Sunday Pot Roast

November 22, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Posted in Beef | 40 Comments
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Have you ever stored gasoline in your dishwasher?  Ever used your hand held blowdryer while you were sleeping?  Have you ever read product warnings when you buy a new appliance?  We always do as it can be pretty entertaining and a guarantee for a good laugh.  Fact; a few years ago when we got our new dishwasher, one of the warnings was not to store gasoline inside the dishwasher.  What’s this  got to do with Sunday Pot Roast?  Well yesterday while the roast was cooking I read my new hairdryer product warnings.   They warn me not to use my hair dryer while I’m sleeping…insert big wide-eyed confused “what the?” blink here. 

When I was growing up, every single Sunday morning, my mom would not put a pot roast in the dishwasher, but she would pop one in the oven. We’d head off to Sunday School and Church and when we got home we’d be greeted with the wonderful aromas of savory roasting meat mingled with sweet roasting vegetables. By noon, we’d be at the dining room table and enjoying our traditional Sunday Pot Roast. And all of it slathered in beef gravy.

Here’s my mom’s version of this slow roasted meal. 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. The cut of beef was usually what was on sale that week. And most of the time it was the seven bone variety. She’d place the meat into the same inexpensive metal speckled oval roaster that she’d had forever and sprinkle on a good layer of flour, salt and pepper. I’m not sure the purpose of the flour, maybe to seal in the juices as a hot sear would do?

Place the roast into the oven and cook uncovered for 20 minutes. Remove roast and reduce the heat to 325 degrees. Layer in big chunks of potato, celery, onion and carrots. Ever so gently salt and pepper as you layer.  Pour one cup of water over the vegetables, cover the roast and cook three torturous hours. I say torturous because the aromas will soon fill the air and those hunger pangs will go wild.

Move the roast to a serving platter and spoon vegetables around.  Tent with foil and let rest while you make the gravy. 

Beef gravy is so easy. In a container that you can seal and shake the heck out of, add 1/2 cup water and two tablespoons of flour. Move the Dutch oven with the drippings to the stove top. Bring it to a simmer. Add about two cups of water or beef  broth. Add the flour and water mixture and simmer until thickened. You may need to shake up another batch of flour and water if gravy doesn’t thicken to your liking. There is usually a few chunks of potatoes and carrots stuck to the bottom and sides of the Dutch oven, make sure and smash those into the gravy. If none are stuck I’ll go get a couple of pieces from the platter and coarsely smash into the gravy.

After moving to Denver, every trip home, we’d call mom to let her know we were about an hour away from arrival. I’d always ask, what’s for supper? Even though it wasn’t Sunday, the answer was always “Roast Beef”. She knew it was our favorite and it was a perfect end to a long road trip.

What was on your Sunday dinner table?

Pot Roast…It’s What’s For Sunday Dinner.



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  1. It is my favorite meal still. I can’t make it like my grandmother, however. Hers was unbelievable. I miss it almost as much as her.

    • Tami I bet you can. Surely someone in the family could help fill in the blanks with her method. We’re both mid-west. Do you think it’s the flour thing?

  2. I love these warnings. I try to imagine what lawsuit prompted them.

    • Well exactly Pam. The only reason those crazy things are there is because someone did it. Too funny.

  3. I find the concept of a specific meal for a specific day of the week to be quite novel and charming. This was never the case when I was growing up, and it doesn’t happen in my house now. I think the predictability wouldn’t go over very well, but if you crave rituals, I can see how it would be comforting.

    That pot roast looks delicous!

    • Thanks Susan. It was delicious. I only make it about once a year, along with my mom’s Fried Chicken which was a Saturday thing. 🙂 I always choose what I’m in the mood for, and I don’t hear anyone complain about what’s served. As always, thanks for stopping by and the comment.

  4. The classic pot roast meal, it looks delicious. This looks just like the ones my grandma and mom did it except they would brown the meat first on the stove top, then add the water to deglaze the pan (except they never used that word), then add the other stuff. Your finished shot makes we want to run and see if I have a roast in the freezer, but I’d best just keep focused on turkey.

    • And I too have browned the meat before the roast. But always seem to go back to the flour thing. Just because I don’t see a lot of difference. It’s the slow cook that makes this so wonderful. I didn’t know the word “deglaze” until about 10 years ago. Didn’t realize I was so sophisicated until I knew what it meant. tee-hee. Ah…turkey, tis the season.

  5. YUM! I love family traditions! When we were kids, Sunday was spaghetti day, this week I am already so sick of turkey (and had so much leftover) that we went out for Korean and gave the turkey to neighbors. Happy Holiday!

