Saturday, October 27, 2007

Stove-top Pot Roast Recipe with Mushrooms and Sage

Stove-top Pot Roast Recipe with Mushrooms and Sage found on
This delicious pot roast cooks on top of the stove.

Recently I got a new enamel-coated-cast-iron pan that I'm quite infatuated with. This pan is so heavy and conducts heat so well that I thought I'd try using it to make pot roast on top of the stove, something I never did before because I didn't have the type of heavy dutch oven you need to cook a roast this way. I used boneless chuck roast, rubbed it with some steak rub, and seasoned the liquid with Better Than Bouillon Mushroom Base, some onions, and some finely chopped frozen sage. (Why didn't I have the idea of freezing sage years ago!) The pot roast was really delicious, one more reason why I love this pan.

When I made this I used Better Than Bouillon Mushroom Base, (and even the sometimes snooty readers of Chowhound say Better Than Bouillon is good.) I also like the Telma Mushroom Cubes I got at the Ferry Building Farmer's Market last summer. (I'm out of those now, but I did find a few places where you can order them online.) If you don't have mushroom base, you could substitute canned mushroom soup with about 1/4 cup of water. (Gasp, I did actually say that!) I made pot roast with mushroom soup for years and it always tasted good, although now I'd prefer using mushroom base which has less sodium and tastes more like mushrooms.

Pot roast is a naturally low-glycemic food, but I'm trying to keep the South Beach Diet police happy by limiting my intake of saturated fat, so I trim as much fat as I can from my chuck roast. (Of course I'm saving all those trimmed pieces to use when I'm making beef stock!

I rub both sides of the pot roast with Pride of Szeged Steak Rub. This is a product I really like, but I can't seem to find it anymore in Salt Lake. If others can't find it, that link takes you to one place I found to order it online. I think other brands of steak rub would also work.

Brown the roast very well on both sides, then put it in the pan with 3/4 cup water, the Better Than Bouillon Mushroom Base, 2 onions cut into quarters, and the finely chopped sage.

I got the idea of using this grilling rack to raise my pan from the recipe for Elise's Mom's Pot Roast at Simply Recipes. Elise mentioned in her notes for that recipe that if you're using a gas stove you may not be able to keep the flame low enough, but this little rack raised my pan just perfectly so I could keep the heat at the lowest possible simmer.

After my pot roast cooked for 2 3/4 hours, I added fresh crimini mushrooms and let it cook about 45 minutes more. This adds even more mushroom flavor to the gravy, and the mushrooms are great with the meat. (You could also add carrots or turnips at this point, or potatoes for people not following the South Beach Diet.)

I used a fat separator to remove most of the fat as well as bits of sediment and the sage from the liquid before I thickened it to make gravy. The strainer on top of my fat separator is actually a yogurt strainer, but it works perfectly for this purpose too! (Next time I might use an immersion blender to blend in the sage and then remove the fat.)

Stove-top Pot Roast with Mushrooms and Sage
(Makes 4-6 servings, recipe created by Kalyn.)

You'll need a heavy dutch-oven type pan with a tight fitting lid to make this successfully on the top of the stove.

3 lb. beef chuck roast, fat trimmed
steak rub, for seasoning meat before browning (I used Pride of Szeged Steak Rub, but I think others would work)
1-2 tsp. olive oil, for browning roast
1/2 - 3/4 cup water (depending on the size of your roast and pan, see note below)
1 T Better Than Bouillon Mushroom Base
(can substitute canned mushroom soup and use less water)
2 onions, peeled and cut in fourths
1 T finely chopped fresh sage (or 1 tsp. dried rubbed sage, I think thyme would also be good if you don't have sage)
1 lb. crimini or white mushrooms, washed and cut in half
1 T flour mixed into 2 T water to thicken gravy (I used white whole wheat flour to keep it South Beach friendly)

Trim all visible fat from the roast. (Chuck steak often has pockets of fat running through the roast, which I just cut away when I'm serving.) Rub both sides of the roast with steak rub of your choice, then brown roast well in a tiny amount of olive oil.

Put roast into dutch oven, and add onions and chopped sage. Mix mushroom base into water and pour over roast. (My pot roast barely fit into the dutch oven, so I browned it in another pan. Then I de-glazed the pan I browned it in with the water, mixed in the mushroom base, and poured it over the roast. Use 1/2 - 3/4 cup water, more water for larger size pan. The roast should not be covered with water.)

