I’ll be honest with you - until recently, I never really liked pot roast much. It’s only been the past few years that I’ve learned how to properly cook a roast and to coax the flavors together. I generally knew what components were supposed to be there but I never really quite got it. I never really realized that pot roast is supposed to taste like home. It’s supposed to make your entire house smell suffused with love and care, with lightly caramelized onions and fragrant rosemary and that little something extra. I’m excited to go into the season for roasts and more excited to be embracing them. This one is something special, rich and silky with the mounted butter and the dimension of apple cider.
Pot roast is a pretty North American invention. In the broadest strokes, it’s a slowly braised beef dish accompanied by an array of root vegetables and came from adjustments to the French dish bœuf à la mode. There are a fairly wide variety of choices in what meat you select, but make sure it’s well-disposed to long braising and is rich in fat and collagen. The tenderness that pot roast is so praised for will come from the long breakdown of that fat and collagen in the heat of the oven and will melt into the juices and vegetables for extra silkiness and flavor.
4-5 lb beef chuck roast
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup celery, diced (about 3 stalks)
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 cup yellow onions, diced (about 2 onions)
1.5 cups apple cider
2 cups beef stock
3-4 carrots, large dice
4-5 red potatoes, medium diced
3 parsnips, cored and medium diced
1 beet, peeled and diced
3 sprigs rosemary
3 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp dijon mustard
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp prepared horseradish
2 tbsp butter
1 oz lemon juice
Preheat oven to 275 F. In a large oven-safe pot with a lid, heat the pan over high heat. Add olive oil and get hot. Salt and pepper the roast generously and then sear off each side of the roast until a nice golden brown on every side. Remove to a plate.
Reduce heat to medium high and add onions and celery. Cook 1-2 minutes, until beginning to be fragrant and translucent, then add garlic and tomato paste. Cook 1-2 minutes further, until garlic is fragrant, then add cider, stock, 1/4 cup mustard, and 1/4 cup horseradish. Taste. Add salt as needed. Return roast to pot and add all vegetables and herbs. Roast for 2-3 hours or until roast is tender and internal temperature reads 145 F.
Mix remaining mustard and horseradish and brush roast. Mix butter and lemon juice in with the vegetables and sauce. Season to taste. Serve.