Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pot Roast

From The pure food cook book: the Good Housekeeping recipes [circa 1914]


OT ROAST is one of the delicious meat dishes that can be made of the cheaper (not the cheapest) cuts of beef. Perhaps it is not fair to call pot roast a cheap dish, because the prices vary so widely in different localities, and the cuts vary so much."
"In the vicinity of Providence, R. I., for example, our correspondents report prices of 12 to 18 cents a pound; in Philadelphia, 14 to 20 cents, in New York City, 18 to 22 cents. In Boston and vicinity 20 to 25 cents."

"In Providence they sell for pot roast the rump (14 to 16 cents), shoulder (12 to 14 cents), and bottom round (16 to 18 cents), in Philadelphia and vicinity, the chuck roast next to ribs (14 cents), shoulder cut (16 to 18 cents), and the ribs (18 to 20 cents). In New York City and the West, prices are higher, and their range is greater. The cuts are bottom round, top sirloin (which is expensive, as a rule), top round and brisket, 16 to 22 cents."

"The " eye " of the beef is considered the epicurean cut for pot roast. This is a triangular piece of meat taken from the hind-quarter between the top and bottom round after the bone has been removed. In the West, pot roast is often made by cutting vertically through the bottom and top round (inside round) as is done in the East. This top round or part on the inside of the hind-quarter is exceptionally good for pot roast."

"In different localities the names of beef cuts are entirely different. In some places, for example, the flank is cut so as to include more of the loin, in which case the upper portion is often called the flank steak. Sometimes the rump steak, the inside round, is called the rump plate, or the rattle."

"Often the cross-ribs and brisket are included together under the name of cross-ribs; the fore part of the cross-ribs is sometimes called the shoulder clod, and the leg underneath the second round is called the hind shoulder. Often, too, the socket and rump together are called simply the rump. Consequently one must know from what part of the beef the meat should be cut and how it looks. This knowledge must be acquired in actual marketing."

"The requirements for a successful pot roast are fresh meat, slow cooking—about one hour per pound unless the top sirloin or tenderer parts are employed—and adequate seasoning. Buy from four to six pounds of beef for any ordinary meal to be served for from three to five people. Remove the meat at once from its wrappings to avoid the taste of paper. Before cooking moisten a piece of cheesecloth and rub the beef all over carefully. Never soak in water as this wastes good protein material. Remove any discolored fat."

Pot Roast:
"Brown two onions, which have been thinly sliced, in two tablespoonfuls of butter, in a pot with a cover; then add the meat and let it steam in the covered pot with just enough water to keep the meat from burning. Let it cook for three hours or more if necessary. Place on a dish and add to it a sauce made of one can of tomatoes, one tablespoonful of flour, and two chopped boiled carrots. Season with a dash of paprika and salt to taste."


While i do use the "eye round" cut of beef for my pot roast, my recipe is a slight variation on the traditional method. i like carrots, but i don't like cooked carrots so i do not include them in my pot roast. Instead i use red potatos seasoned with sea salt, parsley and rosemary.

i also found that if the meat is seasoned [worcestershire sauce, tarragon and black pepper] and covered with peppers and onions prior to cooking, the same moist and tender consistency can be achieved [400 degree oven] with a cooking time of 90 minutes vs several hours.

Text Credit: Google Books

Image Credit: Wikipedia

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