Steve and I buy most of our meat at Costco, and this day we were shopping and were out of steak. Instead of more steak, Steve wanted whatever I needed to make pot roast. Yes, pot roast. I told him my favorite meat for pot roast is beef chuck. Yes, ordinary cheap chuck, if one can call any beef cheap these days. Rump, although costlier, would have been my second choice, but Costco had no rump, so we bought chuck. I know there are more expensive, more tender cuts of meat to roast than chuck, but I like this tasty meat, even if the good taste comes from lots of fat. We bought a premium chuck roast, and there was probably less fat than in the less desirable ordinary chuck, we suppose.
I divided this generous cut of chuck into two pieces. My crock pot was too big, or my chuck was too small, to properly cook this roast. I forgot to look at the weight, but I’d say my roast was less than two pounds. I wanted to cook it in my cast iron skillet. I checked out several recipes for chuck roast and they all called for acidic ingredients like tomatoes, wine, or vinegar, all of which may endanger my skillet’s coating, so I was on my own for a plan. This is what I did, and it tasted marvelous and delicious, and it was tender enough to cut with a fork:
I salted, peppered and browned the meat well on all sides in hot oil. I removed it from the skillet and cooked chopped onion, small pieces of carrot, and one large portabello mushroom cut up in pieces. I put the meat back into the skillet, added a pinch of rosemary and thyme and a can of beef broth about half way to the top of the meat and heated it up to boiling.
Next, with the lid on, I slid it into my preheated 325 degree oven and baked it for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, I reduced the temperature to 275 degrees. I cooked it for 2-1/2 hours longer, checking it after each hour.
At the end of this 3-hour period, I removed the roast and the carrots and mushroom pieces from the pan and thicken the broth with cornstarch. After simmering the gravy to a smooth, shiny finish, I added the carrots and mushrooms back into the gravy.
I had boiled potatoes and fork-mashed them with butter as a side. All was ready to serve.
My cast iron skillet did a great job of tenderizing the meat without the help of acidic additions. The deep flavor of roast beef with onion, carrot, and portabello mushroom was superb. I will do this again.