Fall has arrived in the Bay Area, and with fall I found myself craving a full Sunday supper. Pot roast fits the bill perfectly—warm, rich, and savory, keeping you warm from the belly-out! This is a wonderful Sunday meal because for the most part, you pop it in the oven and forget about it. It also makes your kitchen smell delightful all afternoon.
I decided to keep it simple: chuck roast, mushrooms, onion, garlic, some herbs, and some broth for the pot roast. I fully intended to throw some carrots in too, but in the interest of getting the roast in the oven, I skipped them. And didn’t miss them too much.
As for the parsnip-potato mash, it’s easy enough and I’ve made it several times, but this time made the tiniest tweak–nutmeg. Nutmeg really amps up the parsnip-potato mash. You can leave it out and have a very tasty dish, but the nutmeg takes it to another level. I was very very pleased. And so was my taste tester. I always know I’ve struck gold when it looks like his eyeballs are going to jump out of his face (it’s charming, really).
So let’s get back to how we transform this guy into a delicious Sunday dinner.
Pot Roast & Mushroom Gravy
- 1 3.5-4 lb chuck roast
- 4-5 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 2 yellow onions, sliced
- 1 lb cremini mushrooms, quartered or sliced thick (I bought pre-sliced because they were actually cheaper)
- 3-4 c beef stock
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
- Handful of fresh thyme sprigs
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt & Pepper
- Olive oil
- 2.5 lbs yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1.5 lbs parsnips (about 3 large), peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1/4-to-1/2 tsp ground nutmeg (to taste)
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 3/4 c half-and-half (I never promised it was a light dish)
- Salt & Pepper
The To-Do List:
- Preheat oven to 325°F
- Coat the bottom of your dutch oven with a thin layer of olive oil and heat over medium high heat for about a minute, until your oil shimmers.
- Pat your meat dry and season generously with salt and pepper on all sides and put it in your dutch oven to brown on all sides. When the meat releases easily from the pan and has a deep caramel crust, it’s ready to flip to the other side, about 5 minutes a side should do the trick. Make sure you get the narrow sides too, which might mean needing to do some tong-meat work to get it to rest on its thinner side. You can do it; I believe in you!
- Once all brown and crusty, remove your meat from the pan and place it on a plate to hang out.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add a little more olive oil. Wait about 10 seconds for that to heat through, then add in your onions and mushrooms, as well as a pinch of salt and pepper and your garlic cloves.
- Now cook cook cook them until they soften and release some of their juices, about 7-10 minutes (stir every few minutes to spread the love among all shrooms and onions).
- Add your pot roast back to the dutch oven, including any juices that might have come out (I temporarily removed some onions/mushrooms to make room) and nestle it in among your onions and mushrooms. If you removed some mushrooms and onions to make room, add them back around the roast.
- Nestle your rosemary, thyme, and bay leaves in the onions and mushrooms around the meat. Go on, dunk ’em!
- Pour in beef stock until it covers almost all the way up the sides of your roast (I used about 3 cups, it might take a little more or less for you depending on the size of your roast and of your pan). Add a few grinds of black pepper for good measure.
- Bring to a simmer, cover, and move to your oven. Leave it there. Every once in a while, carefully open up the lid and spoon the liquid over your roast. I say carefully because you don’t want to be like me and steam-burn yourself the first time you lift the lid. As I learned in Chem1A, steam burns worse than hot water of the same temperature. Betcha didn’t think you were ever going to get a chemistry lesson from me! Guess what? You never will again, because that’s all I’ve got.
- Back to food.
- After about 3-4 hours, your meat is done.
- Pull the meat out, put it on a plate, and cover it with foil to keep it hot. Pull out what thyme and rosemary stalk you can. Return your dutch oven to the stove over medium heat. You’re going to want to simmer this stuff for a little bit (maybe 7 minutes), just so it cooks down a tad. You know, concentrate that flavah.
- Optional: Take your immersion blender and stick it in there to break down some of the onions/garlic/mushrooms. Just a few quick pulses is all I did, but it made it nice and thick pretty fast. No worries if you don’t.
- After you’ve simmered/blended your gravy a bit, add your pot roast back and coat it with the gravy before serving it up.
- After your pot roast has been in the oven, put your chopped parsnips and potatoes in a big pot and cover them with water (water should be a few inches over them). Generously salt your water (I used about 2 handfuls of kosher salt). Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer, cooking them for about 20-25 minutes or until you can easily pierce them with a fork.
- While you are letting those taters cook, melt your stick of butter with your half and half, a few grinds of black pepper, and your nutmeg. Add just a pinch of salt.
- Ok back to your taters and parsnips. Mash them up a bit either with a potato masher (or, if you are masher-less like me, a wooden spoon).
- Pour your delicious butter nutmeg mix into your potato/parsnip semi-mash…and get your immersion blender out again.
- Whip those suckers into shape. With your immersion blender. Season to taste as needed.
- Take a picture of what it looks like and share it with me. Apparently I didn’t think that was important. My b.
Now plate up!
This was so satisfying. Next time I’d probably add something green to the plate, but on that cold Sunday I wasn’t missing it 🙂
Enjoy! And stay warm, folks!