There’s no more denying; winter is here, and I’ll be living in three layers, under a blanket, with a glass of red wine or dark beer within arms reach for the next four months. There are stocks of turkey vegetable and potato leek soup crowding my freezer, but on the first truly biting day of the season, I was in the mood for something a bit more substantial. What’s cheap, hearty, and can last me for the next few days? I thought of childhood comforts and warm afternoons in front of my parents’ fireplace, and the phantom smell of my mother’s pot roast filled my nostrils.

This is one of the first meals I learned to cook, watching carefully from my mother’s waist as she prepared the chuck roast and readied the vegetables. Then closing my eyes, I would take in deep breaths as the roast cooked and she sporadically opened the lid of her dutch oven, claiming to check on the simmering meat, but really just going in for a smell herself. I  won’t deny that this recipe is pretty much as no-frills as it gets, but I could think of no meal more satisfying on a freezing Sunday afternoon. So, if you’re looking to warm up, fill up, and potentially have the makings for sandwiches for the next few days, here’s how to do it:


You will need:

One 3-5lb chuck roast

One carrot, cut up (or enough baby carrots to equal one carrot)

One Onion

Three whole cloves

One celery stick, cut in half

Two cloves of garlic

Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper


Vegetable Oil

Red Wine Vinegar

One Can of Beef Broth

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Grind pepper and sprinkle salt onto each side of your roast. Then dredge it in flour, covering all sides.
  2. Stick your whole cloves into your peeled onion.
  3. Cover the bottom of a dutch oven with vegetable oil, and after it’s well heated, brown your roast on both sides (if it’s a very thick cut, be sure to brown the outside edges as well). As you’re browning the final side, throw your carrots, celery, onion, and garlic into the unoccupied portion of your pot.
  4. After your meat and vegetables are browned, add the entire can of beef broth, and hit it with a few dashes of vinegar (about 2 tablespoons).
  5. Turn your heat to low, and allow all your meaty goodness to simmer for one hour per pound.
  6. Once the roast is ready, remove it from the dutch oven and allow it to sit as you continue with the next step.
  7. To make your gravy, start by separating the fat and veggies from the remaining liquid in your dutch oven, and simmer. In a separate container, mix about two tablespoons of flour with about twice as much cold water, and add this mixture to the simmering beef broth, stirring and simmering until you reach the desired consistency. If necessary, slowly add flour to thicken, but be careful not to add to much– remember, there is already flour in the broth from your meat.


Now your pot roast is ready, so slice ‘er up, pour on some gravy, and add sides as desired (I went for mashed potatoes and green beans). After you’ve enjoyed this dish the first time around, swing by your local bakery (in my case, Bradley Beach’s Del Ponte’s), and pick up some hard rolls for sandwiches that will make you wish you’d doubled the original recipe! Throw on some veggies and potatoes, and you’ve got yourself a true double fister of a lunch for the next day or two.

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