Company Pot Roast
1 2-1/2- to 3-lb. boneless beef chuck pot roast
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried sage, crushed
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. cooking oil
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 cup water
1 large onion, cut into thin wedges
1 cup pitted plums (prunes), halved
1 lb. apples, cored and cut into thick wedges
2 lb. parsnips or carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup cold water
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Salt and black pepper
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar or 1 tsp. red wine vinegar
Trim fat from meat. In a small bowl stir together garlic, sage, salt, and black pepper. Pat garlic-spice mixture on the surface of the meat. In a 5-1/2- to 6-quart Dutch oven over medium heat brown roast on all sides in hot oil. Drain off fat. Sprinkle cayenne pepper on roast. Pour water over roast; add onion. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, tightly covered, for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Add fruit and vegetables to meat. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 20 to 25 minutes more or until parsnips or carrots and apples are tender, adding water if necessary. With a slotted spoon transfer all to a platter, reserving juices in Dutch oven. Keep warm.
For gravy, measure juices; skim off fat. If necessary, remove some of the juices or add enough water to juices to equal 1-1/2 cups. Return to Dutch oven. In a small bowl whisk together the 1/2 cup cold water and flour until smooth. Stir into juices in pan. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 1 minute more. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in balsamic vinegar. Serve gravy with roasted meat, vegetables, and fruit.