In the wintertime when it is blustery outside, I still crave the smoky goodness that only comes from using an outdoor grill. That is when I grab my umbrella, bundle up and head out for some cold-weather grilling. A little rain or snow doesn’t stop me!
When I think about foods that take me back to my childhood, pot roast is right at the top of my list. Warm and comforting with meat that is fall-apart tender, the way it gets with long, slow cooking. Today’s recipe is not your mother’s pot roast – it has an old-fashioned flavor that is boosted by the smokiness of the grill.
I like combining multiple cooking methods to take advantage of the best of each and create something better than you can believe. When you start your pot roast on the grill and then finish it in the oven you get the best tasting pot roast you have ever had, smoky and succulent.
The real trick to perfect pot roast is a combination of long cooking at a low temperature and moist heat or in other words, braising. Pot roast is typically made with chuck, a very tough cut of meat unless cooked thoroughly, which breaks down the connective tissue and makes it meltingly tender. If you have ever had tough pot roast, chances are it wasn’t cooked long enough. I have brought home leftovers from restaurants, reheated them in the oven for an hour or longer and they turn into perfect pot roast.
An important thing to remember is to always start with your protein at room temperature, especially with large cuts of meat. That way a roast will cook more evenly and the outside won’t be overcooked while the center is still nearly raw. You can cut down on the overall cooking time by as much as an hour if the meat is at room temperature before you start cooking.
In traditional recipes you start by dredging the meat in flour and browning it in a pan. Because we are starting this on the grill, I have added flour to the vegetables, which then combines with the liquids and meat juices to create a delectable pan sauce. For those of you who are scared of making gravy, this method is foolproof and you don’t have to fuss with it. As a matter of fact, both grilling and braising are fuss-free methods. A few minutes of prep, a little time on the grill and the throw everything in the oven and forget it for hours. Dinner doesn’t get much simpler than that!
If you want to add more barbecued essence to the final dish, you can also cook some vegetables alongside the meat on the grill and add them to the pan when you add the second half of the uncooked vegetables. You will love the flavor they add to the gravy and final dish.
If your family prefers mashed potatoes, feel free to cook them separately or you can still cook them in the broth and transfer to a bowl before mashing. Either way, you definitely want something to help sop up the gravy – you won’t want to miss a drop!
When you want all the flavor of the grill but don’t want to get frostbite tending to the grill in the snow, try this dual-cooking method. I know you will love the smoky goodness it adds to traditional pot roast. ~ Jane