Monday, June 20, 2011

Sunday night pot roast

I am on a mission to finish all the beef in my freezer before August or September - when 6 Ranch butchers their cows, and I get another freezer full of beef.  So, I have about 3 months to eat quite a lot of beef.  The mission is going to involve grabbing whatever package of meat touches my hand first and making a meal of it.  The first cut I grabbed was a rump roast.  What do you do with a rump roast besides pot roast?

I have before given praise to the Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook (see here and here).  This is a recipe I have made numerous times, and it really is the easiest thing you could imagine.  How does beef, onion, water, flour, salt and pepper become one of the best pot roasts with gravy I have ever had?  I don't even LIKE onions.

I don't know the answer, but I do know I love this pot roast.

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 chuck roast, 3.5 pounds
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 cup boiling water

2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 plus 1 1/2 cups water

1. To prepare pot roast, heat the olive oil in a 4-inch deep, 10- or 12- inch cast iron skillet (as you can see from the pictures, I used my cast iron dutch oven instead) over medium-high heat.  Season the roast with salt and pepper.  Place the roast in the skillet and brown for 5 minutes on each side.  Add the onions and boiling water.  Cover tightly with a lid and simmer gently over low heat until tender, about 2 hours. (Or, alternatively, cover and bake at 325F for 2.5 hours, which is what I always do.)

2.  To make gravy from the juices, transfer the meat to a platter and keep warm.  In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and the 1/2 cup water until well blended.  Stir the mixture into the juices in the pan.  Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring, until the sauce thickens.  Gradually add the 1 1/2 cups water (for a creamy gravy, you can instead use 1/2 cup water and 1 cup heavy cream, which I sometimes do), and continue to stir until smooth and thickened.  Spoon over the sliced pot roast.

I roasted some asparagus as a side, and enjoyed my meal while watching the Mavs beat the Magic for one of the championship series games.  It was a good night.

Bon appetit.

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