Melt In Your Mouth Oven Baked Pot Roast
Andy Anderson !
Out of site; but hopefully not out of mind…
So, you ready... Let's get into the kitchen.
4 lbchuck roast
1 tspkosher salt
1 tspblack pepper, freshly ground
1 1/2 tsppaprika
1 1/2 tspground cumin
2 Tbspolive oil
1 mediumyellow onion, cut in half at the equator, and outer skin removed
5 mediumcarrots, sliced 1-inch, on the bias
1 cred wine (cabernet sauvignon)
2 cbeef broth, freshly made, if you have any.
3 sprig(s)fresh thyme, and rosemary
1/2 mediumlemon, just the juice
How to Make Melt In Your Mouth Oven Baked Pot Roast
- The times listed in this recipe are based on my ovens, but not all ovens are created equal.
Time to talk about temperature...
The internal temp of a chuck roast to be fork tender is around 190f (87c). It does not matter if it takes 1 hour, or 1 day… when it hits that temp the collagen melts, and it tenderizes. When it rises above that temp, the heat (like a sponge) squeezes all the water out of the beef and it becomes dry and tough.
The oven temperature of 285f (140c) is a bit lower than most roasts are cooked at; however, the low-and-slow method helps melt the collagen, and makes the roast tender. If you do not have the time, you could raise the temp up to 350f (175c), and this should cut the time almost in half.
Just remember that it is not about time, as much as it is about temperature.
FYI: A good chef's tool to have is an instant-read thermometer
- Chefs Note: Concerning the pan… It should be large enough to hold the roast and the other ingredients; however, not too big. I have several sizes of my favorite pans… cast iron pots, actually, and I choose a size that will just barely fit the roast.
If you have a really large pot, you're going to need a whole lot more broth to cover the roast, and that will dilute the overall flavor of the dish.
- Add the roast and sear all sides. Depending on the heat of your pan, about a minute per side.
- Chef's Note: If you're not using the wine, then substitute it with the same amount of beef broth. However, since you won't have the braising properties that wine bring to the time in the oven, the dish will need to spend about an extra 30 minutes in the oven.
However, here's a trick... Add about 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to the broth before deglazing, and that will help with the breakdown of the beef while it slowly cooks.
- Cook the roast for 3.5 to 4 hours. When you pull the roast out, it should be fall-apart tender. Discard the sprigs of rosemary and thyme.
- Remove the roast from pot, and slice against the grain into nice thick slices. This may not be easy, since the roast will be fall-apart tender. You could always serve it shredded... making the dish even that much more rustic.
- Add the lemon juice to the gravy in the pot (if using), and gently stir to combine. This gives the gravy an added kick. Place the beef into a serving dish, ladle the gravy over the top, and then surround with the onions and carrots.
- Chef’s Note: You may have noticed an omission on my part, and that’s the addition of potatoes… I’m not a big fan of cooking the potatoes with the stew (although I know a lot of chefs do). Potatoes absorb a lot of flavor components, such as salt, and really change the flavor of the stew. So what I do, if I’m using potatoes, is to cook them separately, and then serve them on the side as baked, or as mashed.
The pictured dish is my potato fans: Russet Potato Fans
If you want another starch option… Beef stew goes very well with a long-grained white rice. You might want to give that a try.