Dry-Brined Pot Roast

There’s nothing like a pot roast – especially when done right. It’s moist and flavourful and when you pour over the warm gravy….wow…every mouthful is a dance. You can do this recipe in the slow cooker or oven.

Serves 6

3 kg cross-rib, blade or chuck roast

Salt and pepper, or my Jamaican Bobsled Jerk Seasoning (go to www.beakitchenhero.com )

4 whole cloves garlic, peeled

6 large carrots, cut into large chunks

1 parsnip, cut into large chunks

4-5 sprigs fresh parsley

1 large sprig fresh rosemary

12 fresh sage leaves

1 large onion, peeled and quartered

2 medium tomatoes, diced

2 cups beef stock

½ cup red wine

Start the roast the day before. Sprinkle the roast all over liberally with salt and pepper (you will need probably at least 10 tsp or more) OR crust it with my Jamaican Bobsled seasoning (my Burnt Canoe or Cowboy Thunder blends also work really well). Wrap the roast tightly in plastic wrap. Place it in a shallow dish and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, heat a large skillet over high heat. Remove the plastic, add some oil to the pan and brown the roast on all sides. Transfer to a 7-quart slow cooker or casserole. Deglaze the pan with some of the beef broth, scraping up all the bits off the bottom of the skillet. Pour the drippings in with the roast. Add the other ingredients, packing the vegetables all around the roast. Place on the lid and slow-cook for 6-7 hours in the slow cooker, or in a 300°F oven for about the same time. The roast will be done when the internal temperature registers 200°F, or a fork inserted into the centre feels very soft like butter. It needs to reach 200°F for the fat and connective tissue to render down.

Turn off the heat (or remove the roast from the oven) and let it stand for about 1 hour in its own juices. Remove the roast to a plate and strain the braising liquid into a pot, reserving the carrots and parsnips for the meal. Bring the jus to a boil. In a small bowl, mix together 3 tbsp cornstarch with 3 tbsp water. Mix thoroughly and add it to the pot. Stir until the jus/gravy thickens somewhat. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Shred the beef and serve with the sauce.