Monday, October 7, 2013

Easy, No-Mess Pot Roast


Fall-apart, savory goodness!


It's easy to get snared by "food trends." Unfortunately, trends usually involve ingredients and even apparatuses that are not commonly affordable or even available to the average person.

And then there is this recipe which uses the simplest of ingredients, and only a few, to produce a pot roast nothing less than amazing. Really. And, best of all, clean up is a snap because tin foil replaces a pan--a trend I can live with!

Through the years, I've done variations of this basic, beat-the-trend recipe. I used to just stick it in the crock pot. And then one year I did it on top of the stove (technique follows) which I also love. The crock pot is probably my least favorite way. Slow cooking in the oven just gives it a kind of nuanced, "roasty" flavor.

The gravy is wonderful, so be sure to serve with a generous side of mashed potatoes. I've also done it with noodles.

Seek a chuck roast that is well marbled without containing a lot of gristle and chunks of fat. Chuck roasts used to be cheap but, like most meat, that's no longer true. Don't settle for a crappy cut. Avoid the generic soup mixes, too.


  • 1, 2.5-3.5 lb. chuck roast
  • 1 can Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 1 envelope Lipton's Dry Onion Soup Mix
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced thin
  • Heavy-duty tin foil


Line a cookie sheet with foil. Criss-cross two large sheets of tin foil on top of that. Each sheet should be twice the width and length of the sheet. Place chuck roast in center of cross. Sprinkle with dried, onion soup mixture. Top with mushroom soup and scatter the sliced garlic on top of that.

Some people mix the soup and dried onion soup together. I scattered some on top for the visual thrill!


Begin folding up each side of the foil, forming a kind of "envelope" or box, crimping corners as you go. Finally, crimp the top so you have a tight seal.

Be sure to line the pan with foil....I didn't here so you could see the contrast.


Place in a 300-degree Fahrenheit oven and roast for three hours. Allow to sit for 20 minutes or so before unwrapping.





Stove-Top Method

Place roast in a pan with a tight-fitting lid. Follow same ingredient instructions as above, but add about 1/2 can beef broth. Cover. Bring to a slow boil. Reduce heat to a slow simmer and cook for about the same amount of time or until the meat begins to fall apart.

Carefully remove the meat to a platter leaving behind the gravy. Whisk in several tablespoons of sour cream to create a rich gravy. Serve with noodles.