Featured in Seven Stars of Winter (2015)
Recipes abound for pot roast, but here’s how I make mine. Serves 3–4 people for every pound of meat. Quantities in the following recipe can vary with the size of the roast you are cooking and the size of your pot. I always serve it with dollops of cultured sauerkraut and sour cream.
2 tablespoons tallow, lard, or other fat
1 piece of roasting beef, such as a chuck roast, round roast, or brisket (Around 1–5-pounds, depending on how many you want to serve)
½ onion, diced small
2–3 stalks celery, diced small
1–2 carrots, diced small
1 teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground pepper (don’t skimp!)
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1–4 cups beef bone broth
¼ cup red wine (more or less to taste or leave it out)
Creamer potatoes such as Yukon Golds (Cauliflower florets or root vegetables can be substituted, or use a combination. Scale the amount to your other ingredients.)
Salt and pepper to taste
2–3 tablespoons minced parsley or celery leaves
Sour cream, crème fraîche, or piimä cream to taste
Cultured sauerkraut to taste
Heat the fat over medium to medium-high in a heavy-bottomed pot that is deep enough to hold the roast with the pot’s lid in place. When the fat is hot, add the roast and brown it on all sides, turning as needed, then remove the browned roast to a cutting board.
Add the onions to the fat in the pot. (If there isn’t enough fat, add a little more.) As the onions turn translucent, stir in the diced celery, and then after 1–2 minutes, stir in the carrots, salt, and pepper. Sauté for a few more minutes and then return the roast to the pot with the vegetables. Add the thyme and bay leaf, then add enough beef bone broth (and optional wine) so the roast is submerged about ¾ in liquid. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a bare simmer. Cover the pot and simmer for about 3 hours, turning the roast over with a wooden spoon once or twice during the period.
Remove the pot roast back to the cutting board. Take out and discard the herbs, and then, using an immersion blender, purée the remaining mixture in the pot until smooth. Return the roast to the pot along with the potatoes, cauliflower, or root vegetables in amounts that suit your needs. Return the pot to a simmer and cook for another 20 to 30 minutes or until the vegetables are fork tender. The pot roast should also be very tender.
Stir most of the minced parsley or celery leaves into the pot, reserving some for garnish. Taste the gravy and add more salt and pepper to taste.
Serve in shallow bowls, placing a chunk of meat in each bowl, surrounding with vegetables, and ladling in plenty of gravy. Sprinkle with the reserved minced parsley or celery leaves, and top with dollops of sour cream (or other cream of your choice) and sauerkraut as desired.