Often the yummy pot roast that my mom made on Sundays was under appreciated by my young palate: I smeared ketchup on the meat! Well, I know better now, but I have to say I’m not afraid to coax my 2-year old into eating it with some ketchup. Pot roast makes me nostalgic for my childhood. I can picture the very pan being placed on the table and the lid being opened to reveal steaming meat, nestled among soft carrots, potatoes, celery and onions. I love how the meat turns that deep red on the inside and those carrots – they’ve never tasted better!
Pot roast is typically braised – which means it’s sauteed (browned) in fat/oil first and then cooked slowly in a small amount of liquid – but I by-passed the browning in favor of less dishes and less time. My mom has taught me that browning brings out a better flavor – and I agree, mom! But with two pint sized creatures running amock, time is of the essence. I usually do my roasts in the crock pot, but they seem to come out with too much liquid and the meat won’t hold together at all – still delicious though.
So I opted to cook it in the oven with an oven bag. And although a little salt and pepper for seasonings will suffice, I found a recipe that added some interesting seasonings – and I really liked the outcome!
I am thankful that I have a hotline for my cooking questions that’s always reliable and personal. (My Mom!) Because after cooking the roast according to the bag directions it was still tough and pink! aaaaahhhhh! This is not the pot roast I remember my mom making – so tender and juicy! “Well, Tim, let’s eat our salad and breadsticks first.” A quick call to mom . . . “oh, you added lots of vegetables? Well that increases the cooking time.” A roast is not merely a two-hour meal, it’s an all afternoon cooking on low meal. Oops. Low cooking time and a long time are key. My mom said 4-5 hours is ideal. My roast went in at 5:00pm and came out at 9:30 and was delicious!!! Bon Appetit!
Humble Pot Roast in a Bag
1 large cooking bag
1 tablespoon flour
1 3-4 lb chuck roast
6 medium potatoes, washed and quartered
1/2 lb baby carrots
2 lg onions, peeled and quartered
2 celery ribs, rinsed and chopped in half
1/2 cup red cooking wine
1/2 cup water
Place 1 tablespoon inside the cooking bag, hold closed and shake (this prevents the bag from bursting). Place the bag in a roast pan, with at least a two-inch high side. Season both sides of roast liberally with basil, seasoning salt, garlic salt, and pepper. Place the roast inside the bag in the middle of the roasting pan. Place all the vegetables in a large bowl. Season liberally with same seasonings and mix. Nestle the vegies around the roast and pour wine and water over roast and vegetables. Close bag with it’s zip tie.
Bake at 325 degrees for 4-5 hours. Check tenderness before removing. Remove onions and celery pieces before serving if you wish.
Food is such a wonderful thing, not only is there so many flavors, but there’s various textures, aromas and colors. God is creative and abundant in allowing us to nourish our bodies in such a creative way.
But because I love food so much, I’ve realized that it can sometimes be my comfort and even what I look forward to in a day. Jesus has been revealing to me that this is no good and He wants to be my comfort and what drives me.
So on Sunday I began a journey of choosing Jesus and not my taste buds! This next month will be a sort of fasting period for me. I am still going to eat! Don’t worry, but I am fasting from eating beyond what my body needs. So that means no Diet Coke and no French fries . . . and yes, no medium peppermint lattes either, no evening snacks when I’m not hungry — okay, okay, I’m done lamenting. This is nothing to what I will gain. I felt like God was saying to me that He wants Psalm 63 to define my life: That God’s presence and comfort in my life satisfies my soul as with the richest of foods! And that I would crave Him alone!
What a journey that lies ahead for me! I’m giving up a lot, but I know that “a lot” that I feel now will be shrunken to “very little” when I experience how much more satisfaction I have to find in God than food! Feel free to ask me how I’m doing on this! I need accountability – especially when I drive past Wendy’s and smell that fried goodness. I think there’s a conspiracy among fast-food restaurants and that they put addictive things into their foods so you want to eat more . . . . okay, maybe not.
More to come on my journey in the following weeks! If you are interested in more on this topic check out Made to Crave