My Grandma's Easy Chuck Roast Recipe

This is something that my Grandma Ada made for us every time we would visit to her cozy home in Park Hill, Oklahoma. Surrounded by endless trees, roses, blackberry bushes, dirt roads and a sunset vista of rolling hills and cattle farms, it brings back warm memories of love and comfort. You use the beef juices to make a delicious gravy. I highly recommend making a side of mashed potatoes and my Grandma's extra sweet corn to go with it (see note about corn at bottom).

Ingredients:

3-4 pound chuck roast
Salt
Pepper
Flour
Unsalted Butter
2-3 Tbsp Cold Coffee

I like to start making this at 12 noon for dinner at 5 or 6. It's a great Sunday dinner plan.


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Buy a fresh chuck roast and pat it dry with paper towels. The drier, the better, as the meat will brown better that way (reason: locks moisture inside). Now, my Grandma flours the beef with salt and pepper and shakes off the excess before browning. I omit the flour. Either way, you will get a nice crust. The flour gives a little bit of a thicker crust.

Make sure you put a generous amount of salt on one side only - about 1 Tbsp. Don't do both sides or it will be too salty. Err on the side of less salt - more can be added at the table.

Heat about 2 Tbsp canola oil in an oven-proof skillet. When a drop of water sizzles (it's ready). If it pops out at you, the pan is too hot. Add your roast and DO NOT MOVE IT. Let it sizzle and sear for about 4-6 minutes. Then lift up an edge with tongs and make sure it is browned. If sufficiently browned, flip over and brown the other side. Add lots and lots of fresh cracked pepper. I like to add coarse black pepper.

Once it is browned on both sides, cover the skillet tightly with foil and put it in the oven. Let it roast for 5-6 hours. Do not worry about overcooking it. The more it cooks, the more it will break down the meat. You can also get creative here and add red wine, some organic MSG-free beef broth, onions, garlic, mushrooms, carrots, potatoes or just leave it plain like I do. My Grandma adds garlic powder. You could also secure slices of bacon around the sides with a toothpick. It's totally up to you. For me, the gravy is the seasoning.

About an hour or so before dinnertime, start making your mashed potatoes* and then your corn.

Here's the way my Grandma makes corn: Boil the cobs for about 20-30 minutes (yellow corn tastes better than white). When done, hold the cob with tongs and use a serrated knife to cut the corn off of the cob. Now, here's my Grandma's little trick: Scrape the hell out of the cob and you'll get all these tiny little corn nibs and skins. They are so sweet! Mix up all the cut and scraped corn with a little salt and butter. Cover with foil and keep warm in the oven until dinner.

To make the gravy: Transfer the roast from the skillet to a plate to rest. Leave the juices in the skillet and put it over the lowest heat possible to keep warm. In a separate skillet, melt 1/3 cup butter over medium heat, then add 2 Tbsp flour. Stir constantly with a fork or whisk until golden in color. If it gets too thick, add more butter. You should try to use clarified butter (it has less saturated fat) but I'm lazy and just use plain butter. Keep stirring and cooking until it is a med golden brown color. Then add it to the beef juice skillet and turn it's heat up to medium-high. Add 1-2 Tbsp cold coffee. Whisk until it thickens. Taste the gravy and add salt/pepper to your liking.

*Note: If you're not sure how to make mashed potatoes, just peel, rinse, cover with cold water and boil. It takes about 45-60 minutes from peel to mash. The potatoes are done when they fall apart when poked with a fork. I don't use a strainer to drain. I pour out most of the water and leave a little bit in. The potato cooking water has lots of flavor. Then you mash and add a little butter, a little milk, salt and onion powder to taste. Be careful with the salt, add only a little at a time. More can always be added but it's impossible to remove. By the way, I think a mix of 1/2 russets and 1/2 golds or yukon golds tastes awesome.

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13 Response to "My Grandma's Easy Chuck Roast Recipe"

  1. Hello Michelle!

    First... love the name of the blog... a little irreverant humor aimed at the cooking demigods is laudable!

    Second... black coffee as an addition to gravy... it works! Kudos to Granny! I am in the market for a pot roast and this is looking damn good!

    Third... I look forward to more visits to CIMDK!

    Third:

    Michelle says:

    Hi Susan,

    Thanks so much for checking out my blog and leaving comments. I hope you do try the pot roast. It is yummy. Great for a cool day when you want the oven to warm your house a little. :)

    Michelle

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    Natty says:

    This is an awesome recipe. I've made it about 8x now. I buy the double packs from Costco and cook them in the same skillet. Thank you and Kudos!

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