Last week, while browsing the meat counter of the local food store, I came across a perfect brisket, just like my Mom would use for making pot roast. OK, a little on the small side, but still, exactly the same cut as my Mom would buy.
I loved my Mom's pot roast. She taught me how to make it, I even have the pot we used when I was a child. So, it was impossible to NOT decide to make pot roast. So I splurged, paid a small fortune the small brisket, added carrots and potatoes to the shopping basket, and this weekend, found the time to cook.
Here's how it goes:
1. Trim the excess fat off the brisket, if necessary. Leave some on, but, if your cut of meat was
like mine, there as a rather thick layer of fat that I preferred not to have.
2. Lightly score the meat on both sides and season. I used garlic power, paprika, pepper, and
3. In a dutch oven, brown the meat on both sides in olive oil and remove from the pan.
4. In the same pan, add roughly chopped onions and cook until translucent. Add some minced
garlic and cook for a minute or two, then deglaze the pan. I ended up using rice vinegar, but if
I had red wine, I would have used that. I also threw in some mushrooms, for extra flavor.
5. Add some type of liquid, beef stock, water, wine, something with flavor. I used water mixed
with Better with Buillion mix and a splash of soy sauce (which almost turned the dish into a
disaster - more about that below). And, the secret ingredient...ketchup! The liquid should be
enough to come at least half way up the meat.
6. Add a few sliced carrots, a bay leaf, and bring everything up to a boil, then reduce to a simmer
and cover the pot.
7. Cook for about an hour and add sliced potatoes.
8. Cook for another half an hour.
9. Remove the meat and cut it across the grain. Return to the pot and simmer gently for another
It almost turned out to be a disaster. The bouillion mix that I was using had a lot more salt than i expected. When I tasted the gravy, I was horrified. Bleah! I added more water to dilute the saltiness and let is simmer for a while, but I figured the meal was doomed.
And yet, I was wrong! Maybe it was adding the potatoes (which some say helps fix over-salted foods) or the extra water. In any case, after letting the pot roast stay in the fridge overnight, I had it for dinner and it was delicious. OK, slightly more salty than I might like, but more than edible. The meat was delightfully tender and full of flavor. The vegetables were cooked perfectly. Yum! I'm looking forward to my leftovers for lunch.