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Tavern Style Pot Roast

I dream about meat a lot. I dreamed a few nights ago I bought specifically one pound of turkey and one pound of ham, and they both went bad. Then a couple weeks ago I dreamed about a deal on pork chops. A week before that I got boneless, skinless chicken breasts for $1.71 per pound, to be exact. Now that would be a dream. Of course there is the occasional produce dream, like my avocado nightmare. Even though I got to the  three-day sale on time, the avocados were all gone. I even requested the imaginary grocer to check in the back, just in case. One thing for sure is, I am committed even in my sleep to keeping my grocery bill under control while still serving great meals.

Pot roast is an obvious way to turn an inexpensive piece of meat into something great. Growing up, my mom’s slow cooker pot roast was always great – a wonderful quick dinner solution. But if you want real greatness (no offense mom) you should try browning the roast on the stove top method as described in this recipe. The fresh thyme is a must, and do not substitute the red wine if you can help it. Gold potatoes instead of traditional Russet were a brilliant choice here, as the buttery texture of the gold potatoes assumes the beefy, aromatic flavors and just melts in your mouth. This roast reminds me of a meal I had at an upscale Williamsburg tavern. If there is such a thing as haughty colonial, this is it — minus the haughty price.

Tavern Style Pot Roast

  • 1 tablespoon of canola oil
  • 1,  3-pound bottom round  roast
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp bouquet garni
  • 1 4/3 cups  chopped onion
  • 1 cup dry ed wine
  • 3  thyme sprigs
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups beef stock
  • 3 1/2 cups sliced carrots
  • 2 pounds chunked Yukon gold potatoes

Preheat oven to 350º.

Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Season roast with salt and pepper.  Add roast to pan until brown on all sides. Remove roast from pan. Add onion and cook until soft.

Return  roast to Dutch oven and add thyme sprigs, bouquet garni,  garlic, stock and simmer. Cover pan and bake at 350° for 1 1/2 hours or until the roast is almost tender.

Add vegetables to pan. Cover and bake another hour or until vegetables are soft. Slice or shred, and serve with vegetables. You can make a gravy from here, or just serve with juices.

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