I have a cold. One of those miserable, horrible, head so stuffy you can hardly think straight, lousy colds. All I want is comfort food, and it would be really great if someone would come over and make something for me. It made me think of the food my mother makes whenever someone is sick. In our house the recuperative food of choice is Pot Roast.
My paternal grandmother was born in Harbin, Manchuria and spent her adult life in New York and then Sacramento. She was a wonderful cook. One of the most interesting things I inherited from her was her box of New York Times Food Section recipe clippings. Her food interests were quite broad and it appears that she was more than willing to try things that were well out of her comfort zone.
This post includes her recipe for Pot Roast as remembered and interpreted by my mother. It is total comfort food, tastes great the day it is made and even better the next day. My mother makes this for my family whenever someone has to recuperate from something (childbirth, surgery, excessive holiday shopping). My entire family LOVES this pot roast. It is quite easy to prep, but you do need to be home for most of a morning or an afternoon for it to cook.
Pot Roast (6 servings)
- 3½ to 4½ lbs pot roast (cross rib, shoulder clod, chuck)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 medium onions, cut into 6-8 sections each
- 2 cups celery, chopped in large pieces
- 4 carrots, chopped in large pieces
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped in large pieces
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- a pinch of sugar
- ¼ cup flat leaf Italian parsley, chopped
- 1 14 ½-oz can chopped tomatoes
- 1 6-oz can tomato paste
- ¾ cup red wine
Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.
In a heavy fry pan or deep Dutch oven, brown pot roast on both sides in hot olive oil. Remove pot roast from pan to a covered deep oven-safe pot.
Brown the onions, garlic and chopped peppers in the pan drippings until soft. Sprinkle vegetables with flour and brown over medium high heat, stirring quickly, 1 minute.
Add the canned tomatoes, bay leaf, tomato paste, red wine, thyme, sugar, chopped parsley, salt and pepper. Stir this mixture until it thickens slightly. Let simmer for 5 minutes uncovered. Correct seasoning.
Pour the tomato mixture over the pot roast, spreading evenly. Cover the pan, place pot roast in oven and reduce heat to 300 degrees. Bake 3½ to 4½ hours. 30 minutes before serving add celery and sliced carrots to pan.
Serve over flat noodles or mashed potatoes.