Perfect Pot Roast from Patricia Heaton’s Food for Family and Friends

With the holiday season, we couldn’t think of a better time to share the first recipe from Patricia Heaton’s upcoming cookbook, Patricia Heaton’s Food for Family and Friends. This cookbook is perfect for entertaining, featuring 100 recipes for appetizers, sides, and main dishes, as well as cocktails and “guest goodies”—little treats to send home with your guests. Today’s recipe is perfect for any family or friend gathering, especially in the winter, and will leave you feeling nice and warm. Patricia’s Perfect Pot Roast is rich and flavorful, and you can even add hard cider if you’d like!

A busy working mother raising four boys, Patricia Heaton has also played “America’s mom” on hit television shows such as Everybody Loves Raymond and The Middle. Though she may be a Hollywood star today, this down to earth, practical Midwesterner likes to have fun entertaining her loved ones and has never forgotten her roots. On her Food Network show Patricia Heaton Parties, Patricia celebrates her culinary beginnings, transforming familiar American fare into delicious, sophisticated, lightened versions for entertaining family and friends.

In this beautiful and idea-filled cookbook, Patricia shares her budget-friendly, simple, and deeply satisfying recipes. Some will be on the healthier side, and all will be inspired by the dishes she loved growing up, the favorites she’s relied on to feed her hungry boys, and the scrumptious showstoppers she serves at her fun-filled, casual parties and get-togethers.

Patricia Heaton’s Food for Family and Friends goes on sale February 6. Purchase a copy from your favorite retailer, or get a signed copy from Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, or Book Soup.

Perfect Pot Roast

Growing up, my mother would make pot roast for a Sunday meal, or for when we had company; it’s a lovely reminder of home.

Makes 4 servings

  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground fennel
  • One 3-pound chuck roast
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch-long chunks
  • ½ pound cipollini onions, peeled, or 1 large Vidalia onion, cut into ¼-to ½-inch dice
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1¼ cups hard cider (or apple cider if you prefer nonalcoholic)
  • 3½ cups beef broth
  • 6 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig
  • 1 fresh or dried bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF.
2. Combine the salt, pepper, and ground fennel in a small bowl. Generously season the roast with the spice mixture.
3. Add enough oil to a large Dutch oven to coat the bottom. Heat it over medium-high heat, add the roast, and sear 8 to 10 minutes total, turning to brown all sides. Transfer the roast to a bowl.
4. Add the carrots, onions, and garlic and season lightly with salt and pepper. Sauté the vegetables until browned, 5 to 8 minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic. Remove the vegetables and place in a clean bowl.
5. Deglaze the pot with 1 cup of the cider. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up any brown bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pot. Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat. Add 2 cups of the broth and bring it to a boil again.
6. Add 4 sprigs of the thyme, the rosemary, bay leaf, and roast to the pot (reserving the vegetables in the bowl). Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.
7. Cover the pot, place it in the oven, and roast for 2 hours. Add the reserved vegetables and roast for 1 more hour, until the roast is fork-tender but not mushy.
8. Remove the roast and vegetables to a large bowl or platter and cover to keep warm. Let the braising liquid cool slightly, then strain the liquid into a bowl (discard the solids).
9. Skim off any fat that has risen to the top.
10. Purée the braising liquid in a blender.
11. To make the sauce, heat 2 tablespoons oil in the Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the flour and stir to combine with the oil. Stir in the remaining ¼ cup cider and the tomato paste and mix well.
12. Return the braising liquid to the pot along with the remaining 1½ cups beef broth and the remaining 2 thyme sprigs. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until the sauce is thickened.
13. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the thyme sprigs.
14. To serve, slice the pot roast, arrange the vegetables around it, and pour the sauce over the top.

In many pot roast recipes, there is an element of alcohol. In mine, I use hard cider, but you can also try red wine, a heavy beer, or—for your Irish friends—Guinness. The booze gives the meat an extra dimension but won’t get the family hammered.

One Response to “Perfect Pot Roast from Patricia Heaton’s Food for Family and Friends”
  1. Anonymous says:

    That recipe sounds good. I make a very good pot roast but might try your recipe on Christmas Eve. I also like potatoes with mine.

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