Let’s get one thing out of the way immediately: Grandma Dottie was batsh*t crazy. Don’t let her charming name fool you, people, the woman was N-U-T-S. We can all admit to having a bit of “crazy” lurking around somewhere in our DNA, and my paternal grandmother is responsible for mine. Those of you who are shuddering, while you conjure images of some sweet little Nana, can stop right now. I assure you that there was nothing sweet –or little –about Dottie.
Garish moo-moo’s, plastic go-go boots, and “creative” religious beliefs aside, my grandmother was nothing, if not a fabulous cook (I must give credit, where credit is due, after all). To this day, the mere thought of her baking powder biscuits makes me drool profusely. So for that, Grandma Dottie, I thank you….
While it’s true that she never won “Grandmother of the Year”, Dottie could cook a mean pot roast. As a kid, Lin-babes worked hard to lure me into eating anything having to do with red meat. Remember Randy’s meatloaf scene from A Christmas Story? That was me. Dottie’s pot roast changed all of that. It was like a gateway to my becoming a full fledged carnivore. Oh…and the gravy that it yields? Forgetaboutit. Amazeballs.
I present you with my attempt at recreating Dottie’s masterpiece (my dad may argue that Chicken Curry was her piece de resistance, so for the sake of argument, we’ll get to that dish another time)….
CRAZY ASS DOTTIE’S POT ROAST:
1 Whole(3-3 1/2 pound) Chuck Roast
1/2 Cup Finely Chopped Carrot
1 Sweet Onion, Chopped Fine
1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
1 Cup Beef Broth (plus more if needed)
4+ Tablespoons Horseradish (TJ’s makes a spicy one!)
1 (15 oz) Can Tomato Sauce
1/4 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
Salt + Pepper
1 1/2 Pounds Assorted Root Vegetables, Cubed
(carrots, WHITE sweet potato, red potatoes, etc)
1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Pat the roast dry with paper towels, then salt and pepper the heck out of it. In a dutch oven, heat 2 TBSP of vegetable oil over medium heat. Brown all sides of the roast, only slightly browning the top. Transfer roast to a plate.
2. Add chopped carrots and onion to the pot and cook until softened. Add garlic and thyme. Stir in beef broth, scraping up all the delicious bits on the bottom of the pan.
3. Return roast and accumulated juices to the dutch oven, and slather the top with horseradish–you want a thick layer. GENTLY pour the tomato sauce over the top of the roast, making sure not to disrupt the horseradish. Add a bit of water or broth to the pot so that the liquid comes about half way up the roast.
4. Cover the pot and cook on the lower bottom shelf for 2 hours. After 2 hours, nestle the the root vegetables around the roast and spoon some of the cooking juices over them. Cover and return to the oven for another hour. Let it rest for 15 minutes before serving. (Total cooking time for a 3+ pound roast = about 3 hours)
I like to shred mine up a bit, and discard any marbled fat pieces. Make sure to get as much of the tomatoey horseradish goodness onto the meat as you can. Spoon a little of the cooking gravy over your root vegetables (white sweet potatoes are the BOMB with this roast), then say a little prayer for my Grandma Dottie and dig in!!!