This Pot Roast Is Your God, Now

It’s time for turkey to eat a bag of ducks.

*checks notes*

Oh. Dicks. Dicks.

Whatever.

Thanksgiving is over. Kaput. Time lurched forward this year with the speed and grace of a fast-running zombie rather than a slow shambly one, and as such, the Turkeypocalypse (in which many turkeys are summarily slaughtered and ascend to their final resting realm of Gobblheim) is over.

We’re done with turkey. Till next year, gobblers. Sayonara, you big fat dummies.

It’s time to move on. Time to put that holiday behind us. Time to put away childish things.

NOW IS THE TIME FOR POT ROAST.

For a long time I didn’t “get” pot roast. I mean, I understood its nature — it is a roast of meat that you cook inside a pot. I’m not mule-kicked. I grokked the core concept. But every time I did a pot roast it came out tough or dry or it lurched out of the pot and tried to bite off my face (though there I admit I misunderstood the concept as a piranha roast, which is apparently a whole different thing that nobody ever does). I used to do it in the crockpot and the fact that it came out dry puzzled me — how can something bathed in meaty juices come out dry? (Answers: cooked too long, wrong cut of meat, crockpot too hot…)

But I have since perfected the pot roast. I mean that. It is perfect. It is a shining example of meatliness. It is the Platonic ideal — a pot roast that can comfortably be placed upon the altar and given to the god of your choice as a gift without fear of being smited or smoted or… whatever the word is.

The great thing about this pot roast is, for a family of, say, three, you get to eat it for three whole days. The pot roast continues to feed you. It’s like self-replicating manna! The perfect food.

Here’s how:

Get yourself a big slab of chuck roast. Three to five pounds.

Take your magma-cube (aka “oven”) up to 275F.

It’s time now to punish some vegetables for being vegetables and not being meat. Take two onions, four carrots and two stalks of celery. Cut the onion into rough pieces. Peel the carrots and chop them into two-inch lengths. Cut the celery into smaller slices — quarter-inch. Sure, fine, you can wash the vegetables first if you want, but I personally find that a little sprinkling of e.Coli does a body good.

*checks notes*

Okay, it actually does a body bad. Apparently, wash your vegetables.

(Cowards.)

Now you want to take a heavy pot or a Dutch oven (HA HA HA DUTCH OVEN) and slap that motherfucker atop the fiery doom circle (aka stovetop) on medium. Splash into the pan a little squirty-squirt of olive oil. Once it warms up, pop the vegetables in there. (If you’re patient, you can do them in batches. Onions, carrots, then celery. Or you choose the order, I don’t give a fuck.) Get a little color on them. Scald them for their transgressions. This’ll maybe take you five, even eight minutes.

If you’re feeling sassy, cook some minced garlic in there too.

Whilst that is happening –

It is time to handle our meat.

Once again, not a masturbation euphemism. I am in fact troubled by how often you think I’m talking about masturbation and how often I see you ripping your pants off like a child freeing a Christmas present of its crinkly wrapping, but that is a discussion for another time.

For now, get out the chuck roast.

Wipe it down with a little olive oil.

Then coat it with a sprinkling of black pepper.

Then some garlic powder.

Then comes the salt. I don’t want you to be a coward with the salt. This is not the time for craven curs. I want you to salt the ever-living shit out of that pot roast. Lots of salt. On all sides. I mean, you should still be able to see meat beneath that salt, but trust me: salt is your friend. Except when it kills you by hardening your arteries and turning them into dead little twigs, but that’s later in life.

Veggies done? Good. Rescue them from danger.

Now it is the meat’s turn to suffer your wrath.

Brown it on all sides. Since the roast will most likely be in the shape of some kind of… drunken sludgey cube, you have roughly six sides that need a little color. Hurt it. Make it beg for mercy. Let its fat squeal and pop.

When each side is sufficiently browned — say, three to five minutes on each side — take it back out of the pot. Put it on a plate. Let it sit there and think about what it’s done to deserve this fate (a fate that, don’t tell the meat, ends in your belly). While that’s happening, it is time to deglaze the pan. Splash some red wine — no, not red wine vinegar, not broth, but motherfucking red wine, you goddamn teetotaler — into the still-hot pot and as it starts to bubble up, use a metal scrapery-thing (spatula, flipper, spoon, ice scraper, robot claw) to loosen all the charred meaty bits from the bottom of the pot. Now put the meat back in there. Listen to it shriek and blubber as you lower it back into the heat.

As the vegetables hang nearby, chuckling at the torment you visit upon the quivering block of meat, point at them and say, “YOU’RE NEXT,” and then cackle madly as you upend them over the roast.

Now, it’s time for fluids.

One-and-a-half cups of coffee, into the mix.

Then: one-and-a-half cups of beef stock. Or broth. Or some liquidy part of the cow as long as it’s not, say, urine. What’s wrong with you, trying to cook your roast in cow pee?

You’re lucky I still let you hang around here, mutant.

Here’s the only seasoning you need (since you salted the very soul out of that roast):

Herbs de Provence.

It’s my secret weapon in things like this. Any time I think I need rosemary and thyme, I instead think, “Well, let’s bring them and all their Frenchie friends to the goddamn party,” and I reach for the Herbs de Provence and then I take a swig of whiskey and a hit of acid and I wake up in Reno for the 57th time covered in greasepaint and blood. Then I haul my way back home to start it all over again.

Whatever.

Herbs — say, two generous pinches — atop the meat and veggies.

Cover the pot.

Shove it in the oven.

