Before Sarah and I even started dating about nine years ago, I told my college roommate, “I think I’m going to end up marrying Sarah Adreon.”
How could I be so sure that I would one day marry a girl that I had only known for a few months?
It was simple…she shared the same likes in food. I still remember talking to Sarah an AOL instant messenger one night and finding out that she loved black olives. My heart skipped a beat when I saw those words pop up in my IM screen. I imagined us sitting together at Thanksgiving dinner, enjoying our meal with black olives on our fingers.
But it wasn’t just that we both liked the same food, it was also the fact that we both disliked the same food.
Ham and bean soup.
Beef pot roast.
Those were meals that we just could not stand growing up. It wasn’t that our parents made these meals awful, we just didn’t like them. You know how it is…we all had meals that our parents made that we just didn’t like. If our parents made any of these meals now, we would eat them right up! Our tastes have changed over time.
But it wasn’t until a couple years ago that we realized we actually do love pot roast, and we owe it all to Tyler Florence. When we saw Tyler make his Ultimate Pot Roast, we knew it was time to give the meal another try. Holy cow, are we glad that we tried it!!! There are two keys to this pot roast that really make the meal. The first is to get a nice crust on the outside of the roast before braising it, which adds tons of flavor to the roast. The second trick is to add a can of crushed tomatoes. The tomatoes give the roast a whole new level of flavor! Pair the pot roast with some roasted butternut squash and sweet potatoes and you have yourself the perfect Sunday meal!
Sunday Pot Roast
Slightly adapted from Tyler Florence
Total Time: 3 hours and 20 minutes
1 (2 to 3 pound) piece beef chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 cup water
2 yellow onion, halved
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 bunch baby carrots
2 celery stalks, sliced
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves
Season all sides of the beef with a fair amount of salt and pepper.
In a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot that has a tight cover; heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over moderately high heat. Brown the meat on all sides, taking the time to get a nice crust on the outside.
Pour in the tomatoes and the water. Scatter the vegetables and herbs around the pot roast, season with salt and pepper; and drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of oil.
Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Braise for about 3 hours, basting every 30 minutes with the pan juices, until the beef is fork tender.
Slice the pot roast and arrange on platter surrounded by the roasted butternut squash and sweet potatoes.
We always follow Tyler’s recipe, except we don’t use mushrooms (we never have them on hand), and we use dried herbs instead of fresh. We know, we know…fresh herbs are WAY better. But it also adds another $6 to our meal if we have to buy fresh herbs.
This time we had to use a can of whole, peeled tomatoes instead of crushed tomatoes and water. We still prefer to use crushed tomatoes, but the grocery store was all out when we went shopping. Annoying! Oh well, it still turned out great!!!
The roasted squash and sweet potatoes are killer and are super simple!
Roasted Butternut Squash and Sweet Potatoes
Total Time: 55 minutes
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 tablespoon real maple syrup or honey
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 425° F.
While the oven is preheating, peel and cube the squash and potato. My cousin just filled us in on this nifty trick for peeling a butternut squash. Instead of cutting the outside of the squash off, like we have done in the past, we just used a vegetable peeler. So quick and easy! Thanks cousin Andy!
Season the squash and potato with the syrup, oil, cinnamon, and salt and pepper. We can not stress this enough…if you do not have real maple syrup, please do not substitute Log Cabin or Mrs. Butterworth or whatever you have around the house!!! Just use honey instead to sweeten the dish. Imitation syrup will give the dish a weird taste!
Roast the vegetables for 40 minutes, stirring halfway through.
We served the pot roast and roasted vegetables with some whole grain bread. What a meal!!!
If you have been avoiding pot roast like we did for so many years, this recipe will change your mind! Give it a try!
What meals did you despise growing up?