First things first, Grandma’s pot roast. As I said in a previous post, I have fond memories growing up eating my grandma’s pot roast for New Year’s Eve dinner. Without fail, my family consistently comes back to this recipe for holidays and special occasions. It’s the recipe my grandma taught my mom, and my mom taught me. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 3-4lb Boneless Pork Roast
- 1 Bulb Garlic, peeled
- Salt & Pepper
- 1-2Tbsp All-Purpose Flour
- 1-2Tbsp Oil
- 1 Yellow Onion, chopped
- 2Tbsp Ketchup
- 4 Cups Water
- 0.5-1 Cup Red Wine, Optional
TIP You can sub tomato paste for ketchup if you’re anti-ketchup. Tomato paste is also more authentic.
If you’re like me, you’re guilty of cooking along with a recipe without prepping all your ingredients first. Don’t be me.
Step One: If you’re still peeling garlic and reading ahead, get outta here! You’re not ready for this.
Step Two: With a sharp chef’s knife, stick your roast with the pointy end and insert the garlic cloves. Do this on all sides.
If it starts to look a bit alien, you’re doing it right.
Step Three: Season your roast generously with salt and pepper then let it rest for 5 minutes. While you’re waiting, get the flour ready.
Step Four: Dust the roast on all sides with flour. The flour will absorb any excess moisture on the roast, give it a nice crust, and help to thicken the eventual gravy.
Don’t forget the sides!
Step Five: Heat a dutch oven on medium-high heat and add a tablespoon or two of oil. When your oil’s nice and hot, add your roast and brown it on all sides.
Step Six: When your roast is brown (or you’re getting impatient), add the onion, and cook for a few minutes until softened slightly.
Step Seven: Add your ketchup (or tomato paste) and cook for a few more minutes. The ketchup will give it some color and add a slight sweetness to the gravy. Stir it all up!
Step Eight: Add the water. At this point, it’s going to look pretty gross, which is why I don’t have a pretty picture for you. Just trust me. Bring it to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 1-2 hours until done. If the top of your roast sits above the water, you’re going to want to flip it halfway during cooking. Otherwise, your garlic at the top may not cook.
TIP The key here is to cook the roast slow, just until done. Ignore the voice in your head that says, “The longer I cook it, the more tender it will be, right?” WRONG. If you overcook it, it will dry out.
Step Nine: When done, remove your roast from the pot and let it rest.
BONUS ROUND: While you’re waiting, add a half cup to one cup of red wine to the pot and let the gravy reduce. To speed up the process you can thicken it with some flour mixed in cold water. If you’re lazy, skip this step, it will still be delicious.
Once rested, slice. Serve with spaetzle and german red cabbage. Spaetzle recipe coming soon.
What does your family make for holidays?