Prep 10 mins
Cook 3 hrs
This is my mom's simple, but really flavorful "comfort food" roast with gravy. The list of steps is long, but the recipe is not difficult at all. I've simply been careful to be as detailed as possible since, in this case, technique is very important. Without fail, when Mom would ask me what I wanted for my birthday dinner and I invariably answered "your beef roast with that yummy gravy!", she'd roll her eyes and say, "you want THAT for your BIRTHDAY?" For her, it was a run of the mill roast. For me, it was heaven! Since her death in 2003, I'd been looking everywhere for the scrap of paper I'd written the recipe down on years ago, but didn't find it until this week. I'm thrilled and was actually giggling throughout dinner the other night when I realized I finally had gotten the flavor down exactly as she used to make it. It was one of my most joyful meals growing up and now I can have it whenever I want. :D Thanks, Mom!
- Cut off the vast majority of the fat from the (NOT previously frozen) roast. For me, this usually results in maybe 4-5 variously sized pieces of usable meat culled from one roast.
- Place a layer of oil (to coat bottom) in a cast iron skillet on the stove over medium-high and while that's heating ----.
- ---- poke holes part way through each piece of roast meat with a knife tip a few times on each side. This simply provides more surface area for the flavor to cling to. Rub all meat surfaces well - first with Kitchen Bouquet, then with the chopped garlic.
- When the skillet is hot, add meat and sear on all sides until well-browned, about 2 minutes on each side or whatever achieves the nicest deep brown.
- Add water to almost cover roast (maybe 1/4" below top of roast) - somewhere between 1 and 2 cups.
- Continue to heat until water just starts to bubble, then reduce heat to low or simmering, cover and braise for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Braising cuts down the connective tissue in tougher cuts of meat.
- At the end of cooking time when meat is tender, remove lid and boil water and juices in skillet until volume reduces by almost half.
- Turn off heat and move all of the meat pieces to a plate. Cover with foil to keep warm.
- Remove oil from juices with a gravy separator. This is VERY important to making successful gravy. Doing it by hand with a spoon or bulb baster is a tedious job, so I just ordered a Trudeau gravy/fat separator to make life easier. ;).
- Return about 1 cup of the separated water/juice/gravy fluid to the skillet heated to medium-high.
- Mix the Wondra with just enough water to make a thinnish paste. While whisking FEVERISHLY, ~slowly~ pour the thin paste into the sauce to combine and prevent lumps from forming. Wondra flour in the tall blue can works Wondra-fully and is made for this purpose. (Hey, any opportunity I have for making stupid puns shall not go wasted.).
- For the next few minutes, continue whisking as though your very life depended on it, even after the Wondra/flour has incorporated into the sauce. Then, still whisking, slowly add the milk.
- When gravy is heated through, it's ready to pour over hunks of roast beast and boiled tater slices! Season *after* tasting as it may already be just fine. However, I highly recommend some finishing salt to bump that puppy right over the edge of heaven! Saltistry's "herb grey" is absolute bliss.
- Oh, and for leftovers, might I suggest a beef version of Breakfast Pork Hash (Recipe #170376?) :).
Hey Sandy, we must have been neighbors growing up, cuz this is JUST how my Mom made hers! LOL And she made the best gravy in the world. She did use a bone-in chuck roast as she believed the bone added some extra depth. Sometimes bone-in is hard to find, but either works just fine. I also add some Italian Seasoning and some Lawry's salt. I just discovered Wondra flour, prior to that I always tossed the flour in a jar with a bit of water or beef broth and shake it all up, then add to the pan juices. (that's how Mom taught me.) Never had any lumps that way. Your description about stirring the gravy FEVERISHLY cracks me up, cuz I rememember as a little girl being asked to stir the gravy. I felt that I could not stop stirring for one second and took my job quite seriously. LOL I urge everyone to try this simple, yet delicious roast. Thanks, Sandi, for a great recipe and taking me down memory lane.