Early last month—it might have been the cooler weather or the fact that I hadn’t eaten red meat in a couple weeks, or it might have been since I already had a couple grass-fed chuck roasts in my freezer, purchased from a local farm—I got a fierce craving for pot roast.

Now if you’re anything like me, you’ve probably made pot roasts before. My versions were usually in a crock pot and surrounded by carrots and potatoes. Pot roast is one of those classic American dishes—like mashed potatoes and apple pie—that we have all had and made and probably prefer a certain way.

crazy good pot roast

As for me, I like my pot roasts very tender, flavorful and fragrant enough to turn the kitchen into a different place while cooking. It’s kind of like my morning routine: where you might wake at a set time, have breakfast, read the paper and get in the car, I like to read and pray in bed before pulling out my laptop, still without having taken a shower, and get a few work things done.

So early last month, when I tested a new pot roast recipe, the combination of several ideas I’d seen online, and it turned out the be the most moist, tender, dark and wonderfully smelling piece of meat I’d ever had, you’ll understand when I say it became my morning routine of pot roasts.

Since then, I’ve made it four more times. Really.

grass-fed pot roast

So you know how it is the first time you try something: you’re a little unsure how it will go, so you’re checking the meat every hour, changing temperatures when you think it might help, adding ingredients partway through. Well in this case, all those changes worked so well, that I decided I would always do things that way every time after. This includes flipping the meat and adding mushrooms after an hour, raising the temperature an hour after that, then lowering it again. If you’re less paranoid, you could probably do some other combination of 225 and 325 degrees for a total of 3-4 hours—just keep your eye on it every now and then—but I’m sticking with my routine.

fork-tender pot roast

The only other note I’d add is on the grass-fed meat: I know some of you will wince at the higher price tag and just use regular chuck roast, and that’s fine. But I will say that my mom tried that with her own version after tasting mine, and it wasn’t the same. Grass-fed meat is noticeably more tender, not to mention higher in Omega 3 fatty acids, and, while we’re on the subject, have you seen Food, Inc., yet? It will change your perspective on meat forever.






Grass-Fed Pot Roast

Serves two to four, depending on what else you’re eating.

Another trick I learned from my mom: if you make the pot roast the day before you want to serve it to company, sticking it in the fridge after it’s cooked, all the fat will rise to the top in the pan. Stick on a pair of gloves and it’s so easy to remove all the separated fat, as well as cut whatever fat is on the meat off.

Also – For more information on grass-fed meat, check out this article from Mercola.com.

Ingredients:
2 pounds (approximately) grass-fed chuck roast
Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil
2 stalks of celery, chopped
A couple cloves of garlic
1.5 onions, diced
Dashes of rosemary and thyme
1/2 cup of red wine (I especially like Syrah from Trader Joe’s)
A handful (like 6-8) button mushrooms, chopped

Directions:
Preheat oven to 225 degrees F. Liberally salt and pepper meat. Heat some olive oil (a couple teaspoons, enough to spread around the bottom of pan) in a dutch oven or some other oven-safe pot with a cover, and put the seasoned roast inside, searing each side well. You really want to let each side get good and browned.

Once the meat is fully browned, put the chopped celery, onion, and garlic underneath it. Add dashes of rosemary and thyme. Pour 1/2 cup red wine on top. Cover and place in oven for an hour.

AFTER AN HOUR: Flip roast over, add chopped mushrooms. Cook another hour.
AFTER TWO HOURS: Raise temp to 325 degrees F for an hour.
AFTER THREE HOURS: If meat seems tender enough, you’re done. Otherwise, you can reduce temp to 225 again and give it another hour (I usually do this).

Shanna Mallon started Food Loves Writing back in 2008, as a way to remember her grandma and write about her life through food. Since then it's become a place leading her to a lifestyle of eating whole foods, a new home in Nashville and the love of her life, Tim. Follow Shanna on Twitter @foodloves, keep up with Food Loves Writing on Facebook and stay inspired with the monthly newsletter.

