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Sunday Dinner, Anyone?

This pot roast recipe turns a cheap cut of meat into a succulent delight with very little work and lots of flavor. (It’s even better when you use your own homegrown herbs!) When it’s finished, it will be worthy of a Sunday or other holiday dinner. Add a side of cranberry bean salad, and you’ll be delighted in the immune-boosting color!

Old-Fashioned Beef Pot Roast

  • Beef chuck roast (3 to 4 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 3 medium onions, each cut into six pieces
  • 1 pound of carrots, cut into chunks
  • 1 pound of potatoes, each cut into four pieces

Coat roast lightly in flour and rub in. In a Dutch oven, brown meat slowly on both sides in hot oil. Season with the herbs, salt, and pepper. Cover with the sliced onions and add one cup of the beef broth. Cover and roast at 350 degrees for 2 hours. Add vegetables and remaining cup of broth. Cover and continue to cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours longer. Remove meat and vegetables to platter. Add water to broth to make 1 1/2 cups liquid and bring to a simmer on the stove. Place 1/2 cup hot water and 4 tablespoons flour in a mason jar with a tight lid. Shake until mixed well. (You may want to cover the jar top with a towel so it doesn’t leak.) Stir into simmering broth with a whisk and stir constantly until thickened (about 2 to 3 minutes).

Cranberry Bean Salad

Feel free to substitute cranberry beans for another bean of your choice!

  • 1 cup dried cranberry beans, soaked and cooked until tender (makes about 2 1/2 cups of cooked beans)
  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 small sweet potatoes
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch of broccollini
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Drain cooked beans, reserving one tablespoon of the cooking liquid. Toss the beans with one tablespoon of olive oil and the cooking liquid. Salt and pepper and set aside. Cook the bacon in a large skillet until crisp, then place on a paper towel or brown bag to drain. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the skillet. Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into bite-sized pieces and sauté in the bacon fat until tender (about 10 to 15 minutes). Set these aside in a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to the skillet and sauté the garlic until just golden. Add the broccollini and sauté until wilted and heated through (about 5 minutes). Add the beans and sweet potatoes back into the skillet and heat through.  Drizzle with remaining tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, and place in a serving bowl. Top with crumbled bacon. Serve warm.

Don’t forget to save that bacon grease that was poured off of the cooked bacon. Old timers used to leave it on the back of the stove in a crock, but I do store mine in a covered container in the refrigerator. Use it to fry eggs, cook potatoes, flavor peas and greens, or for the fat in biscuits.

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