Video:Tips for Cooking Pot Roastwith Zoyo Popova
Pot roast may be cut from the tougher parts of beef, but the low and slow cooking process called braising makes the pot roast juicy and tender. Learn more tips for cooking a flavorful pot roast.See Transcript
Transcript:Tips for Cooking Pot RoastHi, I'm Zoya Popova for About.com, and today we are going to talk about tips for cooking pot roast.
Pot Roast is Cut from Tougher Parts of BeefTraditionally, pot roast is made with beef, and the cuts you want to look for are chuck, taken from the neck and shoulder; brisket, located on the chest; and round, which refers to the hind leg from the rump down to the ankle. These tougher, muscular parts of the cow are inexpensive but that's not the only thing that's great about them. Tough cuts like brisket, rump, and especially chuck, are considered by many to be superior in flavor to many of the tenderer and more expensive cuts. And the secret to bringing out that flavor is all in the cooking.
To give your pot roast rich savory flavor, be creative with seasoning. Use salt pepper, pressed garlic, and any combination of herbs and spices. Some cooks also like to marinate their meat in vinegars, sauces and dressings.
Before Searing, Remove Moisture from the Pot Roast SurfaceIf your recipe calls for searing, there two things to keep in mind. First, remove moisture from the surface of the meat by dredging it in flour; and second, make sure your pan is sizzling hot. This will result in an even brown crust that doesn't only look appetizing but also seals in the flavors and aromas from the seasoning.
Braising the Pot Roast Makes it TenderThe cooking method for pot roast is called braising, which simply means that the meat is cooked at low temperatures in a small amount of liquid. Use a pot that's large, heavy, and has a tight-fitting lid—this is essential for creating an environment of moist heat. Whether braising on the stove top or in the oven, prepare to give it lots of time. On the stove top, use just enough heat to maintain the liquid at a slow simmer. In the oven, keep the temperature setting under 350 degrees F°. While higher temperatures will give you shorter cooking times, the pot roast will likely turn out chewy. If you're really serious about getting that tender, fall-apart pot roast, go for longer cooking times and lower temperatures. Some grandmother recipes even call for overnight pot roasting at extremely low temperatures—200 degrees or even lower, but that may not be a safe method.
The Braising Liquid Adds Flavor to the Pot RoastAlways gauge the internal temperature of the meat with a thermometer. According to USDA, beef is considered safely cooked if it has reached the internal temperature of least 145 degrees F°, which means that your oven should be set to at least 220. And for our final tip today, remember that even though the pot roast is cooked in a small amount of liquid—usually just enough to cover it half-way—the braising liquid will yield much of its flavor to the meat. So if you're using water or beef broth, don't forget to salt it and spice it up with a couple of bay leaves and maybe some herbs. There are also numerous other options for braising liquid: onion soup, cream of mushroom, tomato juice, beer, wine, even cola! Experiment and see what kinds of unique flavors you can get.
And this is it for our pot roast cooking tips. For more recipes and information, please visit us on the web at About.com.
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