Just the other day I waxed nostalgic about my Aunt Maryellen’s cooking. I shared my pear crisp, inspired by one of her recipes. Today I’m going to brag about dear old Dad. That guy makes the best damn chicken parmesan I have ever tasted, forcing me to turn my nose up when I see it on a restaurant menu. He always makes enough to feed an army, weighing us down with plenty of leftovers when we leave his house.
I never complain.
We let the big guy do the Thanksgiving turkey, the Christmas roast beef, and the Easter ham. In other words, he’s in charge when it comes to holiday cooking. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. One meal of Dad’s that I simply adore is his pot roast. Imagine my surprise when I learned that the recipe he’s always used, which I believe comes from a cook book circa 1985, calls for nothing more than the beef, carrots, onion, potatoes, and, wait for it…. water. And truly, it’s always delicious. I would never have guessed that the recipe was so uninvolved. No herbs, no spices, nada! Sometimes simple is best.
…and sometimes you need realize that there is just no way your pot roast is going to taste nearly as good as Dad’s! To avoid disappointment, I had to put a spin on my dish. I kept it simple, but added some fresh herbs, browned the vegetables, and covered the whole thing with beef broth. It may not be Dad’s, but it’s still a winner in this house.
Classic Pot Roast
Slightly adapted from The Pioneer Woman
- 2 Tbsp olive oil, (may need additional)
- 2 whole onions, sliced in half
- 8 carrots, roughly chopped
- 5 lb. chuck roast
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 6-8 small potatoes, cut in quarters
- 4 C low-sodium beef broth
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 5 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add two tablespoons of olive oil.
- 2. When the oil in the pot is hot, add the halved onions, browning on both sides. Remove the onions to a plate.
- 3. Add carrots to the pan and toss until browned. Remove to the plate with onions.
- 4. Generously salt and pepper your roast. Do not skip this step!
- 5. If needed, add more olive oil to the pan. Add the roast, searing well on all sides. Once the roast has been browned, place in the crock pot.
- 6. With the burner still on high, add about 1 cup of broth to deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom to remove brown bits.
- 7. Cover roast with the broth. To the crock pot, add onion, carrots, potatoes, thyme and rosemary. Add enough additional broth to cover the roast.
- 8. Cook on high for about 4-5 hours. (Mine only took about 4).
- 9. When done, remove roast and let rest for 30 minutes before slicing into 1 inch pieces. Place slices back in crock pot with veggies to to keep warm until serving.