Beef broth is the key to tenderizing inexpensive, tough roasts such as the chuck or round. Simmering the meat slowly in the broth develops the flavor and breaks down the sinewy, connective tissues in these well-muscled cuts, resulting in tasty meat that is fall-off-the-fork tender. Look for a roast with a thin layer of fat, which keeps the meat juicy, then keep the roast tightly covered during the cooking process to keep those juices from escaping.
Pat the roast dry with a paper towel, then coat the meat lightly with flour, salt and pepper. You can also add dried herbs such as thyme or sage.
Heat a small amount of vegetable oil in a Dutch oven or roasting pan. Heat the oil until it shimmers, then place the roast in the hot oil and brown the meat on all sides.
Pour about 1/2 cup of beef broth in the pan.
Cover the pan tightly, then adjust the heat to maintain the liquid at a gentle simmer. You can also cook the meat in an oven preheated to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cook the roast until the meat is fork-tender and a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers at least 145 F. As a general rule, allow 30 to 35 minutes of cooking time per pound.
Allow the roast to rest for three minutes, then cut and serve.
- The Deluxe Food Lover's Companion; Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst
- University of Wisconsin Extension: USDA Revises Recommended Cooking Times for All Whole Cuts of Meat to 145 F
- The Kitchn: CrockPot Meals: How to Braise in a Slow Cooker
- James Beard: Braised Beef
- You can also cook a pot roast in a slow cooker. Brown the roast, then place the meat in the slow cooker with 1 to 2 cups of liquid. Cook the meat on low heat for eight to 10 hours or high for about four hours.
M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.