This Post Has 32 Comments

  1. Lan

    what a perfect perfect PERFECT dish to make now that the weather is so bitterly cold out.
    and can i say how impressed i am that you’re partaking in mushroom consuming? i remember the time when you hadn’t ever had it before…

  2. Jacqui

    I’ve never made pot roast. Man, I’ve been saying “never made” about a lot of things lately. This needs to change! I was just talking to a friend today about my fear of large cuts of meat. This winter may be the time to tackle and conquer. Your pot roast looks delicious and so perfect right now! My stomach is grumbling.

  3. Sara

    Does anyone have anyone have any good ideas on a source for finding local, grass-fed beef? After seeing Food, Inc. myself, I am trying to find “the right stuff.”

  4. Shannalee

    Lan, Aw, thanks! And oh my word, I know about the mushroom thing! Would you believe my FAVORITE pizza toppings are now green peppers, onions and mushrooms? It’s like I’m a new person.

    Jacqui, Ha, I so get the fear–when you first pull a large slab of meat out of the paper, it’s like, oh gosh. BUT it’s so worth it in the end. And I have total confidence that, just like you conquered cookies!, you will conquer meat-making too. Can’t wait to hear about it!

    Sara, I honestly think Whole Foods provides some of the best quality grass-fed meat–fairly priced and always available too–but it’s also helpful to search around online for farmers’ markets (in summer) and/or other suppliers in your area. Once you’re on the lookout, you’ll see it’s more common than you think–I’ve seen it at another store around here called Fruitful Yield.

    Nicole, Yay! Hope you enjoy!

  5. Lisa

    I agree about “Food, Inc” – since watching that movie (and reading “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,”) I’ve made a conscious effort to purchase my meat at my local farmers’ market or through my buying club that sources local farms and producers whenever possible. I often think that these more expensive food purchases now will benefit my wallet later in reduced health care costs. Thanks for posting this recipe – will have to try it out soon :-)

  6. Shannalee

    Kasia, Thanks!

    Lisa, I LOVE what you said about reduced health care later. That is so key in looking at the higher price tags now–it’s an investment in future health. Yes.

    Jenny, Jealous! : )

    Tim, Thank you!

    Jessica, The biggest difference is that it’s more tender. But the health benefits difference? HUGE. Check out Food, Inc., or the article from Mercola referenced above. It’s amazing.

    Niki, Yay! Do it!

  7. Maddie

    This post honestly makes me want to drive out to a farm tomorrow and procure some grass-fed beef myself. Actually, Joel Salatin (that awesome Virginian farmer featured in Food Inc.) is just a couple hours away from where I’m living now; I’m really psyched to make a trip out there sometime soon and see how amazing his food tastes!

  8. Carrie Oliver

    What a beautiful blog, I’m sorry that I’ve missed it until now. We happen to have a pot roast in the freezer so Sunday dinner will be my test driving your recipe. As for grass-fed beef being better, it depends on the specific farm, breed, etc., but on balance I also find it to have more flavor than commodity beef.

    BTW, if you’re willing to share, I’d love to know the name of the farm/ranch/butcher you use as I’m often asked if I know where the good stuff is :)

  9. Shannalee

    Leslie, Oh, I hope you do!

    Maddie, Whaaat? That is crazy! I’m jealous!

    Carrie, I hope Sunday’s dinner was a hit! And btw I got my beef from the same people I buy my milk from, found through realmilk.com. They rarely have it, so I was excited! Usually it’s just Whole Foods.

    Nancy, You’re welcome!

    Dana, It is! : )

    Retro, You’re welcome!

    LimeCake, I agree. Happy holidays to you too!

  10. Susan

    I will never be the same after Food, Inc. I’m so glad I came across this post today because my mom makes a good roast and I have recently been thinking about wanting to follow in her foot steps.

  11. Erin Gray

    This is a wonderful recipe! I’ve included it, fully credited, within the Pocatello Co-op’s monthly newsletter. Hopefully your website will receive a modest viewer boost as a result. Your writing is lovely and your pictures are beautiful. Thank You!

  12. Becky

    Sara.
    If you go to localharvest.org and type in your zip code, you will find local farms in your area
    that sell meats, vegetables, fruits, etc. You’ll be surprised to find all the farms near you.

  13. Pingback: Real Food Meal Plan: September 16-22 | Live Simply

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