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This week I was supposed to make short ribs. But when I got to my butcher I didn’t fall in love with the ones he had in the case & he didn’t have any more in the back…but not to be deterred the chuck roasts looked incredible so gears shifted, menu was adjusted and pot roast became dinner. I wasn’t all that disappointed really. I like pot roast lots and Hart has a toothache from hell so his only request was soft :)

Pot roast is a Low & Slow project, takes about 6 hours on the stove top to tenderize until it pulls a a part with a fork. It is possible to do this in a slow cooker, I wouldn’t recommend it unless you build the sauce on the stove top and transfer to the slow cooker to finish. The sauce for this is built by layering flavors and needs to be cooked that way to get depth to the sauce.

Also a Cooking with Beer supper. I made this with Southern Tier 2x Stout, a double milk stout brewed with lactose, two hops and a strong malt bill. The hops are not particularly bitter or aggressive and the milky sweetness reduces extremely well into the sauce. This is the first time I have cooked with this beer specifically, I will be doing it again.

I made a skin-on mashed potato and broccoli in brown butter to go with – both super easy. I like this dish with any green vegetable.

Milk Stout Pot Roast w Mushroom Pan Gravy

  • Kosher Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper
  • Olive Oil for searing in the pan
  • 4-5# Chuck Roast (or any other pot roast roast)
  • 5 sliced Thick Sliced Bacon, diced
  • 1 whole Spanish Onion, medium dice
  • 4 whole Carrots, 1/2″ thick medallions
  • 4 stalks Celery, medium dice
  • 1/2 Bell Pepper, small dice
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp Dried Thyme
  • 2 each Bay Leaves
  • 1# Crimini Mushrooms, halved
  • 12oz bottle Southern Tier 2x Stout
  • 4 cups Beef Stock (NOT BROTH)
  • Cornstarch Slurry of 1Tbsp Cornstarch & 2 Tbsp Water for finishing sauce

Heat a stock pot or dutch oven over medium high heat with a couple Tbsp of olive oil and let it get hot. Season the roasts with kosher salt & fresh ground pepper. Sear on both sides until a deep brown, remove from the pan & reserve on a platter. Add the diced bacon to the pot, reduce the heat to medium and render until crisp, being careful not to burn.

When the bacon has crisped add the onion, carrot, celery, peppers, garlic and seasonings, salt & fresh ground pepper; sweat over medium heat until the vegetables are tender and smell sweet. When they are softened turn up the heat and add the mushrooms, saute until the mushrooms are tender.

Deglaze the pan with the beer, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to get up all the yummy bits. Let the beer reduce by half. When the beer is reduced add the beef stock and bring to a simmer.  Add the seared roast(s) back into the sauce, cover the pot and bring to a simmer then set the lid ajar. Let it cook, with the lid ajar, at a simmer until the last hour & a half, when you will remove the lid and reduce the sauce.

When you get to the taking off the lid part to let it reduce thats when you start worrying about potatoes and side dishes. When the pot roast is done remove it from the sauce and put it on a serving platter and shred it down if you need to. Taste the sauce, mine was a touch salty – it had reduced a bit much while I was letting the meat cook longer, I quickly remedied that with the addition of a cup of water to rehydrate it back to perfect. Once I fixed the sauce I brought it to a simmer, mixed up my cornstarch slurry and tossed it in to thicken things up a bit. You may not need to add water or thicken it, so many variable. Taste it and look at it – you decide if it needs a tweak or not.

So we dove into a melt in your mouth pot roast with a rich gravy loaded with mushrooms, enough gravy to cover the mashed potatoes and have enough in the fridge to do leftover sandwiches…which may be my favorite part. Hart felt all sorts of inspired and half way through dinner decided to turn it into a massive open-faced pot roast sandwich. He’s a pretty smart guy, that Hart.