By Cat, June 2015 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)
This recipe is adapted from How Stuff Works (1). I decided to give this a try for a Sunday dinner when temperatures are supposed to be unseasonably warm (in the 80s), so I don’t want to use my oven. This recipe braises the roast on stove top using a Dutch oven, but I will use my saucier. I love the combination of veggies: turnips, brussels sprouts, carrots and pearl onions with the flavor of Herbes de Provence, a combination I make myself.
Beef Pot Roast Braised with Herbes de Provence
Ingredients & Equipment
- Veggies & Herbs:
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 – 2 tsp homemade Herbes de Provence,
- 4 small or 2 large turnips, or turnip and potato combination
- 8 – 12 brussels sprouts, depending on size, for about 10 oz. total
- 8 oz. baby carrots, about 2 cups (or about 2 cups cut carrots)
- 1 cup pearl onions
- 2 ½ lb beef rump or eye of round roast
- 1 – 2 Tbsp lard or coconut oil
- Unrefined sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- about 1 cup homemade beef stock (a bone broth)
- Sauce: *
- 3 Tbsp filtered water
- 1 Tbsp GMO-free cornstarch or 2 Tbsp unbleached white flour or tapioca starch/flour (water and flour amounts adjusted per testing).
- 3 quart Dutch oven or saucier
* Alternately use a buerre manie 2 Tbsp each butter and unbleached white flour to thicken the sauce (amount adjusted per testing).
- Prep: Prepare broth/stock, if you don’t have any put away. It’s best to do this at least 1 day in advance.
- Make Herbes de Provence in a small bowl, using dried herbs. Peel garlic cloves; if cloves are large, cut in half lengthwise; add to herbs and set aside in a cool place until ready to use.
- Remove moisture on surface of roast with a cotton or paper towel, so that it will sear well.
- Wash and peel turnips/potatoes, then cut into wedges; wash and trim brussels sprouts (see Brussels Sprouts – Cooking Tips for more info).
- Wash and trim carrots. If using larger young carrots, cut them into 1 ½” lengths; if they are also large in diameter, cut in half or quarters lengthwise, to resemble baby carrots.
- NOTE: each piece of veggie should be about the same size.
- If using dried pearl onions, remove dry skins; or thaw frozen pearl onions.
- Combine prepped veggies in a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Roast: Heat lard or coconut oil in Dutch oven or saucier over medium-high heat. Brown roast evenly on all sides. Season each side after browning with salt and pepper.
- Drain off excess fat, if desired. Let meat rest in warm pan about 15 minutes.
- Add beef stock to pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Add garlic and herb mix. Cover and reduce heat to simmer 2 – 2 ½ hours. TESTING NOTES:
- Rump or cross-rib roast: 2 – 2 ½ hours to this point, before adding the veggies in next step. However, if using flat burner or simmer plate only*, allow 3 – 3½ hours before adding veggies in next step, so they don’t overcook.
- If put in fridge overnight before finish cooking: take off heat after the 2 – 2 ½ hours and let cool for 30 min before transfer to fridge.
- Add turnips, brussels sprouts, carrots and onions to Dutch oven. Cover; cook 1 – 2 hours, until vegetables are tender. TESTING NOTES:
- Rump or cross-rib roast required 2 hours for veggies to be tender when I used a simmer plate but only a little more than 1 hour with just the flat burner*; total cooking time of 4 – 4½ hours.
- If finish cooking after being in fridge overnight: remove roast with broth from fridge and allow to warm to room temp, ½ – 1 hour; add veggies, bring to boil, then simmer before adding veggies and simmer 1½ – 2 hours. Total cooking time for both days: 3½ – 4½ hours.
- Remove meat and vegetables; arrange on serving platter. Cover with foil to keep warm.
- Sauce: Strain cooking liquids, then return to pot. Stir water into starch until smooth, then stir the mixture into liquids in pot. Alternately, use a buerre manie) Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cook and stir 1 minute or until thick and bubbly. Use roughly 1 Tbsp flour for each cup of liquid to thicken
- Serve pot roast and vegetables with sauce before it has a chance to cool.
