old school pot roast, part one

The Damsel grew up on this–the family’s favorite special-occasion/Sunday-after-church meal. She can never get tired of the yummy stuff.

To make pot roast, you need time. Lots of time. Pot roast needs moist heat over a long period to get tender. Some people use a crockpot, some people the oven…this particular method is done on the stovetop…but they all have one thing in common. Time.

First, heat a little oil on medium in the bottom of your nice heavy pan–a dutch oven or some such.

Plop the roast, fat side down, into the hot pan. It will seem like a strange thing to do, but everything will be okay in the end. After a minute or two, stab it with a fork in order to turn it. Brown it on all sides, or until you’re tired of it.


Pour in some water…fill the pot until water comes about half way up the roast. It will seem like a lot, and the pot will look strange with that great glob of raw meat sitting knee deep in water. But you must trust the Damsel and press on.

Sprinkle in a packet of onion soup mix. The Damsel has been mocked for using this. The mocking individual says it isn’t old school, and perhaps they are right. But the Damsel learned to use this from her mother, who happens to be a great-grandmother, so at some point, onion soup mix becomes old school, right?

IMG_3881Sprinkle it both on top of the meat and around it in the water.

Put the lid on the pot and turn it down low. It will need to just cook contentedly for a long, long time. Like 5-6 hours, depending on the type of roast you’re using. The way you tell if it is done is–scientifically poke it with a fork. By the time you eat, you want this meat tender enough to fall apart. This is the Damsel’s wish.


At some point before the magical falling-apart stage, you will pack the pot with potatoes and carrots. You can do this after a couple of hours of cooking or right away, if you need to leave the house for the day. Push them down into the water when possible…these get extra yummy.

By the time the meat is tender, the vegetables will be too. The house will smell like heaven, and you’ll hear shouts of acclamation as you call the family to the table.

There’s just one more step…making the gravy. Because people think making gravy is tricky, and because this gravy is oh so worth it, it’s going to get its very own Old School post. Don’t worry. It’s not hard.

7 thoughts on “old school pot roast, part one

  1. BTW…I vote for “old school” for the onion soup mix, since it has been around for almost 60 years.
    It was launched in 1953. (I looked it up)

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