbs around the pot and on top of the meat.
- Place the lid on the pot and roast for 4-5 hours.
- Check the meat for doneness at the 4 hour mark. Continue roasting until fall-apart tender.
- Shred the meat with two forks prior to serving.