Here’s the thing about roasts; they either turn into melt-in-your-mouth-deliciousness or “holy-crap-I-just-wasted-$14-on-this-piece-of-leather” disasters. Thankfully the latter category is a rarity around here, but I’ve had it happen often enough that I’m somewhat suspicious of new pot roast recipes.
When a friend pinned a gorgeous looking balsamic and onion roast from A Cook’s Quest to Pinterest a few weeks back, I pinned it to my recipes board and went about my business. It wasn’t until earlier this week when I was making up my menu and shopping list that I went over to check out the recipe.
Of course I got completely sidetracked once I hit the site. Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Cheesecake? Are you freaking kidding me?
After reading through the copious list of directions, I decided it might be feasible to scale that recipe back into something a bit more manageable, (though admittedly less scrumptious) and got back to work focusing on my menu.
Ok, Ok, so I bookmarked a couple extra recipes for another time FIRST and THEN I dragged myself back to the task at hand.
The recipe was pretty simple. Reducing some beef broth was the most complicated step. Even better, every ingredient outside of the beef was something I keep on hand in my pantry. I made a few variations to her recipe, so I’ll give you my version here.
Balsamic and Onion Pot Roast
- 3 pound chuck roast
- 3-4 Medium onions
- Seasoning Salt
- Garlic Powder
- Salt and Pepper
- 2T olive oil
- 1/4 c water
- 1 cup beef stock
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- Corn starch
To get started, peel your onions and slice them thickly. Layer them in the bottom of a crock pot. Rub the salts, garlic powder and pepper into the beef, then heat the oil in a large skillet and sear the roast on all sides. (3-4 minutes per side over medium high heat)
While the beef is searing, set your beef stock on the stove in a sauce pan over high heat until reduced by half. You want to bring it to a boil and maintain a rolling boil without having it swell up and spill over the sides of your pan. It will take 10-15 minutes to take one cup of beef broth down to half a cup.
Once the roast is browned, move it to the crock pot on top of the onions. Use the balsamic vinegar and the water to deglaze the pan you seared the roast in. Add in tomato sauce and reduced broth and stir until well mixed. Pour over the roast.
The original recipe says to cook on low for 6-8 hours. I didn’t have that much time, so I set it to high for an hour and then on low for four more.
When it was fork tender, I drained out the juice and put them on the stove in a sauce pan. I brought it up to a boil, then mixed together about 1/4 cup of corn starch and 1/4 cup of milk to make a rue. Then I mixed it in with the juices to make a very thick gravy.
We served this up with mashed potatoes and a few veggies. I’d planned to pack up half of it for another meal down the road, but *someone* who will not be named disapproved of that idea and wanted leftovers.
So we’ll call this one a success.