    • I can only imagine how delicious that spaghetti was. I’m heading over tomorrow to get Tony’s brine and poultry rub. I won’t be sick of turkey until Sunday. 🙂

  6. Luv a meal tradition… I haven’t made pot roast in awhile – sounds really yummy on a night with a houseful of hungry people!

    • I make it about twice a year. Such a yummy meal and with just the two of us lots of good leftovers.

  7. Mmmm… Zio’s mother makes a lovely pot roast that looks a lot like yours. I’ll have to try your method, it sounds easy and nice to have on a cold day when I’m painting the guest room. Thanks for a great post!

    • Man, I need to paint the guest room. 😉

  8. I love the title Sunday Pot roast; I can imagine the anticipation of that pot roast slowly braising on the stove!

  9. This is such a homey meal – I love that your mom made it for you at the end of a journey. Mine always had a beef stew waiting.
    Growing up, we didn’t have a specific dish on Sundays, but sometimes it was potroast. Quite often, Mom would fry a couple of chickens (complete with the giblets because we had a BIG family) and she’d make mashed potatoes and cream gravy on the side. That was my absolute favorite meal and I loved every piece. Seems like the little ones ( meaning me and the two younger ones) usually got a wing or a drumstick. I didn’t care, I just loved Mom’s crunchy breading. Nice memory.
    Great post – I’m going to try adding flour next time to see what that does. 🙂

    • Fried Chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy is just the best! I make it about once a year and savour every bite.

  10. We love Pot Roast for Sunday dinner! It’s my girls’ favorite meal and the house smells so yummy when we get home. I usually pan sear my meat and put all the ingredients in the crock pot. Add some green beans, coleslaw, and rolls and you have a very feast! 🙂

    • My ex-mother in law always served cole slaw with her pot roast. I loved draging a piece of beef through the sweet sauce. Delicious.

  11. Fried or roast chicken was the thing when I was growing up. Today we usually throw something on the grill on Sundays unless there’s snow on the bbq. Thanks for sharing your memories.

    • Karen, I usually save something sinfully good for Sundays, it’s my splurge day. 🙂

  12. Love those smells from the oven. My aunt used to make a lot of pot roasts, too. Usually we were a big crowed and everybody was happy about the delicious meal. Thanks for sharing your memories.

  13. My mother made something similar and, like your mom, always made it for us when we came home to visit. Brings back fabulous memories of home and the Ozzie and Harriet lifestyle we grew up in.

    Hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving Lea Ann.

    • I agree about the Ozzie and Harriet lifestyle. It did exist! 🙂

  14. Haha the thing is. Let’s say you were a sleepwalker. And thus did attempt to use your hair dryer while you were sleeping. You would have NO idea that you were doing it! Craziness.

    I love a good pot roast. This sounds like some serious comfort food. So long as you don’t put it in the dish washer.

  15. Too funny Joanne. Craziness, I agree.

  16. Lea Ann, Our Mom’s thought alike. We always had Pot Roast after church!! Must be a Salem thing! It was always ready when we got home. Have a great Thanksgiving.

    • I spent enough time at your house, and I do remember that. Your mom was a good cook too.

  17. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

  18. My mom had a terrific pot roast recipe too. It was a real treat in our house to have pot roast. I love your hair dryer warning! The next time I take my blow dryer to bed, I’ll think of you. Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Happy Thanksgiving to you too Donna. and LOL Kristi. Now, let’s go eat some turkey!

  19. I tell you, common sense is not so common these days, which is why there needs to be so many disclaimers.

    This Sunday pot roast would be my favorite too. It’s so hearty!

    • I agree Christine. There wouldn’t be a warning if someone hadn’t done it. As always thanks for stopping by and thecomment.

  20. Listen, Lea Ann, after hearing someone on TV list the ridiculous questions asked about cooking turkeys (truly a shocking list), it doesn’t surprise me that those warnings are on our appliances!

    Our Sunday suppers were roast chicken….Love reading about your memories.

  21. Our moms would scoff at our ovens with self cooking timer options, wouldn’t they?

    This reminds me a lot of our Sunday “after service” dinners Lea Ann.

    Hope you guys had a wonderful thanksgiving!

    • Yes they would. I’m having a wonderful Thanksgiving. And more to come tomorrow. That’s right, two Thanksgiving feasts.

  22. Thanks so much for voting Lea Ann! These challenges are so much fun, I just really hate the begging for votes thing.

  23. I bet it was yummy!

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