Friday, May 29, 2009

Budget Pot Roast

1 2 1/2 to 3-lb boneless beef chuck pot roast
1/4 cup cooking oil
2 large onions, cut into 3/4-inch slices
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp dried thyme, crushed
1 lb potatoes, sliced
1 lb carrots, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1/2 cup cold water
1/4 cup all purpose flour
salt and pepper

Trim fat from meat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. In a Dutch oven over medium heat brown roast on all sides in hot oil. Remove meat.

In same pan, cook onions until browned. Remove onions. Wipe excess oil from pan.

Return meat and onions to pan. Combine the 3/4 cup water, the vinegar, thyme, and salt. Pour over roast and onions. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 1 hour.

Add potatoes, carrots, and celery to meat. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 45-55 minutes more or until meat and vegetable are tender.

Transfer meat and vegetables to a serving platter, reserving juices in Dutch oven. Keep warm.

For gravy, measure juices; skim off fat. If necessary add enough water to juices to equal 1 1/2 cups. Return to Dutch oven.

In a small bowl whisk together the 1/2 cup cold water and flour until smooth. Stir into juices in pan. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 1 more minute.

What I did differently from the recipe:
First of all, I used white wine vinegar because it's what I had in the pantry. I doubt it made a big difference. During all the time that this was simmering, I continued adding water. The recipe never stated to do that but otherwise I figured it would burn. I didn't use celery and I didn't make the gravy, so I can't vouch for that. I also threw in one beef bouillon cube at the very end just to give a little more flavor.

What I'll do differently next time:
Probably next time I'll add something like a "cream of" soup. Everything had great flavor except the potatoes, which for some reason were bland. So I'd like to have something a little more flavorful. Otherwise this was REALLY easy to make and very good!

Verdict: Thumbs up!

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