Scott Bobleo and I are still working on getting back into a rhythm when it comes to food. Baby Charlie tries to take it easy on us, but his needs and patterns can be pretty unpredictable. I've found that I can't really count on having time right before dinner to cook, so meals that are started way ahead, or can be prepared in several different chunks of time work out really well. Pot roast, for example, is pretty much a set it and forget it sort of thing. A quick sear, a splash of broth, a handful of herbs and spices, then it's into the oven for a few hours, giving me a huge window to cook a pot of rice and prep some kind of easy vegetable.
The only beef I have with pot roast (see what I did there?) is that it can be a little dull. The classic French flavors in most pot roast recipes are delicious and all – but after making a few roasts I started wondering how this classic dish could be reworked. I went for an Asian theme with this recipe, but really, you could make countless variations on a pot roast just by swapping out the herbs, spices, and cooking liquid.
Ginger & Lemongrass Pot Roast
Serves 6 – 8
- 3 lbs. chuck roast
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 cup beef stock/broth
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari for gluten-free)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 large shallots, sliced
- 2 stalks lemongrass
- 1-inch knob of ginger, sliced
- 1 bunch scallions, sliced (white and green parts divided)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce, tamari, or liquid aminos
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 carrots, shredded
- 1 bunch of basil, leaves shredded
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 head bok choy, chopped
- Start out with a good sized oven-proof pan or pot with a tight fitting lid. I used a small braising pan, but you could also use a Dutch oven or a deep skillet with an oven-proof lid. If you don't have something like that, try using a regular skillet to start the recipe, then move it to a covered casserole dish for the oven cooking time.
- Preheat the oven to 275F.
- Add a tablespoon of oil to the pot and heat it on medium. Sprinkle the meat with salt and black pepper, then place it in the pan. Cook each side for about one minute, then move the meat into a plate.
- Add a little more oil to the pan, if needed, then fry the shallots and garlic for a few minutes. Pour the beef stock and soy sauce into the pot, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom. Add the lemongrass and ginger, then add the meat back to the pot.
- Meanwhile, heat the sesame oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the bok choy, tossing as it cooks. Sauté for a few minutes, just long enough to wilt the cabbage. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on it too.
- Cover the pot, then stick it in the hot oven. Roast for 3 hours, or until the meat flakes apart with a fork. When it comes out, top it with the bok choy, scallions, basil, and carrots. Serve over rice, noodles, or mashed potatoes.