Pot Roast That’s Truly Drool Worthy

potroast2My Mom made an ok pot roast, but it was never a meal I looked forward to or asked her to make.  In fact, if I called home and heard pot roast was for dinner I’d stay at school late for a Del Taco run with the Walnut High School Cayuse Yearbook crew.

She’d grab a 7 bone (blade cut) roast at the grocery store, heat some vegetable oil in a skillet, coat each side of the meat in flour, salt & pepper, then brown it over high heat. After that she’d fill the pan up about halfway with water, reduce the heat to medium-ish, put the lid on and let it braise for about 2 hours.  When it came time to serve it there would be boxed mashed potatoes (my Mom didn’t do peel/boil/mash), and peas or corn.  My Dad used to smother it in ketchup.  Not sure what that said about her pot roast, but in my eyes, if you’re hiding the meat under ketchup it’s a waste of the 2 hours she took to cook it.

huntsI never want to see a meal I have taken the time and effort to prepare covered in ketchup (unless it’s meat loaf or a hamburger…), so I’ve changed Mom’s prep a bit and come up with a pot roast that doesn’t make my husband suggest we eat out instead.

Drool Worthy Pot Roast

  • 3 to 3 1/2 pounds Boneless Chuck Roast (Because they will trim the excessive fat, I prefer to get it from the butcher case instead of grabbing a pre-packaged roast from the meat aisle)
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes (Tonight I used Hunt’s)
  • 6 Carrots peeled, and cut in half
  • 8-10 Small Red or White Potatoes
  • 1 large Onion, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 2 TBLS Olive Oil
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • Any Garlic/Onion Spice Blend you prefer (I used Dangold Gourmet Collection Garlic & Onion Spice Blend)
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Cup Beef Broth
  • 1 TBLS Corn Starch dissolved in cold water (about 3 TBLS)
  • 3/4 Cup Bold Red Wine (Like a dark blend or Zinfandel – tonight I used Gnarly Head Authentic Black)
  • 3 TBLS Vanilla Extract
  • 2 TBLS Worcestershire Sauce
  • 3-4 TBLS Prepared Horseradish
  1. Set the pressure cooker to the Brown setting.
  2. Add the Olive Oil and brown the Roast for about 5 minutes per side.
  3. Remove the meat to a large bowl.
  4. Add the onions and cook until translucent (about 5 minutes).
  5. Add the Beef Broth, Vanilla, Wine, Worcestershire Sauce, Tomatoes, and the dry seasonings to the pressure cooker pan and stir until the mixture starts to bubble.
  6. Add the Bay Leaf and Carrots to the pan.
  7. Return the Roast and all of the juices to the pan.
  8. Spread the Horseradish on the exposed side of the Roast.
  9. Close the pressure cooker, lock and set to the highest setting (248° on mine)
  10. Once the pressure cooker reaches the cooking temperature, cook for 1 hour.
  11. When cooking is complete unplug the pressure cooker and allow it to come back to normal pressure (about 10 minutes).
  12. Open the pressure cooker, remove the Roast, Carrots, Potatoes, and Bay leaves.
  13. Turn the pressure cooker back on to the Brown setting.
  14. Stir in the corn starch mixture until it begins to boil and thicken.
  15. Cut the Roast into chunks and serve in a bowl with the carrots and potatoes (smash them with a fork) covered in the gravy.  If you have some French bread to dip in the sauce, serve that too!

I potroast3didn’t have any potatoes on hand, so we ate ours with some steamed Brussels Sprouts and a can of Bush’s Bourbon and Brown Sugar Grillin’ Beans.  The roast came out tender, moist and flavorful and my husband really enjoyed sopping up the gravy/sauce with the chunks of French bread!

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Sick and Tired of Skimpy Subway Sandwiches

When the Subway near my house opened I was ecstatic.

Finally there would be a healthier option than I’ve had in a pinch:  Del Taco, Carl’s Jr & Wendy’s.

I’m sorry to say now, I wish it would close.

I went this evening, giving this location its umpteenth chance to impress me but I was disappointed once again.

subwaymenuIn front of the oblivious crew member who finally saw fit to help me (the only customer in the store at 6:15 PM on a Sunday), I snapped a photo on my phone of the item on their menu I intended to order two of: the foot long tuna sandwich. The photo on the menu shows a sandwich overflowing with fresh vegetables and mounds of tuna.

As you an probably guess, my sandwiches came nowhere near resembling the ones shown on the menu board.

The team member helping me asked me for my bread selection first.  Despite the menu showing quite a few options I only saw a few each of the white, wheat and cheddar jalapeno rolls.  I was under the impression that all of their options were available every day.  Strike 1!

Having settled on the cheddar jalapeno rolls, I then ordered the two tuna sandwiches one with Swiss and the other with Provolone cheese.  Over the years I have seen the amount of tuna go from 6 overflowing scoops to 5 and tonight he put 4 full only to level, scoops of tuna and thinly spread it across most of one side of the roll.  Once he put the 4 1/2 slices of cheese (that looked more like 1/3 cuts) on you couldn’t see any evidence of tuna at all.

tuna2I told him that the first sandwich should only have mayonnaise, pickles, olives and pepperoncinis on it.  He haphazardly threw a few of each item on the bread and, again, I blatantly snapped a photo of the sandwich he had made.  This is what my husband’s looked like just before he folded it closed, cut it in half and wrapped it.

Not only had he forgotten the mayonnaise, but he didn’t even distribute the pittance of the ingredients he did add evenly across the sandwich.  Strike 2!

tuna1aThe second sandwich should have come out looking a little less anemic, considering I was putting many more ingredients on mine.  Once again this guy, and this location proved me wrong!  He asked what I wanted on mine and I indicated (as he was filling the sandwich) that I wanted cucumber, spinach, bell pepper, pickles, pepperoncinis and salt & pepper.  He missed the cucumber completely (despite me reminding him twice). He took a very small grab of spinach leaves TORE THEM IN HALF and scattered them on the bread, put 4 skinny slices of bell pepper, counted out 6 pickle slices and then a few pepperoncini SQUISHED the sandwich closed angrily, wrapped it and sliced it in half.  The minimum wage earning sandwich “artist” took no pride in what he was doing and quite frankly seemed like I was bothering him by asking him to make and sell me two sandwiches.  Excuse me for asking you to do your job!  Strike3!

tuna1The sandwich shown on the left comes nowhere near looking like the sandwich shown on the menu board.  As such, I cannot imagine that anything Subway has factored into their calorie and nutrition counts for the sandwich (other than the slightly stale bread) comes close to what the real nutrition value is for a Tuna sandwich made at this Subway.

Suffice it to say tonight was the last time I will waste my money in this local business.

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