Fall is a great season for so many reasons. Comfy sweaters, bonfires, hot cocoa, football, and comfort food. I love letting something simmer on the stove top all day and then enjoying a delicious dinner in the evening. Now that I am working this is normally reserved for a Sunday or if I want to make things really easy I bust out the slow cooker for week day cooking.
Once a year we purchase a quarter of a cow from a farm in West Branch, Michigan. It is a beautiful organic farm where they let their cattle graze on grass…real green, untreated grass. It is a thing of beauty! Normally we share this with one of my best friend’s family but this year we are going it alone so expect to see all kinds of recipes as I find creative ways to use it. This is one of those recipes.
This is also a great recipe to make on a Sunday and then use the leftovers later in the week for another meal. You could use the shredded beef and make burritos out of it. You could take shredded beef, mix the sauce with a little corn starch to thicken it up, mix in some frozen veggie mix, top it with mashed potatoes and bake to make a spin on shepard’s pie. Or you could even turn it into an amazing beef barley soup! The possibilities are endless! Writing this post is making me hungry….
I had an English cut roast in the chest freezer that I pulled out to thaw on Saturday. I was going to make it on Sunday but it was still pretty frozen. I ended up staying home on Monday with the kids so I made it then. I have made this roast before and it turns out delicious every time. It just falls apart and is NOT dry at all. You could make this in the slow cooker but you would have to start it on the stove top to get a good sear. I really feel like that step cannot be skipped. It helps it stay moist and juicy through the cooking process.
I started the roast by letting it rest on the counter in a pan while I prepped the onions and garlic. I also salted the roast on all sides with some pink Himalayan salt. I sliced up two onions into thick slices and cut a whole head of garlic right in half. Next I pulled out the dutch oven my brother got me for Christmas a few years back, this thing is awesome…great results every time! Heat the pan over medium high heat and then pour about two tablespoons of avocado oil in and let it get nice and hot. You could use any oil you prefer here but I like avocado or coconut oil because they are good for high heat cooking and they are healthy fats. I get both my coconut oil and avocado oil at Costco but I am going to have to check the price on the avocado oil. The link here looks like a good price.
Once the oil is nice and hot I carefully place the onion slices and the garlic (cut side down) in to brown. Don’t mind the pot…it is well seasoned!
You really need to watch the garlic here because burnt garlic tastes awful. As soon as it starts to turn golden brown you can pull the garlic out and set it aside. I let mine go a little too long so I only used the pieces that were not burnt. Anyway, let the onions brown on both sides and then remove from the pan and set aside with the garlic.
To the same really hot pan gently add the roast. Let it sit…DO NOT TOUCH IT…for at least 5-7 minutes. Let it get a really good sear on it before turning it over and doing the same to the other side. While the meat is searing you can pop out the garlic cloves and throw out the rest (and any burnt pieces you may have had). Once the roast is seared on both sides take it out and set it aside on a plate to rest for a couple minutes. While it’s resting take some stock or wine (I used a cabernet) and pour in about ½ – 1 cup in the hot pan. Scrape up all the yummy brown bits in the bottom of the pan and stir it all up with the wine. Then add half of the onions to pan and spread them out. Sprinkle the garlic cloves evenly around the pan and then place the roast on top. Put the rest of the onions on top of the roast and then pour in enough stock to cover the roast up to the half way point. Add 1 teaspoon of dried thyme and 1 bay leaf. Then give it a little stir and put the lid on. Pop it in a 275 degree oven and go have a glass of wine, or vodka, or tequila, maybe whiskey…you do want you want, the point is you have some time to kill.
Cooking time will vary depending on the size of the roast. My roast was about 4-5 pounds so I set the timer for 3 hours. I was expecting to cook it for at least 4 hours but I wanted to add some veggies in and give them at least an hour in the oven.
While the roast is roasting you can chop up some potatoes and carrots to toss in when there is about an hour left to go. When you add the veggies to the pot make sure they are mostly under the stock as well so that they get tender and soak up the deliciousness you have going on in there. I only added carrots to the pot because I made sour cream and chive mashed potatoes on the side.
The roast is ready when it easily falls apart. I plated it up with some of the carrots and mashed potatoes on the side. Use the pan sauce to top the potatoes, carrots and the roast. There you have it. The most delicious pot roast you will ever have. Seriously…I promise. Let me know if you make it!
3-5 lb english beef roast
2 large onions
1 head garlic cut in half lengthwise
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 cup cabernet or stock
3 cups baby carrots (or a mix of large diced potatoes and carrots)
32 oz beef stock (you could use chicken or veggie too)
1 teaspoon dried thyme or a couple sprigs of fresh
1 bay leaf
Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Warm dutch oven over medium high heat. Add avocado oil. Once hot add the onion slices and the garlic cut side down. Salt the roast while the onions and garlic brown. Once the garlic is golden brown remove and set aside. Turn the onions over and let them brown on the other side. Remove the onions and set aside. Place the roast in the pan and allow to sear for 5-7 minutes before turning it over and searing the other side. If your roast has high sides you would want to wear each side as well. Once the roast is seared all over remove from the pan. Add the wine and stir, lifting all the brown bits from the pan and mix it all up. Add the onions and spread out. Sprinkle in the garlic cloves. Place the roast on top of the onion, garlic, and wine and then top with the remaining onions. Pour in the stock, add the thyme and the bay leaf. Put the lid on and place in the preheated oven. Set your timer for an hour less than you expect to cook your roast. A three pound roast will probably take about 3 hours total and a 4-5 pound roast will probably take 4-5 hours. When there is an hour left of cook time add your veggies to the pot, make sure they are mostly under the stock. Put back in the oven. You know the roast is ready when it is easily falling apart. Serve with your veggies and some of the pan sauce drizzled on top.
*If your heart so desires you could put the dutch oven back on the stove top once you have taken out the roast and the veggies. Stir together about 1 tablespoon corn starch with 2 tablespoons water and then pour that into the pan sauce. Stir it up and then bring to a simmer. In just a couple minutes you will have an AMAZING gravy to serve on top of your roast!
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