This tender beef pot roast is the definition of comfort food. It takes less than 20 minutes to put together and then the o...
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I really enjoyed reviewing the course on combination cooking and braising. My niece did shopping for me and picked out a roast because is was on sale, its a top of the round roast about 4.5 lbs. How would you prepare this cut of meat? My Mom would have treated it as a pot roast and pour Knorr Onion Soup Mix on top of it and wrap it in foil and over cook it. After seeing your course however, I know it does not have enough fat and connective tissue to qualify as a pot roast per se. Should I cook it rare? I welcome your thoughts. And I believe those who know you ALREADY love you for your cooking and love of life...........(Italian Mama :) ) thanks for all you do............stay warm. Leah
Dawn's not at Rouxbe Central today so I didn't want you to go without an answer. Top of Round is okay for pot roasting. It's not the best for the reasons you described. Without a lot of connective tissue and fat, the meat can tend to be a bit dry if served right after cooking.
I'd suggest making this a day ahead and letting the meat reobsorb the liquid/juice from the sauce.
One of other idea and something that we have also not yet covered in the cooking school, is marinating, but this is also an option for this cut. Here you could cut it up, marinate it over night and use dry heat cooking methods, like broil, pan fry, saute, etc.
My recommendation is to try it the pot roasting or stew method and then buy a shoulder cut next time and compare for yourself.
Low and slow is best.
Thanks sooo much for following up for Dawn. I love this about your team, you cover for each other and share your knowledge so generously. I'm really grateful.
If this cut of meat were purchased in the future, and I cut it up in chunks to marinate it, and I then chose to saute it, my instinct tells me to cook it rare at that point. Is this the right conclusion? I'm just curious, because I want to master pot roast for sure, but to me marinating would be done with a more tender cut of meat, like sirloin steak or the less tender flank steak. Since the top of the round was what my mother used, it's what I grew up with. But I think it could much more flavorful if used with the shoulder or chuck that you teach about. You're just giving me another adventure to travel. I'll let you know how this turns out. Your suggestion to roast it and then cut it up, and let the roast re-absorb the liquids sounds about right. I'll do that later today. It's 2:45 a.m. here. The snow is falling, 15 inches is expected. A true North Easter.........be well. Always, Leah
Okay I am back, it was my mom's 81st birthday and I took her a bunch of meals that I had made...one of which happened to be a pot roast...and also a milk-braised pork.
My mom also did pot roasts with top rounds, the result was always something really good...however if made with a beef chuck/shoulder the result is simply fantastic! Joe's suggestions are bang on with making it a day in advance.
As for marinating, if you are using dry-heat you could cook it less.
But keep in mind, marinating is not always done only for more tender cuts of meat. It is often used for tougher cuts to tenderize and add flavor. In fact, I often marinate the meat I am using in a stew. Here is another example of this. This dish uses lamb shoulder chops, and it's delicious! http://rouxbe.com/recipes/283/preview
Good luck with the snow, sounds like you are cooking the perfect food for the weather! Hope this helps!
Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts about pot roast. Your mother is so very blessed in having your support and delicious food preparations. Wow, I'm salivating already. I hear you loud and clear, chuck/shoulder from now on. I do have a frew shoulder lamb chops in the freezer so maybe that's my next lesson. Thanks so much for the link. The snow did come, not quite as deep as predicted, since I live on the coast near the water. Inland, they were inundated. Have a lovely evening. Thank you Dawn for all you do. Best wishes, Leah
HI everyone, Dawn's recommendation of a glass (or 2??) of red wine is spot on! As pot roasted beef is quite rich with robust flavours, a wine with the same character works very well. Wines from Southern Rhone (France) are amongst my favourites. These range from a village level Cotes du Rhone all the way up to a classic Chateauneuf-du-Pape if you really want to impress. Other appellations in southern Rhone worth looking for are Lirac, Gigondas, and Vacqueyras.
Hola a todos, este espacio esta lindo y estoy disfrutando mis habilidades con las tecnicas que ustedes me dan.
Hice panes por mucho tiempo, pero el viernes pasado hice con las tecnicas de la primera leccion y me salieron fantasticas, tanto que me han pedido para mañana y servire con pot roast para un grupo de 40 personas.
Gracias por los consejos, en este momento tengo marinando 25 libras de chuck shoulder en red wine, onion y garlic y por su puesto con aji panca peruano.
Mi pregunta, cuanto tiempo y a que temperatura necesito para optener una carne tierna y suculenta?
Escribo en español porque se me hace dificil escribir el ingles, pero leo perfectamente.
Gracias por la ayuda
A few questions (I am making a pot roast the coming Friday for friends):
- I have a boneless rib roast (there seems to be some fat and connective tissue) ... would that work or oven roasting is better?
- Is cooking the pot roast two days in advance less optimal than cooking it a day in advance?
- If I season and sear the meat one day and then pot roast it the next, might that effect optimal flavor?
I would not use an expensive rib roast for a pot roast preparation. Rib roasts are a more tender cut of meat and should be roasted to your preference, rare, medium rare, etc.
Review the courses on combination cooking and braising mentioned above. Its very helpful and beautifully produced.
If you don't want to roast the beef, cut it into steaks, eitiher is delicious and your guests would love it too.
