November 5, 2018
This is about...
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        WHEN I WAS GROWING UP, LIPTON’S SOUP MIX WAS ALL THE RAGE. The only onion dip I ever knew was made with one of those white and red packets stirred into a lot of sour cream. And, pot roast? Well, it wasn’t Sunday pot roast without it. We used to place a chuck roast on a piece of heavy duty foil, sprinkle the soup mix over the top and add a few squirts of Worcestershire sauce. Then, we’d throw some cut up carrots and potatoes in for good measure. You’d pull up the sides of the foil, seal it tight, throw it in the oven and just forget about it. About two and half to three hours later it was done--- a yummy pot roast for sure.
        ALTHOUGH LIPTON’S IS CONVENIENT AND TASTY, I’M NOT SO FOND OF THE EXTRA CHEMICALS—sulfites and hard to pronounce disodium additives-- OR THE FOIL. So, I’ve upgraded my childhood version using fresh spices to conjure up those same onion soup flavors. And instead of the foil, I now roast the beef in a heavy stew pot or in a slow cooker. Those few extra ingredients won’t slow you down either. WHAT YOU END UP WITH IS FALL APART, FORK TENDER MEAT WITH POTATOES AND CARROTS SOAKING UP ALL OF THAT BRAISED GOODNESS. You get the added bonus of using the accumulated juices as a “gravy.” YUM!
        This is one of those dishes that’s gets even better the next day. Plus, leftovers can become sandwiches, added to tacos, tossed with barbecue sauce or even used as part of a Shepard’s pie with any leftover vegetables you might have.

LESSONS Learned:
1. Even though back then, we never took the time to brown the chuck roast in oil on all sides first, I always do that now. But it’s up to you.
2. You can leave out the veggies if you like. Sides of mashed potatoes and green beans or broccolini instead would be perfect.
3. To save time, especially if you’re opting for the slow cooker version in the morning before you leave for the day, you can prep the veggies the night before. Just keep them in water in the fridge, so that they don’t discolor. Also, do not brown the meat the night before, as there is a risk of bacteria growth.
4. Don’t be afraid to make it one or two days in advance.

THROWBACK Sunday Pot Roast

one 3 pound boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat
salt and pepper for sprinkling on the meat
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
5-6 carrots, about one pound, peeled and cut into 3 inch chunks
4-5 medium-sized russet potatoes, about 2 pounds, peeled and cut into 8ths
2 stalks celery, cut into 2-inch pieces, optional
3 cups low-sodium beef broth and/or water
3 Tablespoons onion flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon parsley flakes
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon celery seed, optional
1 ½ Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 cups low sodium beef stock or water, plus an extra 1 cup if needed.

Make the roast:
In the oven:
        If the roast is chilled, remove from the fridge and let sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes, and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Remove the top rack in the oven to be able to fit the pot. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
        Heat the oil in a large, lidded heavy pot or 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the roast ( If it doesn’t fit your pot, cut in half to fit) and cook until well browned on all sides, 10-15 minutes total. Arrange the potatoes, carrot and celery, if using, around the roast.
        Pour the broth and/or water into a 4 cup measure and add the onion flakes, salt, parsley flakes, pepper, onion powder, paprika, celery seed and Worcestershire sauce. Stir well to combine. Pour the mixture all over the meat and vegetables. It should come up to about ¾ way up the side of the roast. Cover tightly and bake for 3 to 3 1/2 hours, until very tender when pierced with a fork.
        About 3/4’s of the way through, check to make sure there is still some liquid in the pot. Add another cup, if necessary. Gently toss the veggies to coat with the juices. When done, remove the beef & vegetables to a platter and serve with the juices.

In the slow cooker:
        Remove meat from fridge for about 30 minutes and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. If desired, brown the meat first. Heat the oil in a large, 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook until well browned on all sides, about 10-12 minutes total. Pour about 1/2 cup of the broth or water into the skillet where the beef was browned in and scrape up any brown bits from the pan. Place the browned or unbrowned beef in the slow cooker. Arrange the potatoes, carrots and celery around the roast. Pour the ½ cup broth from the pan plus 2 1/2 cups more broth or water into a 4 cup measure. Add the onion flakes, salt, parsley flakes, pepper, paprika, onion powder, celery seed and Worcestershire sauce. Stir well to combine. Pour the mixture all over the meat and vegetables. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, or high 4 to 5 hours, until the meat is fork tender. Serve with accumulated juices.

Makes 8-10 servings.      YUM!
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