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Pot Roast Basics for the Man in the Kitchen

When you eat a bite of a tender roast, you’re enjoying comfort food at its best. Whether it’s being served at an elegant dinner party, a romantic dinner, or a Sunday family get together, pot roast is a recipe staple. Traditional pot roasts are large cuts of beef browned and slow cooked in liquid until tender.

If you’re a man who knows his way around a kitchen, you’ll want a roast in your cooking arsenal. But before you get started, you’ll need to know some basics.

The Basics

For the perfect roast every time, follow these instructions:

Choose your meat: Popular cuts of meat include those that tend to be tough yet become tender after slow cooking. These include chuck roast, arm roast, rump roast, and brisket. The average size for a roast is three to five pounds. Be sure to trim excess fat off the roast before cooking or have your butcher do it for you.

Choose your cooking method: Pot roasts are cooked on the stove, in the oven, or in a slow cooker. Since all three methods get the job done, how you cook your roast is your preference.

Prep your ingredients: Most roast recipes include root vegetables and seasonings to make it a complete one-pot meal. These usually include potatoes, turnips, fresh green beans, carrots, celery, and/or onions. Prepping your ingredients ahead of time ensures they’re ready when you need them.

Brown the meat: Browning (or searing) adds flavor and texture to your roast. To brown, first rub your roast lightly with salt and pepper. Next, heat one tablespoon olive oil in a Dutch oven or large skillet and brown meat approximately two minutes per side.

Cook the roast: Pot roasts cook slowly and require several hours of cooking time. Follow these guidelines for each cooking method:

  • Stovetop: Fill a large Dutch oven or cast iron pot with enough liquid (water, tomato juice, or beef broth) to cover about two-thirds of the roast; add onion and seasonings according to your recipe. Bring the water to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer the roast for two hours. Add the remaining vegetables and simmer until tender—about an hour.
  • Oven: Place onions and roast in a roasting pan or large covered casserole; add liquid and seasonings according to your recipe. Cover with foil or an oven-proof lid and bake at 325 degrees for two hours. Add remaining vegetables and cook one more hour, until the roast and vegetables are fork tender.
  • Slow cooker: Place the roast in a slow cooker and add vegetables and seasonings; add liquid according to your recipe and cook on low for six to eight hours.

Tips and Tricks

  • If you’re cooking your roast in the oven, you can add all vegetables at the beginning. Simply reduce the heat to 300 degrees and cook for about three hours.
  • Cut your vegetables equally to ensure even cooking.
  • When making a roast on the stove or in the oven, onions are added at the beginning of cook time to add flavor, but they often turn mushy. Adding additional onions with the other vegetables later gives you some that are the perfect consistency for eating.
  • For a delicious crust, lightly coat your roast in flour before browning.

Recipes

Now that you know the basics, check out these pot roast recipes:

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