Serving
(click to enlarge)

Beef Pot Roast
England - Midlands

Serves:
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:
8
***
4 hr  
Yes

A very popular pot roast in Merry Ol' England. The "overcooked" root vegetables, traditionally roasted in the pot with the beef, are as much a part of the sauce as items on their own - See Note-2. This dish has been very popular at buffet parties.





5
3
3
1
2
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4
4
2
10
1/2
1/2
1/2
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1-1/2
------
1-1/2
1-1/2
ar
#
T
T
#
cl
---




c
c
t
---
#
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T
T
Beef (1)
Oil
Butter
Onions
Garlic
-- Seasoning
Parsley sprig
Thyme sprig
Sage sprig
Peppercorns
Red Wine
Water
Salt
------------
Roots (2)
-- Thickener (3)
Butter
Flour
Water
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F/160°C.
  2. Trim the BEEF of any excess fat. Fry in Oil and Butter until nicely browned on all sides, being careful not to burn the butter. See Note-4 for details.
  3. Chop ONIONS coarse. Crush Garlic with the side of your prep knife. Load them into your Dutch oven along with Beef and all Seasoning items.
  4. Bring to a boil on the stove top, then cover the pot with aluminum foil and fit the lid over it (the foil makes a good seal and is less messy than "authentic" methods were). Slip it into the preheated oven and leave it there for 3 hours for round, 2-3/4 hours for chuck.
  5. Meanwhile cut CARROTS into largish chunks and do the same with TURNIP and PARSNIPS. Mix.
  6. When Beef is done, remove it from the pot and let get cold (so you can slice it).
  7. Strain the liquid, discarding all solids and de-fat it using your gravy separator. Clean the pot and add Root Vegetables, and more Wine and Water as needed to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer until the carrots are cooked all the way through. The Parsnips and Turnips will be very soft.
  8. When Beef is thoroughly cold you can slice it neatly with a razor sharp slicing knife. Slice across the grain so it isn't stringy and arrange on an oven-proof serving platter.
  9. Strain the Vegetables from the sauce and arrange them with the beef. You should have at least 1-1/2 cups of sauce. If not - more wine and water.
  10. In a small pan sufficient to hold the sauce, heat the Butter and stir in the Flour. Fry stirring over moderate heat until the flour is well incorporated and threatens to color. Then stir in, little by little some cold water until you have a smooth paste. Then stir in, starting with small amounts, the sauce, adding more when what you have is smooth. Finally bring to a simmer and simmer stirring a few minutes until sauce is thickened. It should not be too thick, it should pour smoothly - adjust liquid if needed.
  11. Reheat the meat and vegetables in the oven. Pour hot sauce over and serve - see Note-5 for alternative.
NOTES:
  1. Beef:   Topside or Silverside is generally used (in North America this would be Top Round Roast) but I often use a lean chuck roast (a little more tender). For comparison between English and North American cuts see our Beef Charts page.
  2. Root Vegetables:   A combination of half Carrots and the rest Turnips and Parsnips works extremely well. Use fairly large carrots. This recipe long predates the arrival of potatoes so they are not used here. Traditionally, the roots are roasted in the pot with the meat, but this recipe presumes there isn't room and cooks them in the sauce after it is de-fatted. Note: by "Turnip" we mean "White Turnip" - see our Turnip Translation page for regional meanings.
  3. Thickener:   A flour / butter roux is the authentic thickener. Today some people use a cornstarch / water slurry, which is easier but produces a rather glossy sauce with a somewhat different flavor - and it doesn't stand up as well to reheating.
  4. Browning:   This is traditionally done in the Dutch oven the meat will be roasted in, but this can be difficult, depending on the shape and size of the meat compared to the pot. It may be more practical to brown in a large heavy pan. Pour the fat into the Dutch oven and de-glaze the pan with the wine / water mix. I fry in an Indian Kadhai which gives me the best possible control. In any case, browning such a large lump is dangerous (hot oil can splash if it slips when turning), so needs to be done by a careful, sober adult with no children hanging around. If your SO can meet that description it will free you to do other tasks. All butter can be used but the oil helps keep it from burning, making the job easier. A 3-1/2 pound lump of beef browns in about 20 minutes, a bit longer for larger lumps.
  5. Serving:   Since I serve this at buffet parties, I arrange it in a shallow coverable electric pan, vegetables around the edge and meat, sliced and cut into modest size pieces, in the center. Pour in hot sauce and heat with the pan set at "low". When it starts to bubble, turn it down to "warm" (about 165%deg;F/74°C is safe). Keep covered so it doesn't dry out.
  6. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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