Saturday, March 15, 2008

Soy-Braised Pot Roast with Carrots Recipe

Soy-Braised Pot RoastWhen I made White Bean Soup back in October, I shared a photo of my new blue enamel covered cast-iron dutch oven by Chantal, the pan that may be responsible for my current love of pot roast. I think I've been waiting my whole life for a pan like this, where you brown the meat well, add a bit of liquid, and let it simmer away to perfect tenderness while you're busy doing something else. Besides, this pan matches my kitchen, and looks nice sitting on top of my circa 1940 gas stove, which is where I usually store it.

The idea for beef braised in soy sauce and herbs came from this tried and true crockpot roast recipe on Taste and Tell (a Utah blog!) I used essentially the same ingredients that Deborah did, but at the end I thickened the liquid to make a sauce, which I served over the roast and carrots. This recipe had quite a bit more liquid than I'd used before when I made pot roast in this pan and I thought about using less water, but in the end I was glad there was plenty of delicious sauce. I agree with Deborah, this pot roast recipe is a definite keeper.

Soy-Braised Pot Roast with Carrots
(Makes about 6 servings, recipe slightly adapted from Taste and Tell. Check out that version for timing suggestions if you'd prefer to use a crockpot.)

3 lb. beef chuck roast, fat trimmed
steak rub, to season roast before browning (optional, I like Pride of Szeged Steak Rub)
1-2 tsp. olive oil
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup soy sauce (I used Tamari)
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 bay leaves
8-10 peppercorns
8-10 large carrots, peeled and cut into same-size diagonal cut pieces
1 T cornstarch or arrowroot starch (to thicken sauce)

Trim most of the visible fat, especially on the edges of the pot roast, and rub with steak rub (or salt and pepper.) Heat olive oil in heavy dutch-oven type pan and brown the roast well on all sides. (I even stand it up and brown the edges if it's a thick roast like this one.)

(While roast browned, I put the rosemary, thyme, and garlic powder into my mortar and pestle and ground them together. This is optional, since I strained the sauce later, but I think grinding dried spices releases a lot of flavor.)

When roast is well browned, add water, soy sauce, dried rosemary, dried thyme, garlic powder, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Reduce heat to lowest possible simmer, cover pan, and cook about 2 1/2 hours, or until beef is starting to get tender.

Remove meat to a plate and add carrots to bottom of the pan. Put roast back on top of carrots and cook about 30 minutes more, or until meat is very tender and carrots are barely tender. (I like carrots with a little bite left in them, but cook them to your preference.)

Remove meat and carrots to a glass casserole dish, cover with foil and keep warm in the oven. Skim off any visible fat on top of sauce (or use a fat separator if you have one) then strain sauce to remove peppercorns, bay leaves, and any bits of dried herbs. Put sauce back in pan and cook on high until it's reduced by about 1/3. (Taste to see if it seems flavorful enough.) Mix the tablespoon of cornstarch or arrowroot starch into 1/4 cup cold water, then whisk into sauce and cook until it thickens slightly. Serve beef and carrots with sauce.

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South Beach Suggestions:
If you're careful to trim the fat and remove fat from the sauce, this pot roast with the carrots is a good dish for phase two of the South Beach Diet. I did thicken my sauce with cornstarch, which is not something I'd use for a phase one sauce. I haven't found much information about thickeners in the South Beach Diet information, but personally I wouldn't worry about the very small amount of cornstarch used here for over 2 cups of sauce. I also thicken sometimes with white whole wheat flour, which is South Beach Diet friendly. (You could use arrowroot starch or xanthan gum to thicken if you wanted even less carbs.)

More Yummy Recipes for Pot Roast:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly, check ingredients.)
Stove-top Pot Roast with Mushrooms and Sage
Crockpot Recipe for Pot Roast with Sweet and Sour Tomato Sauce
Crockpot Recipe for Southwestern Pot Roast
The Year of the Pot Roast from The Pioneer Woman Cooks
Italian Pot Roast from Simply Recipes
Crock Pot Roast Beef (with soy sauce and red wine) from Use Real Butter
Mark Bittman's Basic Pot Roast from Forest Street Kitchen
Pot Roast with a Twist from Family Cooking with Chef Mom
Chinese Style Stove Top Pot Roast from Fresh From the Oven
Sauerkraut and Onion Smothered Pot Roast from Seasonal Ontario Food

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10 comments:

  1. My husband is not a big pot roast fan (he got sick one time when that was all he was eating), but this looks sooo delicious! And there's just a little time left before comfort food is going to be the last thing on my mind.

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  2. I'm hungry just looking at the photo. It sounds delicious!

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  3. Oh my gosh, that is one great-looking pot roast!

    I've been using arrowroot powder quite a bit as a thickener--it works really great. I'd recommend it to anyone. (Same procedure as cornstarch--make a slurry and pour it into simmering liquid.)

    And thanks for the links to your kitchen photos! Wow--what a gorgeous room... no wonder you create such great food! That stove is fantastic.

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  4. That pot roast looks really good. I like the idea of the soy sauce braise.

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  5. Kayln, that looks so unctuous and satisfying! I will definitely try this, it's perfect for this rainy stormy weather we are having in the UK right now.

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  6. This sounds amazing, Kalyn. I love the use of soy sauce--we buy it by the gallon. Seriously. And I really love your 1940s stove. I used to have a 1920s Quick Meal stove. It stood on legs and had the oven on the side. The logo on the oven door showed a chick hatching from an egg and grabbing a flying insect. Now, that's a quick meal!

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  7. This looks good, Kalyn! I'm hoping to try this soon :-)

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  8. Thanks everyone for the nice feedback on this recipe. It is such a keeper for me! Mrs. W. I do love, love, love my kitchen. (I had to teach school a long time to afford a kitchen this nice!) The stove is great, big wide burners which are great for a wok. Terry's stove sounds very interesting too. I don't know if I could actually give up my stove, but the oven is not too dependable, and lately I'm hankering for one of those semi-pro Viking ranges. (Always wanting to improve things, that's my personality to a T.)

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  9. Wow! That looks fabulous! I wish I was coming over for dinner.

    Sharona May

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