Beer-Braised Pot Roast
2-1/2 to 3 pound pot roast (chuck is best)
Salt and Pepper
2 Tbl. vegetable or olive oil
1 large or 2 small onions, halved pole-to- pole, then sliced in half-rounds
1 or 2 (12 oz.) can or bottle of light-colored, Pilsner-style beer (I used Miller)
2 Tbl. cider vinegar (red wine vinegar is fine)
Carrots, peeled and cut in half, cross-wise
Potatoes, peeled (cut large ones in half)
In a large, heavy pot with a cover, heat the oil.
Wipe the meat dry, and season all surfaces well with salt and pepper.
When the oil is heated to almost smoking, add the meat and brown well on all sides.
Remove browned meat to a plate.
Add the sliced onions to the pot and brown; stirring often to keep from sticking to the bottom, then turning on lower heat to caramelize (about 10 minutes.)
Pour in the beer and vinegar to deglaze, using a wooden spoon to incorporate the accumulated fond (and bits of flavor!) from the bottom.
Add the roast. And any accumulated juices back to pot.
The liquid should be no more than half-way up the side of the roast. If necessary, add the other beer.
Bring pot to a boil, then cover tightly; reducing heat to a bare simmer.
Cook covered, for 2 hours.
Add the potatoes and carrots to pot, lightly salt and pepper. Cover and turn up heat. When it returns to a boil, reduce heat back to a simmer.
In about an hour, the vegetables will be done, and the meat will be falling-apart tender.
Slice meat; serve surrounded by the vegetables, with the gravy alongside.
Pairs Well With
This is my adaptation of a recipe featured in this months GOURMET. They started theirs on the stove top, then finished in a slow oven. They did not add the vegetables to theirs, but opted to serve over noodles. Either way, the taste is spectacular and the sauce it creates is a beautiful golden hue, with no beer taste, but an indescribeable subtle taste that is wonderful. A couple of important points: Use a pot with a tight fitting lid; it's necessary to complete the cycle in which the steaming liquid condenses on the lid, then drips back onto the meat, sort of basting it to keep it from getting dry. Of equal importance, is to use a cheap, kind of fatty piece of beef, like a chuck. It's the long cooking time and breaking down of the collagen that will result in a tender, toothsome piece of beef. If it's too lean, the end result will be dry and tough. Now go ahead...give it a try...it's WONDERFUL!!