Pot roasts are generally lesser cuts of meat that benefit from braising and stewing. A pot roast is most often cooked at a lower temperature so that the cartilage in the meat will break down and allow the meat to become tender. You can braise a pot roast in the oven, on the stove or in a slow cooker. Anyway you cook the roast, it will turn out juicy and tender for your family's dinner.
Braising in the Oven
Preheat the oven to 300 to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. For a small roast, use the 325 degree F setting; use 300 for a larger roast. Place the roast in a roasting pan, fat side up. Add 1/2 to 1 cup of water to the pan. Cover the roaster with a lid or aluminum foil and cook until the meat is fork tender. For a 4-pound roast, this will take approximately two hours in the oven. Larger roasts over 6 pounds can take three to four hours to fully cook. If desired, add vegetables around the roast in the last hour of cooking.
Sear the pot roast on all sides by heating 2 to 3 tablespoons of cooking oil in the Dutch oven. Add 1/2 cup of water to the pan after the roast is browned. Place the lid on the Dutch oven and cook for two to three hours over medium heat, adding water as necessary to the bottom of the pan to keep it from becoming dry. If desired, add vegetables during the last hour of cooking for a full meal.
Brown the roast in oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven. Place the roast, fat side up, in a slow cooker. Cover and turn the cooker on low and let the meat cook for eight hours for a 4- to 6-pound pot roast or 10 to 12 hours for a larger roast. To make a one-pot meal, add vegetables at the beginning of the cooking time for a small roast or halfway through for a larger roast.
A Few Considerations
Add salt and pepper to the roast before searing or browning. Add any remaining spices after the searing process. You can use beef broth instead of water for a richer taste in all methods of cooking. The broth or water from a pot roast can be made into gravy by adding 2 or 3 tablespoons of water and boiling until thick.
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