My mom made a pot roast every other Sunday. On the alternate Sundays we had fried chicken, or a rump roast. I don’t know how she did it- getting four kids ready for church and then minutes after we arrived home, she’d whip up some cornbread and take the pot roast out of the oven. She did not even have to call us in from the yard. We were already at the table. I helped my mom make this dish a hundred times. I wish I’d written down exactly how she did it. She cooked it in her big cast iron Dutch oven- what I always called the “chicken pot” because she used it to fry chicken. Even though I still have that same Dutch oven, it has taken me ten years of trying different options to get the flavor just right. I finally discovered I was leaving out the bay leaf… that was the missing ingredient. Make this recipe for your family. You can be assured that 40 years later, your kids will still remember the taste and the times gathered around the table when you served it.
SUNDAY POT ROAST WITH ONIONS, CARROTS AND POTATOES
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1-(3 pound) chuck roast, trimmed (boneless or bone-in, if you prefer)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 small yellow onions, quartered
3 cups beef broth
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
2 bay leaves
3 thyme sprigs
6 carrots, peeled and halved
6 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered into wedges
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Remove the roast from the fridge. While it is still cold, trim any excess fat from the sides of the cut. In a small bowl, combine the salt and pepper. Season each side of the roast liberally with it. Allow it to sit out for 15 minutes on the counter.
Next, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of flour over each side of the roast, patting it into the top, bottom, and sides.
In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. When the oil and pan are hot, add the roast and sear it well on all sides; approximately 3 minutes for the top and bottom and a minute or so for the sides.
Remove the roast to a plate. Set aside. Add the beef broth a little at a time, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the Worcestershire. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes, whisking occasionally. Remove from heat. Add the onion, bay leaves, and thyme to the pan. Add the roast on top. Cover with the lid and put into the oven at 350° F for 1 ½ hours.
Add the carrots and potatoes. Cook for another hour or until the vegetables are tender (not mushy) and the roast pulls apart easily.
Remove the roast to a plate and shred it. Serve with potatoes, carrots, onion, and a bit of the cooking liquid as gravy.
Note: If you want a thicker gravy, you can make a slurry with flour. Remove the roast and the vegetables to a platter or bowl. Discard the thyme and bay leaves. Add 3 tablespoons of the hot liquid to 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour and whisk until smooth. Turn up the heat under the pan to medium high. Whisk the flour mixture into the cooking liquid and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 2-3 minutes more so you cook out the raw flour taste. If the gravy is too thick, you can add more beef broth as desired. Before serving, check the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper to taste.