It’s comfort food season here in Charlotte. Last week we endured a stretch of arctic air and this week it’s a four days of rain and 40 degree temperatures. The weather, coupled with the sadness of taking all the holiday prettiness down and the realization we have a few more months of this weather, has left me needing coziness. One of my favorite ways to get cozy is in the kitchen. I’ve been all about soups and comfort food recently.
I only make pot roast once or twice a year but when I get a craving for it, I have to have it. I took advantage of a Sunday afternoon at home to make my favorite pot roast recipe. It couldn’t be simpler…just three ingredients…but it’s absolutely packed with flavor and melt in your mouth tender. I promise…you need no kitchen prowess to make this recipe…just time! It takes it about four hours to do its thing in the oven. No time to sit around and wait for it to cook? I’ve also made it in the crockpot.
You seriously only need THREE ingredients for this recipe (well, minus salt and pepper).
1) A 3 pound chuck roast.
2) A 28-ounce can of tomatoes.
3) A head of garlic.
This recipe doesn’t even require you to brown the meat before placing it in the oven to cook or to peel the garlic cloves. It is insanely easy! Plop your roast in a dutch oven (or large, heavy pan with a lid), season generously with salt and pepper, dump the can of tomatoes over it and tuck the unpeeled garlic cloves into the meat.
Stick it in the oven at 300 degrees and forget about it. I like to give mine at least three hours to cook but four is the ticket. What happens during that four hours in the oven is magical. The meat cooks, softens and starts breaking apart and shredding all on its own, the garlic cloves mellow out into the most amazing tasting things ever and the tomatoes thicken into a sauce that is flavored by the meat and the garlic.
Before serving, I remove the garlic cloves and shred the meat with two forks. I add the garlic back in by squeezing the softened, cooked garlic out of the cloves and stirring it into the meat. I discard the peel.
I love serving this pot roast over polenta, grits or mashed potatoes. On Sunday night I served it over parmesan couscous for a change and that was really tasty. Roasted broccoli and carrots on the side. Note, if you want to add some potatoes, carrots, onions or any other veggies into the pot while the roast is cooking you can totally do that. Just add them the last hour instead of in the beginning so they don’t turn into complete mush.
One of the reasons I like to cook my veggies separate is because I like to keep the meat simple so I can use the leftovers for shredded beef enchiladas. That’s happing for dinner tonight…yum!
Try this recipe. As long as you cook it long enough, you can’t mess it up. And it’s so versatile and amazingly delicious!
Three Ingredient Pot Roast
(Recipe source Gourmet Magazine, February 2001)
3 to 3.4 lb boneless chuck roast
28-ounce can tomatoes (whole, petite diced or crushed)
1 head of garlic, broken into cloves and unpeeled
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Season the roast generously with salt and pepper and place it in a Dutch oven, heavy pot or casserole dish with lid. If your tomatoes are whole, give them a whirl in the food processor to chop them up a bit. Pour tomatoes over the roast. Scatter garlic around. I like to tuck mine into the meat in a few places.
Place covered dish or pot in oven and cook for 3-4 hours, or until meat can be easily broken apart. You can shred it, break it into hunks or slice it to serve.
If you’re preparing in the crockpot, place all ingredients in the crockpot and cook on low for 7-8 hours.
Yield: 6 servings