Do you ever get super motivated on Sundays and make a whole list of tasks you’re going to accomplish for the upcoming week? I certainly do. Sundays are typically lazy for me, (as I’m sure they sometimes can be for a lot of us), so I think I start to feel rested and then think I can conquer the world. It’s kind of funny, really. A lot of that motivation is drained by the time Thursday rolls around anyway.
Or I could just be honest here and admit that I have an obsession with creating lists. The ample time on my hands on Sunday reeeeeeally just begs to be used for list making.
Either way, I had it on my master weekly list to make this Italian pot roast during my lunch break on Monday, so I did it … during my lunch break, I made Italian pot roast. Like, past tense. All of those things seriously happened in the same sentence for me. The sense of accomplishment that comes from that is pretty satisfying.
Should I have opted for a nice, relaxing Sunday morning to start the pot roast? Probably. Did it still turn out the way I wanted it to? No. In fact, it exceeded the expectations I had set for it. Victory! A Monday victory!
Yes, there is a fair amount of prep work that goes into this, but it still works if you’ve got thirty minutes to spare some morning before work. Do it. You’ll come home to the air of your home blanketing you in a warm, comforting scent as soon as you walk in. And then you think, “Ahh … dinner is already done. This is going to be a good night.”
That’s your cue to pour that glass of wine early and smile. Soak it in, beautiful. This pot roast is all yours.
[my additional tips!]:
Actual Prep / cook time: 7 hours (only 30 minutes of real work on your end)
Clean-up difficulty: 3
Overall difficulty to make: 3
Overall satisfaction: 9
Price range? This dish is under $12 for two people.
What I would change next time? I don’t know if I would change much at all.
For your own version, I recommend:
- Refer to the notes in the recipe: I added tips for using more than one pound of roast. Also, flip the roast halfway through or a couple of hours before serving! And don’t skip the shredding part. Shredding the roast in the crockpot provides optimal juiciness and flavor when you’re ready to serve.
© 2015 : a flavor journal : by sara alvord
- 1 pound arm roast
- salt and pepper to coat roast
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 carrot stick, finely chopped
- 1 stick of celery, finely chopped
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh tomato, finely chopped
- 1/2 can tomato paste
- 1 cup red wine, such as cabernet
- 4-6 fresh basil leaves (use four large ones if possible)
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 1 tsp. marjoram
- 1/2 tsp. crushed bay leaves
- 1 pinch mint
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 2 cups water
- Pat the arm roast dry before doing anything with it. Once dry, sprinkle all sides with salt and pepper; enough to coat all sides to your preference of seasoning.
- In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add one tablespoon of olive oil. Let the oil heat completely through, and move the pan gently around so the oil coats the entire bottom.
- Place the seasoned roast into the pan, allowing about 4-5 minutes to brown. Do this for each side, and be sure that all sides have a slightly crispy coating before turning it over to the next side.
- Place the browned roast into your crockpot, which is set to high heat.
- Turn the heat under your large saucepan to medium, and toss in the four crushed cloves of garlic. No need to mince these - they will roast in the crockpot and blend into the sauce once everything has cooked.
- Add the carrots immediately following the garlic, and allow both to cook over medium for five minutes.
- Add celery, onion and fresh tomato. Allow to cook for another five minutes, and stir every minute or so to mix everything together.
- Add tomato paste, and stir constantly until it blends into the veggies. You will need to smash the veggies into the paste a little to really get it going. Don't be afraid! Do this for about five more minutes before adding the wine.
- Add one cup of red wine and stir every minute for 6-7 minutes. Lay the basil leaves on top of your liquid, and sprinkle in all seasonings into it at this point.
- Pour the entire pot over the roast into the crockpot. Top with about half a teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
- Spoon some of the juice and as many veggies as possible on TOP of the roast, so as it cooks the flavors are blended into it.
- Cook for 6 hours (or a little more if it doesn't seem tender enough for you). Shred the roast apart in the crockpot; really let it blend into the juices and absorb a little
- Shredding the roast in the crockpot to allow it to soak the juices up is an absolute must. It gives the inside parts of the roast a chance to come into direct contact with all of that flavor, and absorb as much as it can.
- If you're using more than a pound of pot roast, you can certainly double the recipe OR just add additional water until at least 3/4 of your roast is covered by liquid.
- IF you have the chance, flip the roast over about halfway through or just a couple of hours before you take it out.