I love pot roast. I’ve talked about how much I love pot roast before. It’s an easy one-pot meal that takes little effort and a lot of (idle) time. In addition, it also already has a protein and vegetable built in, so there’s no need for thinking up a side dish. Well, you know, other than the rice. But I’ve only tried one or two recipes before. This time, I thought I’d try my own hand at making pot roast from scratch. So, here’s my Maple Dijon Pot Roast.
Creating a recipe always starts with the basics. Every pot roast needs a great chuck roast beef. That’s the whole point of pot roast, to eat the deliciously tender fall-off-the-bone meat. My mouth just filled with water. I wish I was kidding. The reason the meat is so tender is because it soaks in the juices from the broth. Pot roast is cooked slow and low–on a slow timeline (for a few hours) at a low temperature (usually 350 degrees).
Next comes the veggies. Most pot roast recipes have carrots and some herbs. Carrots are slightly sweet, so it cuts the saltiness and heartiness of the beef. It also adds great color to the dish. Herbs provide great flavor as well. And of course you need beef broth. So far that makes meat, carrots, herbs, and beef broth. No surprise that all of those things appear in my recipe.
I’ve also added a lot more to the recipe. In addition to carrots there’s onions, garlic, and potatoes. The potatoes aren’t all that necessary, I just love that it adds another layer of texture. Practically every Filipino recipe starts with garlic and onions, it’s the Filipino dish foundation. So, for me it just felt like an obvious choice. And then there’s the sauce.
I knew right away that I wanted to use Dijon mustard. Dijon is tangier than regular mustard and it pairs well with beef. It helps enhance and enrich the beef’s natural flavor. To soften the Dijon a bit I decided to add maple syrup. Since maple syrup is sweet it cuts some of the tangy sourness in the Dijon, but without taking away its strong flavor. So, all together the sauce is salty beef broth, tangy Dijon mustard and sweet maple syrup. When it’s cooked through it thickens up pretty nicely, like gravy almost.
Today I learned about the importance of aromatics when trying to build flavor. This is something I’ve always done in recipes, but I didn’t know its name or its purpose! Have you ever wondered why recipes always start with frying meat in oil and then sauteing vegetables in that fat? Apparently the fats in the meat help release and enhance the natural flavors of aromatic veggies like garlic, onions and ginger.
Basically this helps actually layer your flavors. This is why we saute the ingredients before we let them cook low and slow in the oven. Fry the meat first (to help release aromatics, hey oh!) and then the veggies. Deglaze with some broth. Then mix and thicken the sauce before putting it all together and cooking in the oven!
This recipe is tangy and sweet and oozing with so much juicy flavor. It’s not the healthiest pot roast out there but it sure is one of my favorite recipes I’ve ever thought up. I hope you enjoy it just as much.
Be sure to let me know in the comments!
Maple Dijon Pot Roast
- 2-3 lbs chuck roast
- salt + pepper to taste
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 medium onion quartered
- 1 bunch carrots unpeeled, chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 3 cups beef broth
- 1 lbs small red potatoes quartered
- 2-3 twigs thyme
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Generously salt and pepper all sides of the chuck roast. In a dutch oven on high heat with oil, fry all sides of the roast until browned. Set aside.
Saute the garlic and onions until soft and fragrant, about 2-4 minutes. Add the carrots and continue to saute until browned, another 3-4 minutes. Remove to plate.
Deglaze the pan with about 1 cup of beef broth. Lower the heat to medium and add the Dijon mustard and maple syrup. Using a whisk mix the sauce together.
Add another 1/2 cup of broth and mix with whisk until fully incorporated. Bring to a simmer, but don't let it burn! Turn off the heat.
Top the sauce with the meat. Add the vegetables and the remaining broth until the meat is almost covered. Add the thyme sprigs.
Cover the dutch oven and bake for 3 hours. Remove the thyme springs before serving. Serve with rice!