(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) - In the restaurant world, professional chefs can afford to spend hours on their culinary creations. When they come home after a long day, however, even the most passionate cooks tend to relish a few cooking shortcuts. From simple recipes to pantry essentials, there are a variety of tips and tricks that home cooks can add to their repertoire, too.
Timesaving products, such as prepared stock and mashed potatoes, allow home cooks to replicate restaurant-quality dishes without spending all day over a hot stove. Here are a few recipes that are easy to prepare, but rich with flavor.
For an elegant main course, try Pan Sautéed Chicken With Vegetables and Herbs. This moist, flavorful dish gets its richness from Swanson chicken stock. Or trade in the traditional salmon filet for savory Butter and Herb Salmon Cakes. Made with cayenne, tarragon, garlic and Idahoan Butter and Herb Mashed Potatoes, these cakes are a cinch to prepare, but friends and family will think you ordered in.
Butternut Squash Soup With Sage is a show-stopping first course that is accented with the flavors of sweet apples and sage. For an appetizer that will please a crowd, try Four-Cheese Potato-Stuffed Mushrooms.
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon paprika
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 bone-in chicken breast halves
- 2 small red onions, cut into quarters
- 1 pound new potatoes, cut into quarters
- 8 ounces fresh whole baby carrots (about 16), green tops trimmed to 1 inch
- 1 1/2 cups Swanson chicken stock
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- Heat oven to 350°F. Combine black pepper, paprika and flour in small bowl. Coat chicken with flour mixture.
- Heat the oil in 12-inch oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until it's well browned on all sides. Remove chicken from skillet.
- Add onions and potatoes to skillet and cook for 5 minutes. Add carrots, stock, lemon juice and oregano and heat to a boil. Return the chicken to the skillet. Cover the skillet.
- Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes. Uncover the skillet and bake for 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Sprinkle with the thyme.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 medium Granny Smith apples, cored and sliced
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3 cups Swanson chicken broth (regular, Natural Goodness or Certified Organic)
- 1 tablespoon butter OR margarine
- 12 fresh sage leaves
- Heat oil in saucepot over medium heat. Add squash, apples and onion and cook until almost tender. Stir in sugar, coriander and cayenne pepper. Cook and stir 2 minutes.
- Add broth. Heat to a boil. Cook over low heat 10 minutes or until squash is tender.
- Place cooked squash mixture in food processor, using a slotted spoon. Cover and blend until smooth, adding enough cooking liquid to make soup of desired consistency.
- Heat butter in small skillet. Add sage and cook until crisp. Remove and drain on paper towels. Reserve butter in skillet. Divide soup among 4 bowls. Drizzle each with sage butter and garnish with fried sage leaves.
- 4 cups water
- 1 1/2 lemons
- 1 10 to 12-ounce salmon filet
- 1/3 cup celery, finely diced
- 1/3 cup onion, finely diced
- 3 teaspoons mayonnaise
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon tarragon
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 4-ounce pouch Idahoan Butter and Herb Mashed Potatoes, dry
- Canola oil
- In a medium pot, boil 4 cups water with the juice of the lemons, placing one lemon half in the water. Reduce heat to a simmering boil. Poach salmon filet in water by cooking, covered, for 7 to 10 minutes, or until done. Remove with spatula. Set aside to cool.
- When salmon is cool, combine with celery, onion, mayonnaise, cayenne, tarragon, garlic, dry mustard, salt and black pepper in large bowl and mix well. Add dry potatoes slowly while mixing until everything is moist.
- Form patties and cook in preheated canola oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat until both sides are brown (3 minutes per side).
- Serve hot.
- 1 4-ounce package Idahoan Four Cheese Mashed Potatoes
- 12 large mushrooms or 18 medium mushrooms
- 3 tablespoons butter, margarine or olive oil
- 3 tablespoons chopped chives
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Prepare potatoes as package directs.
- Remove stems from mushrooms; chop stems and set aside. Carefully scoop out center of each mushroom cap with a spoon, leaving 1/2-inch shell.
- Melt butter in 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add chopped mushroom stems and cook 3 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat and stir in mashed potatoes, 2 tablespoons chives and salt.
- Fill each mushroom cap with potato mixture, mounding it slightly. Bake 10 minutes or until potatoes are lightly golden. Sprinkle mushrooms with remaining 1 tablespoon chives.