I didn’t take any pictures, but I want to say we had a really tasty pot roast yesterday. It was just a tad over 2 pounds; a piece of chuck shoulder pot roast at $3.99 a pound. I sprinkled it with salt and pepper and then seared the bejesus out of it in a little bit of olive oil in a dutch oven. I was careful not to move it around a whole lot, though I did try right at the beginning. As it hit the pan it stuck! But, I remembered what Rachael Ray said once that the meat would be released once the sear was on it. She was right. Once it was seared I asked DeeDude to hold it aside while I slipped in a half a chopped onion on the bottom of the pan. The meat sat on top of that for the duration of cooking.
Where the recipe called for wine I substituted: 2 cups of water, 2 teaspoons of sugar and 1 beef bouillon cube. What didn’t get measured, but was added to this liquid was: A really healthy squirt of catsup, a splash of Worcestershire sauce, a really healthy dose (I emptied what was in the bottle) of Teriyaki sauce and a good splash of balsamic vinegar. I poured this around the meat. I had based all of this on the recommendations from Elise at Simply Recipes, though I ended up veering way far away from her recipe. I used more liquid and not the wine or garlic or seasoning she recommended. What I needed was the technique and the time and that onion at the bottom of the pan.
Once everything was in the pot and the lid was on (little steam vent was closed) all of this simmered away on a really low heat for about 2 ¾ hours. I was shooting for 3 hours total cooking time, but at the 2 ¾ mark I loaded in 4 chopped carrots and 4 potatoes to cook the last 15 minutes of the 3 hours. It was absolutely exquisite.
Oh, and I made a gravy too. The liquid that was left after the cooking was done was to die for, it was so tasty. But, I wanted more for a gravy, so I added another bouillon cube and a cup of water, stirred that around until it dissolved.
I thickened it the old fashioned way, the way my mother always did, with a flour and water mixture. Again, I didn't measure, but I did a new technique with it that I thought was pretty neat. Inevitably, I don't stir the flour and water enough to get all the lumps out. Yesterday, I filled a cup with water, loaded in some flour and stirred it for awhile with a fork. Then, the brainstorm! I poured it through a sieve and all the little wanna be lumps were left behind! It was the smoothest gravy I've made in years.