Roughly one hour per pound of the roast, though I sometimes tack on another five minutes per pound of the roast because my oven is a bit finicky that way. You do what your oven commands. Unless that oven commands you to like, feed it babies. That’s a defective oven. You learn that after two, three babies and it keeps wanting more, more, more. “MORE BABIES,” it roars with hot breath. Jerk.

When it’s done, take it out.

Should be fork tender. May even fall apart with gentle prodding, like a Girl Scout under intense Guantanamo interrogation. Now what do you do? Jesus Christ, do I have to tell you everything? You eat it. Preferably with your bare hands like some kind of feral hobo.

Though, should you choose to be civilized and incorporate it with a meal, it goes very nicely over mashed potatoes. And the vegetables are soft and lovely. Pillowy, I might say, were I the type of person to use the word “pillowy.” AND I AM.

The great thing is, this is three to five pounds of meat that you will not eat in a single sitting.

So, next day? Make sure to save all those sweet meat drippings in the fridge. Take it back out, once cold, and you can free it of its fatty crust. Into a smaller pot you make a roux (two to three TBsp of butter with equivalent amount of flour), let it golden up, then pour upon it the de-fatted drippings. Bring to a boil, stir till it thickens. Add, if you care, a bit more black pepper and then a splash of heavy cream and it will make the kind of gravy that will cause an angel to betray God and join Satan’s gravy-loving army.

Or: POT ROAST TACOS.

Or make a hat out of it.

I don’t give a shit. You do as you like.

All I know is, at the beginning of all this, the meat was your peon, your minion, your slave in earthly fealty. But by the end, the cosmic tables will have flipped. This pot roast is your god, now. Bow down and offer it praise. Consume its body as you would any avatar of the divine.

OM NOM NOM

IA IA POT ROAST FTHAGN

8 comments

  • It would appear I have a new deity in the house. Such a recipe will consume my kitchen in it’s entirity but if this pot roast is half as good as you say it will be a feast worthy of guests! And, you know, leftovers to attack for a few days in between morning caffeine and evening booze.

  • This may sound like heresy but… try the same thing in a pressure cooker. I kid you not!

    Do all the same prep then toss that sucker in a pressure cooker. Let it go for 30 minutes at high pressure (usually medium flame) then let the pressure com down naturally. (Another 10-15 min)

    ALL the moisture will still be in the roast and – CRAZY THING – the meat will still be a bit pink/rare in the center. Unfreaking believable.

  • As much as I enjoyed your recipe, pot roast is a cinch if you have a Crock Pot. ;) Potatoes, onions, baby carrots, add meat, add either Campbell’s french onion soup or beef broth (1 can), add Lipton onion soup, put lid on, turn on low. Cook 8 – 10 hours or until veggies are cooked through ;)

    Ok, maybe that’s more of a hillbilly version ;) And we usually put some butter and Worchestershire sauce on it as we serve it. Or as my grandmother called it “Wooster sauce” :)

    But I’ll have to try your recipe too :)

  • Just to make your life easier I’ll share my No Fuck With pot roast recipe. This recipe is a one-time prep and should be ready to go in 10 minutes.

    1 chuck roast (or whatever kind of roast you want 3-5 lbs worth or more)
    1 bag of carrots (or baby carrots if you are a lazy fuck who doesn’t want to cut them up)
    1 big ass onion (red, white, purple doesn’t fucking matter just pick a big one)
    5-7 big ass potatoes or 10-14 small red potatoes
    Garlic salt, black pepper, diced garlic, onion salt

    Put the roast bare-assed on the bottom of your Dutch Oven (or roasting pan)
    (Yes bare assed. No need to brown it. You can but this recipe is a 10 minute prep recipe.)

    cut your potatoes into big chunks (or in half if using the redskin ones) and dump them evenly around the chunk of meat in the center.

    cut carrots into 1-2 inch pieces and shove them into the potatoes evenly (if using bby carrots just dump the fucking bag in and spread it around)

    Cut your onion into half, then take each half and quarter it.. Now pull the layers apart and shove them in the mix around the meat, through the potatoes, hell gash the meat and shove some inside, just put them everywhere.

    Liberally sprinkle garlic salt, black pepper (especially the black pepper), and onion salt over the whole damn thing.

    Dump a couple of spoonfuls of minced garlic around here and there (no more than three you fucking crazy person. What’re you trying to ward off Dracula and shit?)

    Using a cup, pour water into the mix from one end, one end only.( you want to keep your seasoning in place.) Keep adding water until it rises around the meat and just barely laps over the edge.

    Cover. (I mean really fucking cover it. seal that bitch up. You don’t want any steam or anything escaping.)

    Put it in the oven on 500

    Walk the fuck away.

    Come back in 6 to 8 hours

    Eat the hell out of it ….for three days.

    Now what has happened is that the water has steamed up and pressurized the container driving the meat juices into the veggies and making the meat the most tender thing you have ever tasted. The 500 degrees has cooked that char onto the bottom of the roast so that when you pull it apart with your fork you get that nice semi-crisp bark.

    Get some bread and butter out for a side to sop up the broth and you gots the easiest meal in the world.

  • Thank you, I’ve always wondered what a “pot roast” is.

    I still don’t see the point when you could have a slow roast and then stew the next day (and curry the day after, and fajitas the day after that, and possibly, if you bought enough meat and weren’t too greedy to begin with, a stir-fry on the day after that), but at least now I know what a pot roast is…

    (I also recently learned that “lounge pants” seems to be an alternative word for “pyjamas” – who’d’ve thought it? All this time I’ve been visualising male characters wandering around their home dressed like Bertie Wooster when they’re supposed to be slobbing around in their jim-jams!)

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