My number one comfort food? My mother's pot roast.
Whether I was sick or sad, or celebrating a birthday when my mother asked what I would like her to make, my answer was almost always the same: pot roast.
My mother's pot roast is also a favorite of two of my daughters.
When Margaux had her first child, I remember having two pot roasts simmering on the stove at the same time one for dinner that evening and one for the freezer, so she wouldn't have to cook every night.
In addition to being simple, this dish is very tasty, and perfect for company.
There are only a few ingredients in the recipe itself, but there is one thing I strongly recommend, using a Dutch oven or similarly heavy cooking vessel. I've made this in both a soup pot and a Dutch oven, and I find you need more oil when using the soup pot, and if you don't watch it closely when you are browning the meat, it tends to burn quickly.
The only other thing you need with this dish is your favorite mashed potatoes, and maybe a nice green salad.
Mom's Pot Roast
3-4 pound bottom round
2-3 tablespoons of oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 large carrots, peeled and sliced
Beef bouillon or soup base
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 tablespoons cold water
In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat oil on medium-high heat. Brown beef on all sides in hot oil. Remove from pot. Season with salt and pepper. Add onions to the pot and brown, stirring constantly while scraping brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Return beef to the pot and add water until it is about three-quarters of the way up the sides of the pot. Add several beef bouillon cubes or several tablespoons of beef base. Cook on low, covered, for one hour. Add carrots, cover, and continue cooking on a low temperature for another 1-2 hours, until beef is tender. Remove from pot.
To make gravy, taste remaining liquid and add more bouillon or soup base if needed. Add salt and pepper if needed. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and cold water until a smooth paste is formed. Increase heat and whisk in cornstarch mixture, stirring constantly until the gravy thickens.
If you have more than two or three cups of liquid, you may need to increase the amount of cornstarch and water. (The best estimate when using corn starch to thicken sauces and gravy is for each cup of liquid you have, you should use a tablespoon of cornstarch and a tablespoon of cold water.)
To serve, slice beef into 1/2-inch thick slices, and top with gravy.