101 One-Dish Dinners by Andrea Chesman solves the dinner dilemma deliciously and nutritiously using just one dish! Chesman also provides advice for busy home cooks on topics such as how to set up a home kitchen, stock a pantry and what tools to keep on hand. This excerpt comes from chapter three, "Oven Baked Suppers."
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Although pot roast takes several hours to bake, it is mostly unattended time. It can also be made ahead of time; when the meat and vegetables are tender, remove the pot from the oven and refrigerate overnight. Skim off the fat and reheat the meat and vegetables in the pan juices.
• 4 garlic cloves, minced
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, or 1 tablespoon dried
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh or dried rosemary leaves
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 beef chuck or rump roast (3–5 pounds)
• 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive or canola oil
• 2 onions, finely chopped
• 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
• 1-1/2 cups beef broth
• 1/2 cup dry red wine
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 pound red potatoes, cubed
• 2–3 carrots, cubed
• 1 rutabaga, peeled and cubed
• 1 parsnip, peeled and cubed
• 3–4 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
• 3–4 tablespoons water
1. Mix together the garlic, thyme, rosemary, and salt and pepper; rub the mixture all over the meat. Let stand for 15 to 20 minutes, while you preheat the oven to 275°F.
2. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the meat and brown all over until dark and crusty, about 20 minutes.
3. Remove the meat from the Dutch oven. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat. Add the onions and celery, and sauté until the vegetables are softened, 3 minutes. Add the broth and wine, bring to a boil, and cook until the liquid is reduced to about 1½ cups. Return the meat to the pot, add the bay leaves, and cover.
4. Bake for 3 hours, until the meat is almost tender, turning the meat every half hour. The timing varies, depending on the cut and shape of the roast. You can tell the meat is tender if a fork will pierce the meat without too much resistance and the juices run clear. Add the potatoes, carrots, rutabaga, and parsnip, and continue to bake until the meat and vegetables are tender, about 1 hour more.
5. Remove the meat and vegetables to a platter and cover to keep warm. Pour the pan juices into a glass measure. Discard the bay leaves and skim off any fat from the surface. Return to the pan and bring to a boil. Make a paste of 1 tablespoon flour and 1 tablespoon water for every cup of liquid — you will have 3 to 4 cups. Stir in the flour paste and allow to boil until thickened.
6. Slice the meat; serve with the vegetables and gravy.
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Excerpted from 101 One-Dish Dinners, © by Andrea Chesman, photography by © Johnny Autry, used with permission by Storey Publishing.