Okay, so I guess reallllly, any Pot Roast should melt in your mouth. I just thought that sounded better than Plain 'ol Pot Roast. Whether you use a whole roast, a London Broil cut, cook it on the stove, in the oven, or even a slow cooker, slow and low is what it's all about. It's not necessarily a sexy dish, but it definitely falls into comfort food territory, and with all the crazy weather going on right now, who couldn't use a little comfort food?
3 lb beef bottom round roast
2 lg sweet onions
1 stalk celery
3 lg carrots
2 lg potatoes (or 10-12 tiny)
2 cloves garlic
1 T dried rosemary (reduce if using fresh)
1 T dried thyme
1 T flour
2 T red wine vinegar
14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes
(zesty jalapeno or with green chilies)
1 can water
Salt (I prefer Kosher)
Pepper (fresh-cracked is best)
Make sure you always start by letting the meat sit out for a while so it's not going directly from a cold fridge to a hot pan.
Start by chopping one of your onions, the celery, one of your carrots, and smashing the garlic.
Pat the roast dry with paper towels, then generously rub all over with salt and pepper. Whenever I'm rubbing salt and pepper onto a roast, to avoid cross-contamination, I'll pour the salt into a little prep bowl or onto my cutting board, then grind plenty of pepper over it so I can pick it up from there rather than reaching for a salt spoon or pepper mill with hands that have been touching a raw roast.
Coat the bottom of your pot with olive oil and sear the roast well on all sides. I think it's an optical illusion because the bottom of this new pot is so shiny, but it looks like I'm using a ton of oil here - that's not the case. You just need enough to create a thin coat. After a few minutes on each side, the roast should release easily from the bottom - meaning it will tell you when it's ready to flip. Don't force it. You'll just tear the beef and leave remnants on the bottom of the pan to burn. Remove the roast from the pan and set aside.
There will be browned bits on the bottom of the pan - that's fine. Throw in the chopped onion, celery, carrot, and garlic. Once the veggies start to release a bit of liquid, that should be enough to deglaze the bottom of the pan. If you think it needs a little help, go ahead and add a splash of water. Stir well to coat the veggies in all that flavor, cook until the onions start to soften, then stir in the rosemary and thyme.
Sprinkle the flour all over the veggies and stir to blend in and roast for a minute or so. This will sort of help the flavors cling to everything now, and then help to thicken your liquid into a gravy.
Next add the red wine vinegar, tomatoes, and water. The acid of the vinegar will aid in tenderizing and also add a balance of flavor. The tomatoes add flavor and a hint of heat, and you can use the can for the water so you don't need to dirty a measuring cup.
Bring the liquid mixture up to a boil for a minute or two, then reduce to a low simmer and add the roast back to the pan, along with any juices that may have accumulated.
Let that simmer for 2.5 to 3 hrs, giving it a stir once or twice and flipping the roast. When the roast is tender (you should be able to stick a knife though it with little resistance), remove the roast from the pot again and set aside. If you have a boat motor/immersion blender, you can do this right in the pan; otherwise, transfer the liquid/veggies to a blender or food processor (in batches if necessary) and process to liquefy - the veggies will give the liquid some body. If using a food processor or blender, be sure to allow for steam to escape! Return the liquid to the pot, then the roast as well.
Rough chop the remaining onion and carrot and add those to the pot, along with your potatoes - chopped if using large. If using fingerlings, you can throw them in whole. I used small yellow potatoes and just cut them in half. Bring back up to a simmer and let cook another half hour or so until the veggies are tender. By then, the meat should be almost falling apart.
Transfer to a serving platter and top with a bit of gravy to keep moist. You can either shred the beef like pulled pork, or slice it in to thick slabs to keep it from falling apart while you slice. Either way, if there are leftovers, I like to top it all with a bit of gravy before refrigerating.