Spice up your Pot Roasts
I love the aroma and warmth of comfort foods cooking in the winter. Sometimes,
though, the standard "pot
roast" is a little mundane, and it's time to spice up this winter favorite.
You can change the seasoning on a pot roast in many ways. Here are just a few
Italian: Braise the roast all day in marinara. Serve with pasta.
French: Braise all day in 2-3 c. red wine with garlic, rosemary, thyme, and thinly
sliced carrots and
onions. At the end, set aside the roast. Strain the liquid, discarding
vegetables, and boil down the sauce
rapidly to 1/2 volume, then thicken with cornstarch. Slice the roast and pour
the sauce over.
Chilean (method very similar to French, above): Braise roast all day in 1 c. red wine plus 2 c. beef broth
or water with garlic, bay leaf, 1-2 tsp. dried and ground aji amarillo chilies,
and thinly sliced
mushrooms, carrots and onions. At the end, set aside the roast. Strain the
liquid, discarding vegetables,
and boil down the sauce rapidly to 1/2 volume, then thicken with cornstarch.
Slice the roast and pour
the sauce over.
Sweet and Spicy: Place sweet potatoes and regular potatoes in the bottom of the pan. Lay roast on
Smother with 1 cup salsa plus 1 cup Hoisin sauce. Add a little garlic powder.
Braise on low all day.
Teriyaki: This one is super fast for a rushed morning prep. and minimal morning clean-up,
recipe for top or bottom round steaks. Do not brown the meat first. Place top round steaks in pot for
braising. Rub a little flour into both sides of each steak. Add 1/2 cup teriyaki
sauce, 1/2 cup orange
juice, 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, generous amounts of garlic powder, optional
2 Tbsp. sugar,
and optional 1 tsp. grated orange peel. Braise on low all day.
However you choose to jazz up your roast, remember to always:
Choose the right cut.
Chuck Roast is your "fall apart" roast, and ours almost always come with a bone to flavor
Brisket and Tri-tip are generally smaller, boneless cuts that braise well.
Sirloin Tip and Rump roasts are leaner, so may not be quite as tender as Chuck, but they braise very
well, and are much better than Chuck for slicing and nice presentation.
Round: we sell top round as a "steak", which simply means "smaller and thinner" than
a roast, and
many of you also have bottom round and eye of round in your custom beef. All
these cuts of round
are excellent choices for braising, do well in these recipes, and the "steak"
cut is a great size for 1-3
How to Braise - Follow this basic method:
First, thaw your beef in the refrigerator for about 2 days.
Optional Step: Browning is optional and takes a few extra minutes, but creates a wonderful
layer on your meat. To brown you roast, heat a frying pan to medium-high on the
stove top. Add a
couple of tablespoons of oil, butter, or fat to the pan. Add the roast, and
brown on all sides, allowing
each side to form a nice, richly brown crust before turning again. Remove roast
to braising pot (if using a
Dutch Oven, you may brown in the Dutch Oven).
Braising means barely simmering over low heat, covered, with moisture, for a
long time. Stoves are
too hot for braising meat - use a crock pot or oven for braising. If you braise
in the oven, use a Dutch
Oven or deep baking pan with tight fitting lid.
For best results, always start your recipe in the morning so that your beef may
braise on low heat for
8-10 hours. Low means "low" setting on a crock pot, or 250 in an oven.
If you are in a hurry, you may braise at high heat for 4-5 hours, but the meat
will not be as tender.
High heat means "high" setting on a crock pot, or 300 in an oven.
At the end of the cooking time, remove your roast from the pan, and allow it to
"rest" at room
temperature for 10-15 minutes before slicing. Use this time to finish a sauce or
However you spice up your roasts, enjoy the savory goodness of grassfed beef!