Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Pot Roast Success

My usual manner of making a roast consisted of using the crock pot - tossing in potatoes, onion, and carrots along with a liquid of some sort; Italian dressing, broth, water - you get the idea - setting it on low for the whole day.  This was how my mom did it, I liked it, and it was EASY.   Year in, year out this is how I made "pot roast".

Doug would graciously eat this meal, but I believe he'd admit it was not his favorite.  Up till now, my little brain just wouldn't step out of my "crock pot pot roast" box.

In our simple mountain home, I've found I have time to venture into the realm of cooking new and more elaborate meals.  I made the decision, with a little hinting from Doug, to branch out with my roast.   After all, that was about all we had left of our "half cow" we purchased a year or so back.

Side note:  I'm happy to announce this is my SECOND non-crock pot roast to date and we've only been here 2 months.

Tonights menu consisted of herb crusted roast, accompanied by lemon parmesan broccoli (a "win" recipe from a previous week's menu), and butternut squash risotto.

I have to partially admit here, that making the roast came about due to my reading of The Pioneer Woman's blog and seeing her recipe for Butternut Squash Risotto.  It made my mouth water.  I just HAD to find a menu plan that would work with it.

My quest began.

Did I mention I bought a butternut squash on a whim right after seeing her recipe?  Even though I ended up using that first squash in a different recipe - my heart was set on having this risotto.  I'm sure Doug kept wondering why a butternut squash kept making it's way into our grocery cart each week.

I digress.  First up, the main attraction. The roast.  Here's the First String Players list of ingredients for this succulent Herb Crusted Roast

The Players:

First String - The roast

To complete this, you will need:
A 4lb roast - beef
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 med. garlic cloves (I used minced garlic from a jar)
1/4 C Dijon Mustard (I used a combo mustard/horse radish mixture I had on hand b/c I had forgotten to pick up horseradish at the store)
2 Tbs reduced-calorie mayo
1 1/2 tsp horse radish (again, I just added a bit more of the mustard/horseradish mixture I had above)
1/4 C parsley
2Tbs thyme
2Tbs dill

Once the players were huddled together, my cooking commenced.  I knew the roast would take a while to cook, so I started early.  You might remember the day I napped while the girls were still awake?  This was THAT day.

I salted and peppered the whole roast and placed it in my roasting pan - bone down as described in the recipe. Preheating the oven to 375 degrees, I then proceeded to make the "mustard mixture" to coat the roast.  Combining the garlic, mustard, mayo and horseradish (in my case the mustard/horseradish combo), I created a paste or thick sauce of sorts.  In another dish, I combined the spices plus one Tbls of the paste I had just completed.

Now - time to coat the roast with the mustard paste. This was easiest accomplished by scooping it on to the meat, then spreading it around with my hands.  The girls might have said, "ooooo, your hands are dirty" at this point in the preparation.

Pop it in the oven until the center temp reaches 110 degrees.  I'd say this took approximately 45 minutes.  Next, I took the spice combo and poured it evenly over the roast, patting it down with my hands to make it "stick".  Then, I placed it back in the oven till the internal temp reached 140 degrees. If you like your meat more well done, you may want to let the internal temp rise a bit more.  Ours was just about perfect for the varying degrees of doneness our family prefers.  Pink, but hot in the center.
The first round in the oven - roast w/the mustard mixture.
Still not accustomed to taking pics of food as I prep and cook it.
This is the ONLY shot of the roast I thought to take.

One important note - once your roast has heated to the temperature you desire, take it out of the oven, cover it with foil and allow it to "rest" for 20-30 minutes before cutting into it. This will keep the meat moist and prevent all the juices from "running" out all over your pan or serving platter.

When I finally cut into the roast - it was juicy, pink, hot and delicious.  The mustard and herb covering made a slightly crispy, flavorful crust to enjoy with the tender, mouth watering morsels of meat.

To get the recipe and hear our story of the risotto - check back tomorrow. I can promise, you won't be disappointed in the creamy, dreaminess of this delectable dish.  (Look at that, I'm  happily using alliteration.)

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