Dr. Pepper Braised Pot Roast Dinner
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It's a shameless guilt of mine to not follow recipes. Rather, I tend to find something that looks like it may be good, and then I dissect the recipe and turn it into something entirely different. Perhaps it's just the analytical part of me to want to break things down to the bare bones and then rearrange things into an order that I can understand. Then again, I may just also be a little bit lazy about cooking even if I really enjoy the process of cooking. Lots of recipes have lots of steps. Time is of the essense. I like to keep things fairly simple. I think most people do as well, especially if many who find themselves tied to the kitchen in preparing a meal for the family also find themselves tied to other obligations. Most people have distractions, and so a simple recipe simply helps the whole process of cooking go more smoothly. The less steps, the less attention required in the kitchen, and the distractions bedamned, they can be dealt with and still a great meal can be served up that can be enjoyed when all is said and done.
This recipe is a culmination of something I found in my local newspaper's food section, and my own ideas about how this dish should come together. Although I devitated quite dramatically from what I found, the test is in the end result. In this case, everything came together quite nicely. I can't say that perhaps a great analytical chef like Alton Brown might think the same of all things rendered here in this concoction, but the senses are the final judge when it comes to food for me. And so long as what I eat tastes good, so what about the science of it all. What's that old saying? "In the end it all goes to the same place anyway."
What we will be putting together today will be a Dr. Pepper braised pot roast dinner using a boneless chuck roast. When I made this I also made up a batch of Parmesan garlic mashed potatoes, and brussel sprouts.
For the Chuck Roast
3 1/2 - 4 1/2 lb boneless beef chuck roast
Preheat oven to 350°. Season all sides of the meat with Kosher salt and pepper. In the skillet heat oil, and brown both sides of the roast over medium heat for about 5-7 minutes per side. When finished browning, transfer the roast into a roasting pan.
For the Braise
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups Dr. Pepper
2 beef bouillon cubes
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp thyme
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
In a medium saucepan, mix together water, Dr. Pepper, and bouillon cubes. Bring liquid to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and add garlic, rosemary, thyme, and tomato paste. Cook liquid mixture for about 5 minutes more to blend flavors.
When done, evenly pour the mixture over the meat. The meat should be at least 1/2 submerged in the liquid. Place the roasting pan, uncovered, just slightly up from the roasting rack, and cook for approximately 2 1/2-3 hours, or until the temperature of the meat reaches 155° to 165°, turning the meat in the pan every hour. Keep an eye on the liquid. If the liquid evaporates to the point that the roast is less than 1/2 submerged in liquid, add a little water during cooking.
When the roast is finished cooking, transfer it to a serving platter or carving board, and set aside. Pour the remaining liquid into a saucepan and make a rue (simply a mixture of corn starch or flour and a little water). Bring the liquid to a slow boil and slowly add in the rue, continuously stirring, until the liquid thickens. Once the mixture is thickened, remove it from the heat, carve the roast into slices, and serve the roast with slathers of the gravy mixture.