There is nothing like a great pot roast and Esin Restaurant in Danville has taken it to an epic level. It’s my go-to restaurant for Mother’s Day brunch and; YES, I have pot roast at 10:00 AM.
Esin published this pot roast recipe in “A La Carte” in 2013 and it was life-changing. I tried the recipe over and over but the meat didn’t have the velvety, tender texture that was served up in the restaurant.
So a couple of years ago, I decided to brine the beef before roasting and voilà – this is not your mother’s pot roast! You’ll need to purchase the beef the day before and brine it for 24 hours.
After brining, I roast the beef for 3 to 3 ½ hours in my Le Creuset Dutch oven. It’s currently the only Le Creuset piece I own, it’s well worth the investment and I see more Le Creuset in my future. Cast iron is the best and Le Creuset’s enameled surface makes it not only beautiful but easy to clean.
Esin’s pot roast is equally worthy of an elegant gathering or a casual family dinner. And JUST IN at The Kitchen – A great selection of LE CREUSET DUTCH OVENS!
So here you go, enjoy! – Cathy
For the Pot Roast:
- 4-5 lb. chuck roast, rolled and tied (ask the butcher to tie it)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced to a 1 inch thickness
- 3 carrots, peeled and sliced to 1” thickness
- 3 stalks of celery, sliced to 1” thickness
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 6 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup of red wine
- Beef stock – as needed (see note)
Note: beef stock, I start with 8 cups and use “Better than Bouillon” roasted beef base. It’s available in any of the local supermarkets.
Preheat oven to 300° F.
- Heat olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot, I recommend a Le Creuset Dutch oven or similar that will go from stovetop to oven. And you’ll need a lid.
- Salt and pepper the meat liberally.
- Add the meat to the heated pan and brown on all sides over medium heat. Be patient don’t move the meat around while it’s browning or it won’t brown well. A large meat fork works well to turn the roast.
- When the meat is browned on all sides, remove it and add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and herbs to the pot.
- Cook the vegetables until they are soft, add the wine and cook until the wine has almost evaporated.
- Add the roast back into the pot, add the stock to cover the meat 2/3rd’s of the way up. Bring to a boil.
- Turn off the heat, cover with the lid and place the pot in the preheated oven.
- Cook the roast for at least 3 ½ hours. I typically cook it for 3 hours and then check it. If it’s not fork tender, continue cooking.
- Cook separately baby carrots, pearl onions, and baby turnips. I also like to use chunks of celery or on some occasions green beans, asparagus, or baby potatoes ( if your not serving it with the mashed variety). You won’t be able to use any of the vegetables that were included with the roast.
- For the sauce: When done remove the roast from the pot. Strain and cook the liquid until it’s reduced by half.
- I like to add 2 tablespoons of flour to thicken, but it’s not needed.
- Slice the roast and serve with mash and the vegetables. Pour a generous amount of sauce over the meat and serve.
For the Brine:
Brining a roast is pretty simple. Any solution with salt counts as a brine. I’ve found this recipe to be a great complement to Esin’s pot roast recipe.
Note: Since posting this brining recipe in our newsletter in February, we have received a couple of comments from customers which mentioned that they felt the spices were too overpowering. If you find that to be the case, there are other brining recipes available – some as simple as salt, sugar, and water. Brining is highly recommended as it will make the meat a lot moister and tender.
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup salt
- 2 tablespoons cracked black pepper ( or coarse ground)
- 1 tablespoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 cup of water
- Add the above ingredients to a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add 3 cups cold water.
- Place the brine and the roast in a large ziplock bag, and brine overnight.
- Discard the bag and the brine and follow Esin’s pot roast recipe above.