‘* my gas stove (photo, below-right by Cat) has a flat cast iron burner that holds and distributes heat longer than an open burner, especially over a simmering flame. If I want a really slow simmer, I also place a simmer plate on top of the flat burner (photo, below-left, from Amazon), which means it takes longer for the contents to be tender.
6/7/15: Used 2.18 lb beef rump roast and cooked in saucier rather than Dutch oven because mine is too large for my small roast. Used 1 cup frozen pearl onions, thawed; and fresh veggies: young, slim carrots cut in 1 ½” segments; 1 each turnip and yellow fin potato; and 8 large brussels sprouts. Included lavender in herb mix. Made as written. Started simmer at 4 PM; not tender enough at 5:30 (1 ½ hours), so continued to simmer, but added the simmer plate so liquids would not evaporate. 6 PM: added only half of veggies (because pot is too crowded for all), even though I did not think meat was tender enough. Veggies are not totally submerged in the liquids; the brussels sprouts are on top, out of the liquid, but the others are mostly submerged. At 6:45, meat & veggies are not tender enough with 45 minutes of simmering. At 7 PM I removed the simmer plate. 7:15: veggies beginning to show signs of softening. OOPS, forgot to add the pearl onions, so added at 7:30. At 8 PM I was so hungry, and the veggies were tender, I decided to eat, even tho the meat could have cooked a bit longer. Made sauce using buerre manie (1 Tbsp each butter and flour), but that wasn’t enough to thicken, so combined another 1 Tbsp flour and 3 Tbsp water. Perfect. Total cooking time: 4 hours for meat, and including 2 hours for veggies. Result: Meat is more tender than I thought, and quite delicious. Veggie combo is tasty and all are wonderful with the herb-flavored sauce. When I make this again, I will allow more time for cooking the meat. I’ve updated recipe accordingly. Update, 6/10: I reheated the roast in the sauce (with a bit of beef stock added) for 2 hours at a low simmer. It was fork tender and even more delicious.
Testing 10/22-23/15: Used 1.75 lb cross-rib roast which should need less cooking time. Otherwise, braised as written but adjusted for smaller roast: used 2 small garlic cloves, 1 ½ tsp Herbes de Provence and 1 cup beef stock. After searing roast, seasoned with salt and pepper on both seared sides, and let it rest 15 min before adding stock, herbs and garlic to simmer for 2 hours (started at 8:30 PM, finished at 10:30 PM). Removed from heat and allowed to cool a bit. Into fridge to rest until next day to finish the cooking. 10/23: Removed roast with liquids at 3:45 PM to warm to room temp; brought to a boil then reduced to simmer at 6:15 PM and added prepped veggies. Veggies and meat are tender at 7:45 PM. Total simmer time 3½ hours between the two days. Made sauce and served. Result: delicious, but needed salt.
Testing 4/24/17: Used 2 lb cross-rib roast. Trying out my Chantal enameled steel saucier (have to give up my stainless steel while on Hashimoto’s Protocol to heal my thyroid). Prepared as written, using 2 rutabagas (no turnips available), potatoes, 14 brussels sprouts, and half-stalk celery, as well as 2 garlic cloves and the herbs; oops, forgot the pearl onions. Didn’t have beef broth, so used an herb-veggie broth. Set meat to simmer at 4:15 PM; added veggies at 6:45 PM (after 2½ hours); however, it wouldn’t all fit in this smaller saucier so I put half the veggies and half the broth in a Chantal saucepan to cook separately, and left the other half in the saucier to cook with the meat. Veggies were done about 8:15; meat was not yet fork tender but I sliced off a serving anyway – nice flavor. Next day, I simmered the roast another hour; tender enough to slice but not fork tender. Added a serving of veggies to reheat about 15 minutes. Result: This is a delicious recipe, but I made too many veggies – since I used a small roast, I could have reduced the veggies by ⅓.