Pot Roast. It’s easier than you think, I promise. When my husband and I were newlywed, I was afraid of it and meats in general. I didn’t know how to cook and would normally throw it into an extremely hot oven for much to long so that it came out dry and crumbly. I was afraid of undercooked meat and ended up ruining many a roast. But as time has gone on, I have done my research on how to prep and cook. I’ve tried it in the crock pot and the oven. And I’ve learned to prepare my meats in advance to make them tender and flavorful.
Bonus today, I felt like taking extra pictures!
Cooking friday was mostly a distraction for me, I even ended up making dessert. We lost our beloved dog Thursday evening, according to the Veterinarian she had a tumor in her brain. She suffered a large seizure that left her completely paralyzed Thursday afternoon and left us that evening. It tore my heart to shreds because she had been staying at my parents house, so I didn’t even get to be with her in the last moments. But hearing how my brother cared for her, wrapping her up in his scarf waiting for her to come out of it will always be a little bit of comfort. She loved my brother, very much, as all my pets have. But I will never get to pet her or hug her again, never have my 80lb. baby in my lap again. Sigh. It’s getting easier, but she was my first baby and my son’s buddy. Emery will be greatly missed and I just can’t even fathom having another dog right now. I’ve been asked and already had shelters suggested to me, but she was more than just a dog to us, she was family. We’ll have another dog someday, but that part of my heart will forever be hers.
So I used cooking and baking to busy my mind on Friday, with a long walk in between. Which is probably why I have so many photos, anything to draw out the process and keep me busy.
Let’s get to the food talk, food talk makes me happy.
To prep my pot roast I thawed it in advance so I could put it in a salt brine for 24 hours before cooking. A salt brine helps tenderize the meat and, in my opinion, brings out flavor. I had a 2.5 pound venison roast from deer season and lordy was he delicious. Sorry, I’m a carnivore by nature.
I decided to cook veggies with my roast instead of preparing sides later. It’s really the best way, all the flavors meld together and there is this wonderful juice left behind in the pan that you can sop up with a piece of bread. Just trust me, cook the veggies with the roast!
Always the first step, preheat oven to 275.
Dice the veggies and heat a skillet with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. I plan to do a slow roast, so I want to give the vegetables a head start on getting brown and cooked. I have a small pan, so I cooked each separately, but if you want you could cook them all together. Give each about 5 minutes and then get them out of the pan, you don’t want to over cook them. Extra points if you brown them a little, mine just didn’t brown this time around… life goes on.
My handsome helper was in the kitchen with me, technically we’re in the dining room because the lighting is better for photos. Being four, he took the news pretty well about his dog, but at the same time I could tell he was much more mellow. Makes a momma sad.
While the veggies are cooking, I prepped my roast. Be careful when you unwrap it from the salt brine, there will be excess blood drippings. I rub all my seasoning onto the roast before I sear it, my go to seasons are: Paprika, garlic and onion, as well as some basil and a tad bit of sage. I also prep my pan by putting a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in the bottom along with all my seasonings so the roast can set on top of it. I do it this way because I do not have a roast pan, if you have a roast pan this step won’t matter. Top the roast with all the seasonings and spread some extra on the cutting board. Just rub it all over, into every nook and cranny you can find.
I took care of my meat while my vegetables were cooking, so they’ve been sizzling up and getting precooked this entire time. A little tip, I feel it is obvious but that isn’t always the case, make sure you are washing your hands each time you’re done handling the meat. You don’t want to get sick or cross contaminate anything while you’re cooking. Which is why I don’t have a photo after I rubbed the meat, my hands were icky and then I had to get to those veggies.
Vegetables! When they come out of the pan, just place them into a bowl for now. We want to add them to the pan after the roast. You’ll see.
I have carrots too, they just were not invited to the photo for whatever reason.
Using the same pan you use for the veggies, sear your roast on each side. With venison, you will want to add a little oil to the pan, I use olive oil, because it’s a very lean meat. If you’re using beef, it will probably have enough natural fat to take care of itself. Let it get a good “cooked” look on each side, a little browning is okay. It should be in the pan for only a few minutes while you’re getting each side. We’re searing, not cooking.
Once the roast is seared take it straight to your roasting pan!
Once my roast is in the pan, I toss a little more seasoning on top, including the basil and sage. I want my roast to have flavor, so I keep it seasoned. Next I add my vegetables, putting them in around the roast and I had enough they almost covered it. And now proof that I actually had carrots in there.
Now you just place the lid on top and place it into the oven. I have a 2.5 pound roast, I would cook it for about 2 hours for a very, bloody, bleating rare roast [Get it, Deer bleat! My husband wasn’t amused either…]. I wasn’t paying attention and went 3 hours and got a well done roast. I would have preferred a medium roast, but you get what you get somedays.
What I have read as the key for cooking roast is a hour per pound, which really would have worked in my case. With roast, you don’t want to be pulling it in and out checking it every hour. I suggest you take the weight of your roast, mine was 2.5 pounds so two hours thirty minutes, let it cook that entire time undisturbed. When time is up, pull it out and stick a meat thermometer in the thickest part and determine from there if you need to cook it longer. A medium roast really is perfect, if it gets too done it will dry out. I got lucky and mine didn’t dry out but I do wish I didn’t cook it so long. On another note, I would not cook vegetables longer than three hours, so if you have a larger roast I would plan on adding them later or cooking them separate.
If you’re lucky, you’ll get it good on the first try. But cooking is something that comes with trial and error, don’t cry if it’s not right… I mean, I cry… but I’m an emotionally ruined woman. Having a baby will do that to you.
When your roast is “done”, out of the oven, let it rest for 30 minutes before cutting it. This gives it time to pull the natural juices back in, giving it….. you guessed it, FLAVOR. And then you just slice it and serve it up. Since you cooked the vegetables with the roast, you simply scoop them out and place them on the plate.
[Venison] Pot Roast with Vegetables
2-3 Pound Venison Roast [Or Beef roast]
[See below for information on brining]
Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
Dice Vegetables and cook for five minutes in a lightly oiled frying pan. Remove and set aside.
Rub Paprika, Onion, Garlic, Sage and Basil onto roast. Sear roast in frying pan on each side, remove.
Prep roasting pan with olive oil and seasonings on the bottom.
Add roast into the roasting pan, add seasoning on top.
Add vegetables to roasting pan, surrounding the roast.
Cover and place pan in the oven. Cook one hour for each pound, leaving roast in the entire time, do not keeping opening it and checking it.
When time is up, remove roast from oven and check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer. If you desire it to be well done, you may place it back in, uncovered for 30 more minutes. Be careful not to leave it to long or it may dry out inside.
When roast is done cooking, let is rest in the pan, covered, for thirty more minutes.
Slice and serve with the vegetables you cooked with it.
Brining is typically done a day in advance and there a many ways to do it. For roast I do a simple salt brine. For my 2.5 pound roast, I used three tablespoons of salt. You simply rub the meat in the salt, all around. Place it in plastic wrap and wrap tightly, place that into a bowl and refrigerate for 24 hours. If you don’t have time to brine over night, just wrap it up for at least one hour before cooking. It still helps even if it can’t sit as long.
My Stoneware Pan
I have a pretty little red stoneware pan, don’t I? I get compliments on it all the time and YES, you can get one too. It’s a Rachael Ray Stoneware Casserole I got for Christmas a few years ago. I love this pan! It’s the ideal pan for my roast and I love that it looks beautiful enough to display when not in use. You need one, you do. Really.