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Guest Post (!!!) on Delicious Pot Roast

September 20, 2011

This is so exciting for me! A guest post! Timmy’s Aunt Rose is a phenomenal cook/baker, among other things, and she has agreed to write a guest post for my blog. Just in time too, because I was planning to make pot roast this week for dinner!


from Nanny through Aunt Rose: Pot Roast

I hope this guest entry does justice to Mrs. Duckworth’s wonderful and appealing blog. I’m thinking about undertaking a blog about classic cooking, or maybe some of the science of cooking, so here goes my first attempt at relaying how to make one of the most basic, and favorite dinners at the Trout house. It’s more of a method than a recipe – no need for exact measurements. I have to give Nanny full credit for showing me how to make such a tasty pot roast! It always makes Professor Trout happy to smell searing red meat coming from the kitchen! It usually means smooth, mashed , buttery potatoes with dark brown velvety gravy are also in store……..

A few things are fundamental to good results.

  • The correct cut of meat makes a big difference- you want a top or bottom round – nothing too tender to start like an eye round or tenderloin.
  • Take your time during the searing stage – more browning color on the meat means more flavor. After all, we’re using very flavorful, but tougher cuts of meat that become tender through proper searing, steaming and time.
  • Probably most important – you need a good sear on the meat if you want to develop complex flavor, appealing color, and delicious, dark gravy.

Here’s what you need to get started:

Salt, pepper, 2 bay leaves, onion, vegetable oil (peanut gets very hot), top or bottom round of beef (4 pounds or so), a heavy duty pot with lid, tongs for lifting meat

Trim some, but not all of the fat from your meat. While heating about 3 Tablespoons of peanut oil in a heavy pot on high, generously salt and pepper the meat. Take the meat and add it to the very hot oil, and don’t move it for at least 5 minutes, until it starts smoking (make sure your range hood is on high, and maybe a nearby window is open for ventilation), Using tongs, lift meat and sear each side of the roast.

Sear the roast

Add the onions










Once the meat is almost seared on each side, add in thickly sliced onions. Use as many onions are you like. In our house – the more the merrier. Don’t forget to salt the onions. Brown the onions with the meat until they are caramelized or slightly browned and soft. This adds another layer of caramel flavor to your already complex dish.

Allow the onions to carmelize

Add bay leaves and enough water to cover the onions and about 1 1/2 inches of the roast. Bring the water to a boil, cover the pot, lower the heat to slow simmer, and leave it alone for about 3 hours, or long enough for a nice Sunday afternoon nap/reading session/or pie baking! You can check on it occasionally, and add a little water if needed. Don’t lift the lid too often. You need the steam to cook and tenderize the meat.

Making gravy: After several hours, remove the bay leaves and meat. Discard the bay leaves and cover the meat in tin foil, and allow it to rest on a cutting board. At this point, you can strain the liquid, or use an emulsion blender to smooth it out, and incorporate the onions into the liquid.

Make the gravy

Take about 4 tablespoons of the hot liquid in a separate container, and add about 3 Tablespoons of AP flour – mix very well until it is smooth. This will thicken your gravy. Gradually whisk the thickener into the hot liquid. Once you bring this combination to a boil, you have gravy. If your gravy is too thick, add a little water until you get your desired consistency. Nanny uses the liquid from any vegetables that she makes with this dinner – it’s all for good nutrient retention.

Finally, make some mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables and slice your pot roast against the grain of the meat – just to make it even more tender. Enjoy a simple, traditional and satisfying Sunday dinner!
Next up: Apple Pie!


Aunt Rose


This is going to be delicious! I’m making mine tonight, with potatoes and carrots and parsnips. Hopefully we’ll have enough left over for pot roast sandwiches tomorrow!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Barbara Walker permalink
    September 20, 2011 8:52 am

    My mouth is watering! Looks wonderful.

  2. Tricia permalink
    September 20, 2011 9:41 am

    I’ll be over for dinner! It looks fantastic.

  3. September 20, 2011 10:37 am

    The pot roast was delicious. The gravy was perfect and the mashed potatoes and vegetables were excellent. The cook, of course, is also Magnificent and Beautiful.

  4. Mary Kay permalink
    September 20, 2011 4:15 pm

    I’m buying one of those nice pots, and trying this hopefully tomorrow. It looks so good and tasty. Excellent photos, and I just love the post. Melissa, how clever of you to find such an excellent guest-poster!
    Mary Kay

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