Let us know what you decide to do.
Have a great week.
A quality rib roast is usually cooked using a dry heat cooking method, such as roasting. It is already a tender cut of meat and will not benefit much from pot roasting. Cheaper cuts are often reserved for pot roasting because they are tougher and need the slow cooking time to break down the tissue.
I'm not sure of the advantage of searing the meat ahead of time, as it doesn't take very long to get the pot roast started. Doing it all at the same time will also save on clean up time. If you choose to sear beforehand, for food safety reasons you need to make sure it is properly cooled and stored in the refrigerator. This is another reason why we recommend searing the day of.
You can cook the pot roast a couple of days in advance and it will be fine. Cheers!
Thank you this helps a lot.
I just realized that the roast has a some fat on the outside, but there is no marbling in the middle. In that case would pot roasting help or would you suggest dry roasting it (with a brine or marinade).
One last thing: is there benefit in putting a strip of beef fat on top of the roast ?
Hard to say Omar...this may just be one of these cases where you try it and see. Remember that cooking is about experimenting and seeing what works for you.
As far as brining goes, I wouldn't necessarily do this for beef. Marinating is mostly done for flavor so not sure that this would be of much benefit. Basically it all comes down to the meat. The better the meat the better the end result. Next time watch the lesson on Combination Cooking and try and buy a roast that follows the guidelines in the lesson.
As for the strips of fat around the roast, this can help if you are roasting the meat. Good luck!
I tried this for the first time this week and really enjoyed it. One thing I noticed was that it seemed that my potatoes were cooked well before the carrots and parsnips were done. I think that the next time I make a similar preparation that I'll throw in the harder vegetables earlier in the cooking process.
Glad that you enjoyed the pot roast! No problem in putting harder vegetables in sooner. Just a tip - sometimes it can just be the vegetable itself. Older vegetables often take longer to cook. Also, different varieties of potatoes can also cook at different rates. Cheers!
Just make sure the dish comes to a simmer. The time is hard to estimate. You'll need to cook it long enough to become fork tender when using any combination cooking method. There are other discussions in our forum on cooking at higher altitudes you might want to check out. Cheers!
I am amazed at the short time I have learned so much from a few lessons. cooking 'all my life' duh, is nothing when you have never learned such things as 'how to make a roux' we just called it gravy! YIPES or mirepoix... Grandma would just I am addin' the veggies! OMGSH!... I am so excited to cook with a pupose and a reward. I have had broccoli like twice a day for the last week becasue I can cook it aldente' and my family love it... I grow the stuff and eat what we grow! but I never new it could taste so good 'cooked'!... yes you have changed my life!... not really , but my cooking life... I am loving the flavor of the simple things.. I could never enjoy becasue I cooked the 'life' out of it... I hope I can continue the for ever!....
do you have scholarships for old folks?... LOL....
hmm I wonder what I'm doing wrong. I've followed the recipe pretty well to the letter but meat is tough. I chose a bottom blade pot roast and still after 6 hours (I checked at least every hour, turning the roast each time), the meat is not tender and the veggies are still hard after 2 hours. I have a temperature guage in the oven and I've kept it at 200F (and not 200C!). The temperature of the liquid is around 190F (I checked with my meat thermometer). My meat was frozen and I unthawed it in the microwave on very low before starting recipe. Plus I put the cover on the dutch oven - should it be on or off? Beef stock was up to 3/4 instead of 1/2. Would any of these actions cause this?
I know this sounds crazy but EVERY time I used the MICRO to thaw anything out it changed the 'dish' in meats that is.... it DOES cook it even though it is thawing it out and for some reason... Micro seems to take out or kill the 'stuff' that causes it to draw the moisture? maybee. just a guess...
@Sandy: I bet that your oven thermostat is not accurate.
I used to wonder why things in my oven didn't come out the way they were supposed to (roasted carrots, veg for stock, VERY frustrated by how roasted chicken simply would not cook right for me). I always followed the recipe, set the temp correctly, and I was always frustrated that I could just not get the caramelization on the ingredients that I was supposed to get.
Then someone on this board suggested I get an oven thermometer. What I found is that my oven thermostat can be off by as much as 75 degrees! I'd set the dial to 475, and the thermometer would not come up over 400. So now I go by what the thermometer says when using the oven. When I need it to be 400, I have to set it to 475-480. When I need 200 I have to set it to 250 sometimes even 300.
Search amazon for 'oven thermometer', you'll want one with the little hook at the top so you can hang it from one of the racks.
There could be many factors that contributed to toughness of the roast, including the oven temperature as suggested by Daniel R.
Perhaps your roast did not have enough marbling or connective tissue, the microwave could have definitely adversely affected the texture of the meat and a lid needs to be used for this cooking method. The lessons in the cooking school on Combination Cooking Fundamentals and Pot Roasting go through the pot-roasting process in great detail. Let us know if you have any questions after reviewing these lessons. Cheers!
What a difference a day makes. I kept with the recipe and let it set overnight in the refrigerator, took out the meat and veggies, made the sauce, and placed the dish back in the oven at 200F all afternoon. I have to admit it came out very nice. My goodness. I never knew I could do that with beef. Thanks to all who responded - your input was appreciated.