Surprise! (Recipe: Beef Pot Roast with Onion Gravy)
Some foods are a pleasurable experience well before they touch your taste buds. Beef pot roast slow simmered in a gravy rich with onions and garlic, is one. Oh, my heavenly days! You just about want to swallow your tongue while you’re waiting for the thing to get done.
My mother worked outside the home almost all of my growing up years. She had someone take care of us at our house until she felt that I, the eldest, was able to take over that job. After I had assumed the responsibility for myself and two younger sisters, she surprised me one afternoon, and was at home when I arrived from school. One of my little sisters got sick at school and she had to leave work to pick her up. While I delighted to find my mother at home to welcome me, l will never forget the joy of opening the front door and, unexpectedly, catching a whiff of garlic, from a simmering pot roast, wafting throughout the house. The incredible sensory experience, the aroma of garlic and the comfort of Mama at home, combined to create an affinity for pot roast. Some years later, a nasty stomach virus which took hold shortly after eating pot roast, caused me to have such an aversion to pot roast, it was years before I could eat it again. I’m deliriously happy the aversion has cast off.
It’s back to business as usual and pot roasts frequently simmer away in my kitchen. How sad it would be if that happy childhood memory was forever thwarted by a nasty virus.
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Beef Pot Roast with Onion Gravy
yield: 6 to 8 servings
If you have a large Dutch oven, whole potatoes and carrots can be placed on top of the roast during the last 1 1/2 hours of cooking.
1/4 cup cooking oil, divided
3 to 4 pound chuck roast, boneless
1 tablespoon seasoned salt
3 medium sweet onions, sliced thinly into half-moon shape
15 to 18 garlic cloves, about 1/2 a medium head, peeled and diced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups beef stock
1/2 cup red wine
Season meat with seasoned salt and let the roast come to room temperature.
Coat the bottom of a heavy, large skillet with some of the oil. Heat to medium high.
Brown beef roast on all sides. Remove from skillet.
Add remaining oil to skillet. Thrown in onions and cook 3 to 4 minutes until soft and limp. Add garlic and cook an additional two minutes.
Sprinkle onion mixture with flour. Stir and cook until all the grease is absorbed and the flour has lost its white appearance; only a couple of minutes.
Slowly pour in beef stock and wine, whisk constantly to mix the liquid with the flour and prevent lumps. Bring up to a boil. The mixture should start to thicken up.
Add beef roast back to skillet. Spoon gravy over the top. Cover and cook at 300 degrees for 3 to 4 hours or until tender. Baste the roast with gravy about every hour while cooking.
Remove from oven and transfer roast to a carving board. Let rest 10 minutes before carving.
If a thicker gravy is desired, dissolve 1 tablespoon cornstarch in an ounce or two of water. Place gravy on a burner and bring it back up to a boil. Keep adding small amounts of the cornstarch slurry and stirring constantly. until the gravy reaches the thickness you desire. Taste for seasoning.
Slice roast and serve with gravy over rice.
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