Most of us have our favorite go-to recipe for pot roast but every now and again, it’s fun to test the waters. This recipe infuses extra flavor to the beef via your favorite wood smoke. Go light on the smoke—it will be in the broth and too much smoke flavor will overpower the unique tastes and textures of this tasty dish.
I recommend a mix of lighter woods and your favorite stronger wood. I like a mix of Cherry-Apple-Mesquite that gives a softer smokiness to the meat with a touch of bite from the mesquite.
A heads-up: Because this meat will braise for several hours, the smoke is only there for flavor and the meat will not be fully cooked by smoking. Also, don’t smoke all the veggies! Experiment with how many you smoke each time you prepare the dish. Too many smoked items in the final dish every bite will taste the same.
- 4 lb chuck roast bone-in or not, you decide
- 3 medium-sized yellow onions, peeled and cut
- 1 lb of small butterball potatoes
- 1 large bunch of carrots, green stalk removed
- (any other root veggies your recipe calls for)
- sea salt and black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
- 2 cups chicken stock
- Prep the meat with salt and pepper and bring to room temperature.
- Prep the smoker or grill (set for indirect heat) and fill smoker box with dry wood chunks or chips.
- Place meat on rack in smoker and maintain constant level of light smoke at approximately 225F degrees, refilling smoker box with chips as necessary. The total smoke time is up to you. I recommend at least 1.5 to 2 hours.
- During the final hour of smoking, add the onion halves or quarters and maybe the potatoes.
- The Braise:
- Place chopped onions (and other veggies like chopped carrots and celery if your recipe calls for them) in the crock pot* with 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter and 2-3 tablespoons of Pomace Olive Oil (or other cooking oil) and sauté on HIGH until all are softened.
- Add smoked meat and 2 cups of chicken stock to pot, cover and reduce heat to LOW. (Depending upon your crock pot settings, this may eventually bring contents of pot to slow boil. If so, reduce the temperature to WARM).
- The Low & Slow Cook:
- After turning the control to the WARM setting, add the rustic carrots, sliced potatoes (or whole if they are small ones) and 1 tablespoon of chopped garlic.
- Cover and cook at this temperature until such time as the potatoes and carrots are fork tender.
- Remove from heat and add additional tablespoon of garlic and place in fridge overnight.
- To serve, remove portion that you wish to re-heat, add to medium-size sauce pan and simmer until warm. ?
- Spoon into serving bowls and garnish with chopped parsley and freshly ground pepper to taste.
Certainly you could use a Dutch Oven instead of a crock pot for this recipe and finish the cook in your oven or on your grill with the hood closed and an overnight cook of 8 to 12 hours. But why? The crock pot uses less energy, is convenient and leaves the oven available for other cooking.