Monday, March 9, 2015

Roast Beef with Gravy

 I was recently watching Trisha Yearwood's cooking show and she made a roast beef "Sunday Supper", just like her mother used to make. It reminded me of how my Mom used to do the same thing. Every night, Mom would have dinner on the table, and we would all sit down together as a family to eat. Very often, she'd make a fabulous roast beef, usually with browned or mashed potatoes, a few vegetables or maybe some creamed onions, and of course home made iced tea. Even as my siblings grew older and started families of their own, my Mom would still make a Sunday Supper, and everyone would come over for roast beef. I'm honestly getting a little misty-eyed just thinking about it because they are such fond memories of Mom and my family. I guess this is probably the reason I love to invite friends over for Sunday dinners.
 So, since it was my Mom's birthday over the weekend, I figured I'd make a roast beef dinner, and Trisha's Mom's recipe seemed like the perfect one to try. It's really very simple and only requires just a few ingredients. I didn't make any potatoes with it, but just some of the fabulous onion gravy and some braised vegetables. Just the smell of a roast beef cooking in the oven brought back so many wonderful memories.
I think maybe Mom was smiling down on me today. I hope so.
Thanx, Mom.

One 5-pound boneless chuck roast
Salt and black pepper
1 large red onion, sliced
1/4 cup cider vinegar
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
 Line a 9-by 13- by 2-inch pan or your oven's broiler pan with a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil large enough to fully wrap the roast. The shiny side of the foil should be up. Sprinkle the roast on all sides with salt and pepper and place it in the center of the foil. Spread the onion slices over the top of the roast and pour the vinegar around it. Bring the ends of the foil together and fold several times, and then fold the ends together to completely enclose the roast. Pour about 1 inch of water into the pan around the foil-wrapped roast. Bake until the meat is fork tender and brown, 3 to 4 hours. Check the water level in the pan regularly during cooking and replenish it if necessary. If any juice seeps from the foil seals during roasting, save it to use in making the gravy. When the roast is done, remove the package from the baking pan and let it cool for a few minutes. Open the package carefully to preserve all the juices and transfer the meat to a platter. Cover with a tent of foil to keep it warm while you make the gravy. 
 Pour the roasting juices into a measuring cup and let the fat rise to the surface. Skim off the fat, reserving 4 tablespoons in a saucepan and discarding the rest. (If the fat measures less than 4 tablespoons, add enough butter to make up the difference.) Measure the remaining defatted pan juices and reserve. If you have less than 2 cups, add water to make 2 cups. Add the flour to the fat in the saucepan and stir with a wire whisk to make a roux. Cook over medium-low heat until the flour is lightly browned, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the reserved pan juices and stir until thickened. Slice the roast or cut it into chunks (it will be very tender), and serve it with the gravy.
VERY IMPORTANT: don't use a GLASS dish to make this! Use a METAL roaster pan or a broiler pan. What do you think will happen to a glass dish when it is in a 450 degree oven and then you add cool water to replenish what has evaporated?? Yup. You guessed it. The glass with break! This did not happen to me, but there are several people who reviewed this recipe and said that it happened to them. Be safe!!
Ok, now that we have that out of the way...
I used red wine vinegar because that's what I had on hand and it worked perfectly. Just sayin'!
And since I wanted it to be onion gravy, I just left the onions in instead or straining them out before making the gravy. Be sure to taste the gravy and add a little extra salt and pepper if it needs it. I also added a few splashes of Worcestershire sauce.
I used two onions instead of one because I like a lot of onions. Just like Mom used to say "if you like a lot, add a lot!"

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