(Family Features) - There's nothing like a delicious, hearty beef pot roast to evoke the comforts of home. The keys to successful braising - also known as pot roasting - are low heat and a tightly covered pan to achieve unbelievable tenderness. And be sure to include the browning step as it packs a bonus layer of flavor.
The Featured Cuts
"Pot roasts from the chuck and round benefit from braising, a moist heat cooking method that softens the strong muscle fibers of less tender cuts," says Chef Dave Zino, executive director of the Culinary Center for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. "In addition to the mouthwatering results, beef pot roasts are a nutrient-rich source of 10 essential vitamins and minerals, including protein. Plus, cuts from the round and the chuck shoulder pot roast meet the government guidelines for lean."
Three Easy Steps
Step 1: Remove beef pot roast from refrigerator and slowly brown on all sides in a small amount of oil in heavy pan over medium heat. Pour off drippings. Season beef with herbs or spices, as desired.
Step 2: Add small amount (1/2 to 2 cups) of liquid, such as broth, wine, beer, juice or water, to pan.
Step 3: Cover tightly and simmer gently over low heat on top of the range, or in a preheated 325ºF oven, until beef is fork-tender, from 2 to 3-1/4 hours, depending on weight and thickness of the roast.
Pot Roast Video
Take the mystery our of making pot roast with this helpful how-to video. It's easier than you think to make a delicious roast even grandma would be proud of. Click on image to view video.
For more braising tips and recipes, visit BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com.
Pot Roast with Cider-Maple Gravy and Mashed Butternut Squash
- 1 beef bottom round roast (3 to 4 pounds)
- 3/4 teaspoon pepper
- 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup beef broth
- 3/4 cup apple cider
- 2 medium butternut squash, cut lengthwise in half, seeded
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 3 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Press pepper evenly onto all surfaces of beef roast. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in stockpot over medium heat until hot. Place roast in stockpot; brown evenly. Pour off drippings.
- Season roast with salt. Add broth and cider; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover tightly and simmer 2-1/2 to 3-1/4 hours or until roast is fork-tender.
- Heat oven to 375°F. Brush cut sides of squash halves with remaining 2 teaspoons oil. Place squash, cut sides down, on metal baking sheet. Bake 45 to 55 minutes or until fork-tender. Cool slightly. Scoop squash flesh into large bowl; discard shells or use for serving, if desired. Mash squash with back of spoon or fork until almost smooth. Season with salt and pepper, as desired; keep warm.
- Remove roast; keep warm. Skim fat from cooking liquid. Stir in cornstarch mixture and maple syrup; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes or until slightly thickened.
- Carve roast into thin slices. Serve with gravy and squash.
3 to 3-3/4 hours
SOURCE: The Beef Checkoff
(Family Features) This year, make your Easter ham effortless by ditching the oven and using your slow cooker instead. While most people think about slow cooking for staples like chili and stew, it’s also perfect for center-of-the-plate feasts — like an Easter ham.
Using the slow cooker, you can minimize both prep time and cleanup time, leaving plenty of room in the day for church, hunting eggs and enjoying time with your loved ones.
Ham is a tradition for many families this time of year, and because it pairs well with a multitude of ingredients, you can create a unique dish every time.
For a fresh spin on the classic ham, try this Sweet Southern Slow-Cooker Ham recipe from the National Pork Board. Apple cider and bourbon (or vanilla extract, if you prefer) combine to create a rich flavor complemented by the sweetness of brown sugar.
Round out your Easter menu by pairing your ham with classic sides such as oven-roasted carrots, asparagus wrapped in bacon and mashed sweet potatoes.
You can also use leftover ham for flavor-packed recipes like Ham, Apple and Cheddar Crepes, which are ideal for a family-style brunch.
Easter Ham Pin-spiration Sweepstakes
Enter the National Pork Board’s Easter Ham Pin-spiration Sweepstakes at PorkBeinspired.com/EasterHam for the chance to win an Easter gift basket with everything you need for this year’s celebration.
- 1 bone-in fully cooked ham, about 5 1/2 pounds
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/3 cup Kentucky bourbon
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- 4 fresh thyme sprigs
- Place ham in large slow cooker. Whisk cider with brown sugar, bourbon, honey and mustard. Slowly pour over ham. Scatter thyme sprigs into slow cooker.
- Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours, or until very tender. Remove ham to rest on cutting board. Pass remaining cooking liquid through fine mesh sieve into saucepan. Simmer for 10 minutes or until slightly reduced. Carve ham into serving pieces. Brush ham pieces with cooking liquid before arranging on platter. Serve warm or at room temperature.
4 to 8 hours
Notes, Tips & Suggestions
For a non-alcoholic alternative, replace the bourbon with 1/4 cup water and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract.
- 3 cups ham, shredded and warmed
- 1 3/4 cups 2% milk
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Granny Smith apple, halved, cored and thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup white cheddar cheese, shredded
- 2 tablespoons fresh chives, finely chopped
- Pour milk, butter, eggs and salt in blender. Mix until well combined. Add flour. Mix for 15 to 20 seconds or until smooth. Let stand for 10 minutes.
- Heat an 8-inch crepe pan or nonstick skillet over medium heat. Coat well with nonstick cooking spray. Pour 1/4 cup batter into pan, swirl to fully cover bottom of pan. Cook for 1 minute or until crepe begins to curl around edges. Carefully flip and cook for an additional 30 seconds or until set. Transfer to plate. Repeat with additional cooking spray and remaining batter. Layer cooked crepes between pieces of wax paper to prevent sticking.
- Lay a crepe on clean work surface. Arrange few slices of apple on quarter of crepe; top with shredded ham. Fold crepe in half to cover filling and fold in half again to create triangular shape. Repeat with remaining crepes, apple and ham. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet and hold in warm oven until ready to serve, or up to 30 minutes.
- For cheese sauce, melt butter in saucepan set over medium heat. Stir in flour until well coated. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes or until pale and smooth. Whisk in milk, a splash at a time, until smooth; stir in mustard, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until thick enough to coat back of spoon. Remove from heat. Whisk in cheese, a small handful at a time, until melted and smooth.
- Place filled crepes on each plate. Spoon cheese sauce over each crepe and sprinkle with chives.
Notes, Tips & Suggestions
All the elements of the recipe can be prepared a day in advance and gently warmed before assembling.
SOURCE: National Pork Board