How to cook a pot roast

Roast beef or pork makes a great main dish for any meal. While there are hundreds of recipes that call for various flavorings and preparation ideas, here are some tips that might help your roast taste even more delicious, no matter which recipe you follow.

  1. Choose a quality cut of meat. Shop at the grocery store or ask the butcher for a better cut of meat, like “prime,” which will be more tender than other cuts as well as be more flavorful, generally speaking. Get enough for your family or whoever you will be cooking for, typically about a quarter pound per serving, with some folks eating more than one serving. You also may want to get enough for leftovers as stew, soup, or a casserole to save on cooking for another day.
  1. Consider marinating the roast. You also can use a meat hammer to make it even more tender, or use meat tenderizer if you feel it will be needed. Many consumers prefer the natural taste of beef without the aid of any enhancers. Don’t forget to rinse it well. As Mom would say, you don’t know where that roast has been.
  2. Brown your cut of meat. In a large skillet heat a small amount of cooking oil. Sprinkle flour on both sides of the roast and when the skillet is ready, place the roast in the pan and let it brown on one side for a few minutes. Then turn it to brown the other side. You can add sliced raw onions now, if desired, or wait to place them in the roasting pan.
  3. Using non-stick cooking oil, spray the bottom of the roasting pan. Place your browned roast in it, along with any desired raw vegetables, such as sliced mushrooms, carrots, or potatoes. Season everything with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and whatever else you wish, to suit your taste. Add water to the pan to fill it about half the width of the roast, making sure the vegetables are semi-submerged.
  4. Place the lid on your roaster and slide the pan into the oven at about 350 degrees or so. Check cooking instructions in the recipe you are following to be sure the meat cooks evenly to the prescribed temperature, and reaches the desired temperature inside. You can turn down the oven to 325 or so, letting it cook longer, for a slow-cooked flavor. Just be careful not to dry it out.
  5. If you plan to make gravy or add a sauce, wait until the roast is nearly done. Then add cream of mushroom soup. Or you may wish to add tomatoes and peppers. Take the “drippings” from your roaster and make gravy separately on top of the stove, adding milk, flour, and butter, or following a favorite recipe.

When the roast is done, take it out of the oven and let it cool a few minutes before slicing. But don’t let it grow cold! Serve hot, ladled with gravy if desired. Scoop cooked veggies into a serving dish with drippings for extra flavor. Store leftovers for tomorrow!

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