27 April 2010

Pot Roast

My mom wasn't so much into the cooking.  She had us, and she worked, and we were picky, and it was a big hassle.  She had a rotation of about 4 dinners that we had regularly (one of which was Kraft macaroni and cheese with cut up hot dogs) and two dinners that we had when company came over.  I always thought that cooking was a chore, and it would be a long time before I'd realize how awesome it is.

It was so bad, in fact, that one time I was at the grocery store with my parents when I was a kid, and I grabbed about eight cans of Campbell's chicken noodle soup and threw them in the cart, telling them that I was planning to make a pot of soup.

I did attempt to spread my culinary wings during college, when my roommates and I would cook dinner at the house, something that usually included pre-cooked chicken breasts (that were $5 a piece!), cheese, and tortilla chips.  And we were so proud!

And then when we moved to Savannah, Christina gave me a cookbook for Christmas, and it piqued my interest in cooking.  "I made this!" I'd exclaim after adding bacon to all manner of dishes.  "And it tastes good!"  It was around that time that we discovered Tums.  But it was a good first step.

In the last few years, our cooking skills have improved tremendously.  Not amazing, of course, but capable.  And we're always getting better and we're excited to try new recipes. Most of the things we make regularly, though, are incredibly simple.

I've resisted posting some of our more simple meals here because I feel like they're just common sense.  But, you know, they weren't common sense to the Mandy and Matt of three years ago, and they might not be common sense to everyone.  So we're going to bring out one of our favorite old-timey and not so good for you meals: pot roast.  (I ellipted for an hour tonight while watching the premieres of The Hills and The City, and now all I want is a big bowl of pot roast.  AN HOUR!)

There's a good chance that you already make pot roast and have a recipe that you love, but just in case, here's ours.  It's not fancy.  It's not hard.  But it is delicious.

Matt and Mandy's Favorite Pot Roast


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2-3 pounds chuck roast
1 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce (we just use spaghetti sauce--seriously, not classy)
1 cup red wine (or more if you want)
Kosher salt
Black pepper
Potatoes (we usually do about 6 gold potatoes)
Baby carrots (a small bag)
Crushed red pepper to taste (we're usually pretty generous here)


1.  Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add beef.  Brown on all sides.  Remove roast and set on a plate or sheet of foil.

2.  Saute onions and garlic in Dutch oven until tender.  Add tomato sauce and wine.  Stir to blend.  Return beef to pot.  Add salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper.  Reduce to low heat.  Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. 

3.  Add potatoes and carrots.  Cover and continue cooking for 1 hour or until vegetables are tender.

This pot roast is a little more beef stewy than others, and makes for some of the best leftovers around.

If I get started right now I can satisfy my current craving by 3 a.m. 

Do you have a favorite pot roast recipe?  What is it?

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