Let roast cook at the lowest possible simmer for 2-3 hours, or until it feels almost tender when pierced with a fork; for me this was about 2 3/4 hours. (See the tip above about using something to lift the pan a little if you have a gas stove and can't keep it at a very low simmer.) Add mushrooms and cook 30-45 minutes longer. (How done you prefer the roast is a bit of a personal preference. I like my roast to still be slightly "chewy" even though it's well done.)

Remove roast, mushrooms and onions from pot. Discard onions and set aside mushrooms and meat. Strain liquid if desired to remove bits of sage. (You could also use an immersion blender to mix in the sage, which is what I'd do next time.) Remove fat using a fat separator or by skimming it off with a fine-mesh stock skimmer. Taste the liquid for flavor, and if it tastes weak to you, simmer at high heat for a few minutes to reduce.

Mix 1 T flour into 2 T water with a whisk, then whisk that mixture into simmering stock and cook 5-10 minutes until gravy thickens. (Use white whole wheat flour for South Beach Diet.) For my pot roast, this was enough flour to make about 1 1/4 cups of slightly thickened gravy. If you have a lot more liquid than that or you prefer thick gravy you may need a bit more flour. You could also add some beef stock to the liquid if you wanted more gravy and increase the thickening accordingly.

Cut pot roast into thick slices, and serve hot with mushrooms (and other vegetables if desired) on the side, with gravy spooned over meat and mushrooms.

Printer Friendly Recipe

South Beach Suggestions:
If you take time to trim fat from the meat, and then skim off fat from the liquid, this would be a great meal for the South Beach Diet. For phase one, I would probably leave out the flour and serve the liquid as au jus, although this is a tiny amount of flour. For phase two or three, you could add carrots or turnips along with the mushrooms. South Beach does not recommend potatoes for any phase of the diet, but if you're cooking for a family, this would be simple enough to make with potatoes for the non-dieters, and then skip the potatoes yourself if you are following the diet.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

Stove-top Pot Roast Recipe with Mushrooms and Sage found on

More Delicious Variations of Pot Roast:
(Recipes from other blogs may or may not be South Beach Diet friendly, check ingredients.)
Balsamic and Onion Pot Roast (Crockpot)
Crockpot Recipe for Pot Roast with Sweet and Sour Tomato Sauce
Elise's Mom's Pot Roast from Simply Recipes
Tuscan Style Beef Pot Roast from Meathenge
Pot Roast from Love and Cooking
Red Wine Pot Roast with Honey and Thyme from Je Mange la Ville
Pot Roast with a Kick (or Soup!) from Blog Appetit
Terry's Mysterious Pot Roast (with Biryani paste) from Blue Kitchen
Mom's Pot Roast from Andrea's Recipes
Southwestern Pot Roast from Eat

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  1. Ohhhhh baby...that's a comforting dish! I looked through the ingredients and I see NOcorn starch and a glistening sauce....very nice veloute, Kalyn.

  2. Peter, thanks! I was pleasantly surprised at how well the white whole wheat flour worked for a sauce that's only slightly thickened.

  3. looks delish and your photography looks amazing!

  4. I remember hearing a while back that mushrooms were high in "Umami", so I can only imagine how good they are with all that added flavour.

    Great stuff.

  5. I love good pot roast, and yours looks delicious! Those mushrooms! Yum.

  6. I think that same company does a Ham Base that I brought back with me once - it was wonderful for soups and beans! Your pot roast looks just perfect - I love pot roast season. I'm off to put a leg of lamb in right now!

  7. Kalyn, oooh, now I am craving a pot roast! Great idea about raising the pot, which reminded me that I have a canning grate that will do the same thing! My low on my big burner is still fairly hot. I covet your pretty blue pot!

  8. Congratulations on your new pot! You'll find all sorts of wonderful things to cook with a heavy pot like that. Pot roast is such a wonderful comfort food, and this recipe looks delicious.

  9. How fun to cook something so scrumptious in a new pan. Yum! I need new pots and pans. ;-)


  10. Oh, this sounds delicious! I shall have to try it soon.

    Thank you so much!


