Savory Pot Roast

     With the high cost of everything, I decided to resurrect some of my recipes from a more frugal period. That took me back to recipes from Abilene High School where I taught Home Ec for 33 years.
     Meat cookery was part of the curriculum during Advanced Foods (sophomore level class) and a review of the beef carcass reveled cuts of meat and their cooking methods based on level of muscle activity and resulting tenderness or toughness.
Needless to say, our departmental budget (even in those days) was limited, so beef related foods labs centered on the less-tender cuts. This is a recipe that uses a cut of beef from the shoulder (chuck) area – an area that receives lots of exercise so is full of connective tissues. These tissues are quite tough and need long, slow cooking to make them tender.
Savory Pot Roast uses braising as the cooking method but is also bathed in a marinade that adds flavor to the meat and also helps tenderize the roast (acids in the vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce and Worcestershire attach and break down connective tissues).

Savory Pot Roast    Allow about 1/4 lb. cooked meat per person
2 to 3 lb. blade, arm or check pot roast
Vegetable oil (canola or olive) for browning
                    Diagram from wikiHow
1/4 cup wine vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable oil (canola or olive)
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1.     In a skillet or Dutch oven, brown meat in a small amount of hot oil. If using a skillet, transfer the meat to a roasting pan; if using a Dutch oven, remove excess oil.
2.     Sprinkle meat with a little salt. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over meat.
3.     Cover with lid.
4.     Bake roast 2 to 3 hours in a 325° to 350° oven. Add additional liquid (water) if needed but don’t check too often. Or, add the roast to a slow cooker – 8 to 16 hours on low or 4 to 6 hours on high.
5.     Remove meat to platter. Skim excess fat from sauce and thicken with flour if needed. Spoon sauce over meat to serve.

Cooking Tips:
More About Braising
Cuts of meat suitable for braising include: Beef Top Round Steak, Beef Bottom Round Steak, Beef Flank Steak, Beef Arm Pot Roast, Beef Blade Roast, Beef Cross Rib Pot Roast, Beef Short Ribs, Beef Shank Cross Cuts, Beef Boneless Rolled Rump Roast, Veal Blade Roast, Veal Arm Steak, Veal Blade Steak, Veal Riblets, Pork Loin & Rib Chops, Pork Butterfly Chops, Lamb Neck Slices Lamb Shank, Lamb Riblets – Lessons on Meat, National Live Stock and Meat Board

Basics of braising: 1) Brown meat slowly on all sides in heavy utensil. Pour off excess fat as needed. (Some recipes will call for dredging or coating meat with seasoned flour before browning) 2) Season. 3) Add a small amount of liquid. 4) Cover tightly and cook at low temperature until tender. 4) The liquids from the meat may be thickened, if necessary.

Adapting Recipes to Your Time Schedule
·      Cooking a recipe like this in 50-minute class period, was impossible so tasks were divided into steps. These steps can be easily at home, too. Pre-preparation: step 1  to 3; refrigerate. Final preparation: step 4 to 5. Allow additional time to bake from the cold state.
·      Adapt recipes like this to the slow cooker. To convert cooking times, check out the information at Busy Cooks

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