There are literally hundreds of ways to prepare a roast – each one grounded in family tradition. I’ve always been inspired by the simplicity of preparation; a classic Sunday meal with roots in colonial America. Here is my version which is braised slow and low – I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
1 lean two-pound beef roast (chuck or rump)
1 cup flour
1 tbs. paprika
1 tbs. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
Coarse-ground black pepper, to taste
4 tbs. butter
1 packet Lipton® Onion Soup mix
2 cups boiling water
1 tsp. Kitchen Bouquet®
1 tsp. Lea & Perrins® Worchestershire Sauce
1/2 tbs. beef base
1 cup fine-chopped celery leaf and stalk
2 tbs. fine-chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
2 dry bay leaves
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
5 large carrots, peeled, washed, split and cut into 3″ planks
4 large potatoes, peeled, washed and quartered
In a large plastic shaker bag, add the flour, paprika, garlic powder, 1 tsp. salt and the black pepper. Shake well to incorporate. Add the roast to the bag and shake to coat evenly. In a 5-quart cast-iron dutch oven set to medium, melt the 4 tbs. butter, but do not scorch.
Reserve two tbs. of the seasoned flour from the shaker bag.
Add the roast to the pot, increase the heat to medium-high, and brown evenly on all sides.
Shut off the heat and remove the pot to an unheated burner. Remove the roast from the pot and reserve on a large, covered serving platter.
It’s time to make a classic roux, which will be a base for the gravy. When the pot with the butter and drippings has cooled slightly, add the reserved flour and mix lightly to form a roux. Stir constantly over low heat for about 10 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 275° F.
Mix the dry onion soup mix, Kitchen Bouquet, Worchestershire sauce and beef base in two cups boiling water and add to the pot. Add the fine-chopped celery and parsley, bay leaves and black pepper – mix well, then add the roast back to the pot, cover tightly and bake in the oven for at least three hours, until tender.
Turn the roast over and add the carrots and potatoes during the last 1.5 hours of cooking. The carrots are more dense than the potatoes – therefore they will take longer to cook. You can compensate for this by nesting them in the gravy around the roast, and then place the potatoes on top.
The roast should be fork-tender when done. Serve with the pot juices over the potatoes and carrots.
Note: I’ve had fantastic results using a rump roast vs. a more expensive chuck roast. They also tend to be more lean. My Lodge® and antique Wagner Ware cast-iron dutch ovens are essential for the preparation of this meal. The basting spikes on the inside of the tight fitting cover ensure that the meat remains tender. The heavy iron guarantees even heating.