Roast Beef

This week, I wanted to make a roast for Sunday dinner. I usually plop a chunk of beef (whatever is on sale!) in the crockpot, sprinkle with a packet of Au Jus and cover with water. I cook it for 8 hours on low and voila! Fall apart roast!  This time, I wanted to travel back in time and see how my favorite 40′s housewives did it. For that I kept my crockpot in the cupboard and pulled out the trusty lidded cast iron pot!

Here is the recipe:

I learned a few things. 1st, if you keeped the browned onions in the same pot, they will blacken! Also, I had WAY too much flour to brown/sear the meat properly. It was kind of a gooey mess:

And after all this work, I couldn’t taste beef! WHY!?? Also it was pretty dry. AFterward, my husband told me that he learned from a chef that searing the meat does nothing to keep it moist. Letting it rest does. So there. No help to me AFTER…:)

All in all, a good method if I  break the slow cooker. After all, it wasn’t the cast iron’s fault! Maybe just the chef. I am putting my updated recipe on here, but feel free to use the original, especially if you have some extra beef fat on hand!!


  • 2 1/2 lb beef roast (chuck, rump or flank {but please don’t waste a flank…there are many more useful and tasty recipes!})
  • 2 T. drippings (or any oil will do!)
  • 1-2 T. flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 1 or 2 bay leaves
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped in half
  • 1 sliced piece of celery
  • 2 T. tomato paste


  1. Heat oil in a large, lidded cast iron pot.
  2. Fry the onion until browned, and remove with slotted spoon to a plate or bowl.
  3. Place flour, salt and pepper (or other desired salt based seasoning) in a large bag. Place roast inside and shake to dust meat.
  4. Add more oil if necessary to the pot and sear meat on each side. (Searing involves leaving meat to brown before moving it. If you try and move it and it doesn’t want to…wait. It will move with it’s ready!)
  5. When seared on all sides, add fried onion and water. 
  6. Stir up any bits sticking to the bottom.
  7. Add rest of the ingredients (you may want to also add 1 cube of beef bouillon. It will help with gravy flavor!)
  8. Cover tightly and place in a slow oven (around 250) for 4-6 hours. When meat is tender,  add tomato paste and stir. Cook 1/2 hour longer.
  9. When done, take meat out to *rest* and take out enough leftover juice to make gravy. (IE if you want 2 cups of gravy, take out 2 cups!)
  10. Place juice/drippings in a pan and for each cup. add 1/2 T. cornstarch, thinned with a little water. Heat until thick. If not thick enough, add more cornstarch thinned with water until desired consistency.

All in all, probably not a keeper, but try it and see if you can make it better!!

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