This is the perfect, hearty meal for a cold autumn or winter evening, or Sunday dinner. When I was a little girl, one of my favorite meals was beef roast cooked with potatoes, onions, and carrots. My mom had a special skillet with a lid that she used to make this feast. The smell in the kitchen was heavenly almost as soon as she put the skillet into the oven. For me, this was comfort food.
I hadn’t made this meal for a number of years, making soups and stews out of beef roasts instead. Several months ago, Andrew mentioned that he loved beef roast with veggies. As we shared our stories it became clear that we were talking about the same favorite meal, down to the flavor of the potatoes and carrots after roasting in the beef broth. We only had to give up two parts of the meal, mashing the potatoes and carrots together and smothering them in butter, salt, and pepper, and making gravy (there are Whole30 gravy recipes, but this is so delicious, you won’t need one). Surprisingly, we liked the potatoes and carrots just as well without the butter and the beef broth is very flavorful. This delicious dish has become one of our favorites.
1 – 3-5 lb chuck roast (or beef roast of choice) ((Pick the size appropriate for your family.))
1 lb potatoes of choice (we like Idaho potatoes or goldens)
1 lb whole carrots (Peeled carrots are too sweet for our taste. But use what you like.)
2 large white onions
Salt, pepper, garlic to taste
Pink Himalayan salt (we use Sherpa brand and use a salt mill)
Quad-color pepper corns (we use Olde Thompson Pepper Supreme and use a pepper mill – I got this at Bed, Bath & Beyond last Christmas.)
Granulated garlic (we use Kirkland’s brand – available at Costco)
Preparing the meal:
Trim any excess fat off the outside of the roast
Sear the roast
Using a heavy skillet, heat on high heat on the top of the stove. Once the skillet is hot (sprinkle a couple drops of water off your fingers into the skillet. If they sizzle and evaporate, your skillet is hot enough), sprinkle the skillet liberally with salt and pepper.
Put the roast into the skillet and (using tongs) move it around to get all the salt and pepper on the side of the roast facing down. Sear for 30 seconds to 1 minute (until nicely browned). Add more salt and pepper to the skillet, flip the roast over and sear the second side, again moving the meat around with tongs to get all the salt and pepper on that side. Then, holding the roast with tongs, sear all the ends of the roast (10-15 seconds on each side).
Roast the beef
Put the seared roast into a roasting pan (with cover) big enough to allow for the addition of vegetables later. I prefer to put the roast in the bottom of the roasting pan.
Season the top side of the roast liberally with season salt (choose 1 without sugar or corn starch to be Whole30 compliant) and granulated garlic (We prefer Kirkland’s brand – available at Costco.), or whatever spices you prefer. (We also like McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning.) Make sure to check spice labels for added sugar or corn starch. Avoid these. Many blends have both, so you might want to use seasonings individually.
Add 2 peeled, white onions (We prefer large chunks, so we cut 1 in quarters, the other in 8ths.)
Add 1 cup water.
Bake UNCOVERED in preheated 450° oven for 1 hour.
Flip the roast and season the second side with granulated garlic and season salt.
Prepare and add the vegetables
About 45 minutes in, begin to prepare your vegetables.
Use 1 lb of your favorite potatoes (or sweet potatoes). I prefer the “rustic” feel, so I don’t peel my potatoes. Wash them well and halve or quarter them.
Use 1 lb of carrots (unpeeled, whole). Wash them well and halve them. I usually scrub them with a scrub sponge to get all the dirt and root pieces off.
Add potatoes and carrots to the roasting pan. Add another cup of water. Salt and pepper vegetables to taste (Again, I’m pretty liberal as everything seasons everything else as well as the broth.). COVER the pan!!! This is important as the flavors and spices baste in the covered pan throughout the rest of the cooking process. Note: If you don’t have a covered roasting pan, aluminum foil will work as well. You want the juices and steam to stay inside the pan.
Reduce oven heat to 275° and cook COVERED for 1 hour. Check veggies and roast for desired doneness. For me, perfect doneness is when a fork goes in easily and doesn’t crumble the potatoes or carrots. Cook longer if needed to reach desired veggie consistency.
It’s not uncommon for the veggies to be done a bit before the roast. No problem. At 1 hour or desired doneness, remove veggies from the pan and put them in a covered dish in the microwave (or on the counter with a towel over the covered dish). (Just let the veggies sit, covered until the roast is done to your desired temperature).
I generally prefer my roasts to be fork tender, meaning that when I put a fork into the meat and rotate it, the meat pulls apart easily (probably about medium. I’m not a fan of pink, squishy meal, but I want it to be tender, juicy, and close to pullable).
If you use thermometers, the Food and Drug Administration (https://www.fda.gov/food/resourcesfor you/healtheducators/ucm082294.htm) recommends cooking beef to 145° F (63° C) for food safety. According to Certified Angus Beef (https://www.certifiedangusbeef.com/kitchen/doneness.php), the temperature range for beef roasts is:
145° for medium
150° medium well
Note: take the roast out of the oven at these temperatures. They will reach your desired temperature after resting for 5-10 minutes.
Note: The au jus (broth) from the pan will be delicious and can be spooned over the roast, potatoes, and carrots to enhance their flavor.
Note: You can also make this meal in a crockpot. Sear and season the roast as described above, put everything in the crockpot at once. (I put onions on the bottom, then the roast, then potatoes, carrots, and more onions on top. Add 1 cut water. Set cooking time to desired dinner time. I start mine in the morning and let it cook all day (7-10 hours). The meat is pullable when I get home and everything is juicy and delicious.
You can complement this meal with a side salad or other veggie, but my family prefers just this. The recipe above provided food for one dinner and several lunches over the next couple days for 3 adults. If you like leftovers, add more potatoes and carrots. The meat is also great later, sliced on a salad.
Enjoy! More Whole30 meals to come!