Pot roast is a hearty meal that many have come to view as a comfort food. The home cooked flavor of pot roast can be made in a crock pot or if you do not have a crock pot, it is possible to purchase steamer bags that allow for slow cooked results in an easy to clean bag.
Before making a pot roast, you must first gather the ingredients and prepare them. Traditional pot roasts begin with a large cut of beef, often sold as roast meat, and several types of vegetables such as tomatoes, onions, carrots and potatoes. Vegetables need to be cleaned and chopped into bite sized pieces prior to cooking.
When using a crock pot to make pot roast, never leave it unattended to avoid risk of fire or burning the food. Place the meat in the pot and add one cup of liquid. This liquid may either be water or a beef (or vegetable) based broth. If desired, add seasoning such as a premixed packet, or basic seasonings like salt, pepper and oregano. Cover the pot with the lid and allow it to cook on medium for several hours, checking the pot occasionally and adding more liquid as necessary to prevent drying out or sticking. After the meat has had some time to cook and has begun to soften, it is time to add the vegetables.
If the vegetables have not already been cleaned and chopped, wash them thoroughly then cut them into bite sized portions and add them to the crock pot, replacing the lid. Allow for one to two hours on medium heat to cook, then simmer on low until ready to serve. The meat is considered to be done when it flakes apart easily with a fork. Pot roast is generally served by placing the contents of the pot into a dish and pulling the meat apart.
If you do not have access to a crock pot, steamer bags are available for purchase. These bags offer a no clean up solution for slow cooked roasts in a shorter amount of time. To use these bags, ensure that there is room in the oven to allow the bag to expand prior to use. The package will have directions to explain how much room is necessary and how long to cook the roast. Often it is needed to move or remove one of the racks inside the oven to accommodate for expansion.
Begin by coating the inside of the bag lightly with flour then placing the roast and vegetables inside then seal the bag using the included tie. These bags often suggest making several small incisions on the top of the bag to allow for some of the steam to escape. After making these incisions, place the steamer bag on either an oven safe tray or dish and put it in the oven at the suggested temperature, which is often between 300F and 400F. It is not necessary to add more liquid to the bags after they have been sealed.
Allow the bag adequate time to fully cook. This may be anywhere from two to four hours depending on the size of the roast. Once the meat has cooked, remove the tray from the oven and carefully open the bag to avoid the steam. Place the meat and vegetables in a dish and serve. Clean up is as simple as throwing away the bag after it has cooled.