This is my recipe for the easiest, most lovely pot roast ever. Fork tender, with a rich, garlicky au-jus; its the ultimate comfort food.
I usually throw this in the oven on a cold day when we're going to be hanging around the house and the thought of something savory at the end of the day sounds good. When the roast has been in the oven for a while, the whole house begins to fill with its wonderful aroma and my family will start wandering into the kitchen asking me what I'm making.
Two Hours Ahead of Time:
Take the roast out of the refrigerator and bring it up to room temperature. This takes about an hour or two. Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees. I always use the convection oven because the roast always seems to be twice as tender in much less time as when I use the regular oven.
Be sure to dry the meat off with paper towels before you put it in the pot, so you get a good sear on it. Salt both sides of the meat with kosher salt.
Put a little olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot and put the heat on medium.
Note on choice of pot:
Make sure you always remember to follow the manufacturers instructions. I unfortunately learned this from my experience with a tin meltdown in a new copper pot! A sad, sorry story for another day. If using a Le Creuset Dutch Oven, you need to add the oil to the pot and then let it heat up. Damage can occur to the pot if it is heated without anything in it. Also, Le Creuset sears on medium heat, if you can believe it. Almost learned this the hard way, too!
For those who, like me, are obsessed with kitchen equipment, David Lebovitz (Living the Sweet Life in Paris), food blogger and author of My Paris Kitchen, has written a really interesting post about his visit to the Le Creuset Factory. His site is an informative, fascinating read, loaded with vignettes about his adventures in cooking, creating, and enjoying his truly sweet life. Check it out!
Searing the Pot Roast:
After the oil gets good and hot (shimmering), place the meat in the pan. You should hear it sear as it hits the pan. If you don't, take it out of the pan immediately and try again when the pan is hotter.
Prepping the Roast for the Oven:
After the meat has a good amount of brown sear on it, flip it over and sear the other side. I do this with two pairs of kitchen tongs. Now, add pepper to this side.
After there is good color on the second side, layer ½ inch slices of onion under the roast.
Add the beef broth.
The broth should reach high enough up the roast to almost cover it. Approximately ¼ inch from the top of the roast. Then add about 5 whole cloves of garlic.
Pot Roast Ready for the Oven:
Then, all you have to do is put the roast in the oven and let it do its thing for about 4 hours (convection) or 6 hours (regular). The roast is done when you can pull it apart with a fork and there is a lovely, dense au-jus in the bottom of the pan. We love to serve this with a mushroom risotto or with tortellini. Enjoy!