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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Blade Roast (Chuck Roast)

Yesterday I wrote about the chuck 7-bone roast (pot roast) that we broiled.  According to The Cook's Thesaurus, a chuck 7-bone pot roast is a cut from the shoulder and neck of the beef.  It is a tough cut of meat so should be braised or cooked in liquid.  Well it cooked up nicely under the broiler as we found out.  Even though we used a dry heat the meat was still nice and tender,

blade roast also known as chuck roast
We buy our beef on the hoof  from one of two local farmers.  While the term chuck is widely used in the US is is not a common term in our part of Ontario, Canada.  I like using a blade pot roast for making a pot roast dinner but quite frankly will use any cut, adjusting the cooking temperature and timing accordingly..  A blade pot roast is the same as a blade chuck roast.

When we visited the kids last, we offered to cook them dinner as they both had to work one of the days we were there.  We went shopping for a blade roast and other ingredients to make a pot roast dinner.  The grocery stores had nothing that looked decent so we stopped at a small specialty meat shop very similar to a butcher shop where we found a lovely blade chuck roast.  They put a light seasoning on the roast for us.  Note the nice marbling?  This gives a lovely flavour to the meat, roasting vegetables and resulting gravy.

blade roast with vegetables ready for the oven
My tradition method for making a pot roast is very simple.  I place the roast in the middle of the roaster then season with garlic pepper and Worcestershire sauce.  At home I add tomato stock for a richer gravy.  The tomato stock also acts as a meat tenderizer.  I didn't add any to this particular roast as we flew so I couldn't bring that sized jar of liquid on the plane.  I usually add a bay leaf as well.  [Not having checked bags has a few downsides! I couldn't bring them a few jars of home canned salsa either so will have to mail it to them.]  I added carrot and potato pieces, sliced onion and whole mushrooms to surround the roast.   Then I covered the roast and let it cook for about four hours at 350°F.

blade roast ready for serving
Once the roast was done to medium rare, I removed it to rest before cutting.  If you cut a roast or steak immediately after cooking, the juices will run out losing all that yummy flavour.  Allowing the roast to rest 5 to 10 minutes before slicing keeps the juices in the roast giving tender, juicy and tasty sliced beef.

Left over roast beef cooked this way slices beautifully for hot open faced or cold sandwiches the next day.  That is one reason  I prefer to use a boneless cut of roast.  Allow the roast beef to chill though before slicing.  Slice thinly with a knife or put thought a slicer for lovely fresh roast beef slices for sandwiches the following week.

roasted vegetables from the pot roast
I scooped out the roasted potatoes, then set about making a thin gravy with the pan drippings using a flour slurry.  A flour slurry consists of flour, dash of salt, sprinkle of pepper and water or milk  The slurry should be the consistency of maple syrup.  In this case, there wasn't a lot of liquid left so I stirred while scraping and poured into a small saucepan to make the gravy.  I brought the liquid to a boil then while stirring slowly poured in the slurry.

Vegetables roasted in this manner take on a rich depth in flavour that you can't get from other cooking methods.  They are truly delightful!  Part of that flavour comes from caramelization of the vegetables mixed with meat juices and seasonings.  They are perfect just the way they are topped with a little gravy.

Left over roasted vegetables can be used in soups as is or using the stick blender for a smooth soup.  Simply stir them in if using as is.  If using a stick blender make the basic cream soup then add the roasted vegetables, warm the blend with the stick blender.  Add a bit of extra seasoning if desired and garnish with dried parsley.

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