  11. Haven't had pot roast in years but this looks so delicious I think I'm going to have to make it soon!

  12. Sage sounds like an excellent touch for a pot roast, Kalyn. And isn't Better Than Bouillon Mushroom Base terrific? It really does give a nice earthy taste to food. Ever since we discovered it at Fairway Market in New York [and have now found sources for it here in Chicago], it's been our go to for broth, unless Marion makes her homemade chicken stock.

  13. hi kalyn, the pot roast looks soo delicious! would like to have some...
    i have sent my entry for WHB to nami nami. thank you so much for starting this great event!

  14. wow kalyn, that pot roast looks absolutely delicious. My hubby loves sunday roasts and is over the moon when i try out different roasts. A definite try!!!!

  15. I love your new, heavy and beautiful cooking pot. Beautiful! The dish of potroast and mushrooms compliments it well =D. I love having beautiful cookwear to do my culinary endeavors with. Cooking becomes so much more fun, especially when taking pictures. . .This recipe looks wonderful and I have printed it out for use this weekend. . .Thank you,
    Shandy (Pastryheaven)

  16. Holy Moly this looks good. I love Pot Roast, but have never made it! This is one I will have to try!

  17. looks great and i'm sure it is delicious. will have to make this for a lazy sunday afternoon lunch soon.

  18. What a great looking dish. Beef and mushrooms are a great combination.

  19. Nika, thanks you! Coming from such a great photographer it's really a compliment.

    Graeme, umami like crazy in this dish!

    Andrea, thanks.

    Katie, I've used all their different types and haven't found a bad one. Penzeys ham base is my favorite though.

    Pam, that blue pot is a winner!

    Lydia, I have been using it every weekend so far.

    Paz, new pots and pans are a wonderful thing. (I'm a bit of a collector when it comes to kitchen things.)

    Amy, you're welcome. (Perfect for lunch at school.)

    Christine, do try it. I think you'll like it.

    Terry, I love the BTB products, so good. (But true, not as good as homemade stock!)

    Lissie, welcome to WHB, and glad you like the sound of the pot roast.

    Padmaja, you will have to let me know how he likes it.

    Shandy, thanks. I agree, you must have good looking utensils when you cook!

    Chris, pot roast is so easy. You must make it. It's good in the crock pot too.

    Maybahay, perfect for Sunday.

    Kevin, I agree!

  20. yummmm...that sounds perfect for autumn. I recetly bought a williams sonoma book on mastering beef and veal and it has a pot roast recipe...but it sounds so complicated...while yours, on the other hand, looks extremely easy!

  21. I use Better than Bouillon.
    I love it. It's my old stand-by.

  22. Kitchen cabinets, thanks. I'm working hard on it.

    Nabeela, this could not be easier, and very delish.

    Chigiy, yaaay, two votes for Better Than Bouillon.

  23. Gasp, you did say canned mushroom soup. This is pot roast weather and I think I'll be having one on my stove this week.
    I am still surprised at how much I really enjoy the cast iron pieces I have. I have lots of all-clad but find I reach for the cast iron much more often. I'm more and more pleased with the white whole wheat.

  24. I'm going to try this one this weekend, probably modify some ingredients I can find here in the Philippines. Pot roasts are not that big here. Thanks.

  25. Don't laugh - I've never done a pot roast... This sounds fantastic though, and what a gloriously autumnal photo!

  26. Kalyn, I have a "simmer disk" that came with my gas cook-top 11 years ago. It is a thick round disk with tiny ridges to lift the pan. Recently I was making a recipe where you specified to use a smaller crockpot. I used a 3 quart Revere ware pot and it cooked EXACTLY like a crockpot! I put it on the smallest burner, turned to lowest point. Viola!

  27. Nancy, that sounds fantastic. I have vaguely heard of such a thing, but haven't ever seen one.

  28. I tried the link to the boullion and it says it does not exist. I tried two stores near Indianapolis and they only had chicken, beef, vegetable and fish base. I bought the beef one - hope it works. The mushroom one sounds great tho!

  29. Ginny, looks like that company has changed their web page (why do they do that?) But I found the Better Than Bouillon Mushroom Base at and changed the link to that. I'm sure it will be good with beef soup base too, but I do love the mushroom one. I always have it in my fridge!


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