Sunday, November 8, 2009

Pot Roast and Gravy

Everytime I smell pot roast cooking it reminds me of my childhood.... still today, it's real high up on the list of my favorite things to eat.  This particular recipe comes from my Grandmother's kitchen.  My mom, my sister and I have been making it all our lives.  I'm sure it will get passed down some more, as it's the most favorite of my 8 year old son, who calls it "steak and gravy".

As you can see, there's not much to this dish, it's incredibly simple.  In fact, the entire dinner cost me under $20 and it will feed 6-8 people.   Maybe just 4 tonight, as my husband will be home shortly from the Seahawks game, wet, cold, and hungry.  If I time this just right, we will be just sitting down to dinner when he walks through the door.  Aren't I a good wife?  I shouldn't flatter myself though... he cooks 6 nights out of the week!

Yes, that is coffee back there. 

Coffee is my Grandmother's secret ingredient.  Well I guess it's not a secret anymore!  Most people look at me oddly when I tell them that I make my pot roast with coffee, as opposed to water, onion soup or beef broth.  I actually can't think of anything that would suit it better!

Start by making a full pot of coffee.  I prefer regular old Folgers.  I've never used decaf, and the caffeine has yet to keep me up. 

Next, generously season your roast.  I use just salt, pepper and garlic powder.

In a large skillet over medium heat, add a few tablespoons of olive oil and brown all sides of the meat.

Next, cut up your vegetables and potatoes.  I only put about half of them in at first, to help flavor the liquid and the roast. 

Add your browned meat and the vegetables and potatoes to the pot.  I like to add a few tablespoons of Worcherstershire sauce to the mixture also.

Pour the entire 12 cups of coffee into the pot.  It should just about cover the roast and vegetables.  The meat and vegetables will cook down, so if initially the coffee doesn't cover it entirely, it will.  Bake at 325 degrees for about 5 hours. The smell of pot roast cooking will begin fill your home... one of my favorite smells for sure!

When the meat is about and two hours from being done, cut up the remaining potatoes, carrots and onions and add them to the pot. This way, the vegetables you are going to eat will not be soggy from roasting all afternoon.

When it's finished cooking, take a slotted spoon and remove the carrots, potatoes and onion rings.  I like to separate them out and then lay them on the platter around the roast.

Reserve as much of the liquid as you'd like to make your gravy.  For example, if you want to have 3 cups of gravy to serve, remove 3 cups of the liquid.  Depending on the pan you used to cook the pot roast in, you may be able to make your gravy in the same one.  I like to use my deep skillet to make gravy. 

Take your reserved liquid and heat over medium heat until boiling.  Make a  two cup mixture of flour and water that is similar to the consistency of pancake mix.

When your liquid is boiling add the flour mixure a little at a time, whisking constantly over medium heat until gravy thickens.

 If gravy is not thick enough, keep adding more of flour and water mixture until it gets to the right consistency.  If it gets too thick, add some of the left over liquid you cooked the meat in, or water. 

Be sure and salt the gravy, it will need it.  Add salt a little at a time until it's just right. I also add pepper and several shakes from the Worchestershire sauce bottle.  

My gravy is always lumpy....  to eliminate this little problem, I pour the finished gravy through a sieve into a bowl.  The sieve will catch any bits of flour creating the lumps. This trick will ensure smooth, lump-free gravy every time!

I like to serve my pot roast with buttered white bread and a glass of cold milk (of course).  If you decide to make this, I hope you enjoy it as much as my entire family has.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Hi Ally! I've been reading your blog and checking out your recipes. Last week I tried this. For some reason my roast turned out really bland. I don't think I coated my roast in enough salt, pepper and garlic powder. In addition to that, I used Dark Roast coffee. I waited until the meat was an hour from being done and added the rest of my vegetables. For some reason they were a little hard still. :( Do you have any suggestions? I will definitely give it another go and see how it turns out. It looked scrumptious! And we enjoyed it smothered in brown gravy.

    Also, I hope you've seen Julie & Julia or this won't make a lick of sense. I'm trying one new recipe of yours every week. I love that you post pictures in your blog as you go. They are extremely helpful. My Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf is in the oven as I leave this comment! I'll let you know how that turns out. Next week = Fettuccine Bolognese. :)