Whenever I am fortunate enough to visit with my grandmother Omi, she is usually either in her store selling screws, nails and door-knobs or at the stove. Either way, the conversation will always steer towards her lunch plans and more often than not, she has a pot-roast braising in the kitchen. This isn’t necessarily a warm-weather-type of meal, unless you live in the Dolomites where it is generally always on the cooler side, but it is great, fast and delicious and I wanted to share it as my Omi’s quintessential meal. Come and cook with us!
We love any recipe that doesn’t take too much active involvement, so this simple pot roast is ideal when you want a real meal and have the time to prepare it a few hours in advance. You don’t have to stay there and nurse it the whole time, although checking on the liquid level is a good idea. Alternatively, you can transfer the whole affair into a slow-cooker and you’re golden. As with many meat dishes, browning the seasoned roast on all side is key to get that delicious umami flavor: it’s called the Maillard reaction. This doesn’t really “seal in the juices”, although that sounds like a great strategy. Instead, it creates those complex flavor compounds that make browned meat taste so delicious.
The type of cut that is used for this dish is not high end, so think chuck, round or brisket with lots of connective tissue that will tenderize the meat and make it succulent. If at all possible, buy the organic grass-fed variety, thereby opting for quality vs. quantity, which is always a good strategy when it comes to food.
A pot-roast is a beautiful thing and I hope you will find the opportunity to give this dish a try. Come and cook with us!