Beef chuck pot roast is the kind of one-pot meal that will never go out of style. Vegetables and meat are cooked together, and their mingled juices become the foundation for rich, velvety gravy. Cooking pot roast isn’t difficult, but a few tips will help the cook produce an especially succulent meal. Beef chuck is a tougher cut of meat than some others, and low, damp heat over a length of time helps to tenderize it. Browning the meat before constructing the pot roast helps retain the juices and makes a prettier roast, and experimenting with a range of liquids from wine or beer to ginger ale or tomato juice yields a world of different tastes.
One of the best things about beef chuck pot roast is that the cook can assemble it hours or even a day or two ahead of time. It cooks over low heat, and the longer it cooks, the better it tastes. In fact, many cooks are convinced that pot roast always tastes best the next day because the flavors have had a chance to mingle.
Beef chuck pot roasts cook in liquid, and as long as the liquid doesn’t evaporate, it’s impossible to burn them. The cooking time isn’t precise, so the cook can go about the business of life and need make only periodic checks on the roast to see how it’s doing. Cooking pot roast for dinner is not only time efficient, but it’s economical because beef chuck is a relatively inexpensive cut of meat, and the cook can toss in nearly any vegetable on hand, including those that are looking a little tired around the edges and would have to be thrown out within a day or two.
To perk up the flavor, a beef chuck pot roast really requires some added seasonings. Most cooks wouldn’t even consider making pot roast without onions. Tiny pearl onions are a pretty complement to the meat, although diced onions or scallions work as well. One neat trick is to roll the roast in a package of dried onion soup and flour before browning it on all sides. The onion adds a great deal of flavor, and the flour helps the pot roast gain a nice brown crust.
Carrots, celery, bell peppers, and other sturdy veggies will melt into wonderfully flavored beef chuck pot roast gravy with lengthy cooking. If the gravy isn’t substantial enough, the cook can add a little cornstarch or flour. The best way to do this is to use some of the liquid from the cooking pot to make a roux and then stir it into the pot.