Food & Drink

Melt-in-your-mouth pot roast

I grew up eating pot roast on a (very) regular basis. And while I will always love my mother’s old-school version, it was time for a little upgrade.

I nixed the “pantry helpers” like canned cream soup and replaced them with Dijon mustard, maple syrup and balsamic vinegar for delicious take on a classic.

My mom, a busy wife and mother of three, adhered to a strict weekly dinner rotation consisting of “new American” classics. Her repertoire of recipes was quick, consistent, and – most importantly – didn’t stir up complaints from the peanut gallery. She made no apologies about using convenience products to get food on the table, nor should she have. To this day, the thought of her cheesy chicken spaghetti and creamy beef stroganoff rouses a deep urge to return to my youth.

This recipe uses my favorite cast of flavors to create a rich yet homey dish. I’ve eaten one too many pot roasts on the dry side, so my goal was a buttery, falling-apart piece of meat.

The slow cooker is ideal: Low heat for a long time makes this recipe melt-in-your mouth delicious.

Beef chuck from the shoulder area is ideal for pot roast. Chuck can go by many names: 7-bone pot roast, blade roast, chuck-eye roast, boneless chuck roast, shoulder pot roast, mock tender, flat iron roast and cross-rib roast.

Choose whichever one has the size and shape to suit your needs. I tested this recipe with a 2 1/2-pound boneless chuck roast.

While my mom always cooked potatoes and carrots along with the meat, I like to serve the meat and rich gravy with creamy, stone-ground grits.