That’s Italian for “Comfort Food.” 🙂
Or, at least, that’s what Google tells me.
I find different foods comforting at different times — sometimes I crave spicy comfort food, sometimes I crave pasta, sometimes I crave a hearty soup, stew, or casserole.
I think there’s little doubt, though, that Pot Roast is a comfort food. We enjoy a good roast and I have several different ways we like to have them. Thanks to a great sale from Brookshire’s, I had nice, lean rump roast in the freezer and I was needing to use it. Also thanks to a sale from Brookshire’s, I had zucchini and yellow squash on hand, as well. So as a change of pace from the more traditional roast with root vegetables, I decided to make us an Italian-Style Pot Roast.
This recipe was inspired from one of my Diabetic Cooking magazines. You can cook it with almost any cut of roast — such as chuck, arm, rump, sirloin, or tip — or even with a lean (flat cut) beef brisket. While I consider the tomatoes, zucchini, and onion a must, you can also add in other vegetables you like, such as mushrooms, bell pepper, yellow squash, even carrots and potatoes, if you like.
Like most roasts, most of the cooking time is inactive — once you get it cooking, you just let it simmer away until it’s time to add in the veg, and then you leave it alone again.
It smells so yummy as it cooks, you might be tempted to wile away the time until it’s ready by learning some 16th century Italian dance steps! 😉
Round out the meal with some mashed potatoes (season them with some garlic and Parmesan for a real treat!) or pasta and some bread. Leftovers make for utterly delicious, juicy, and somewhat messy sandwiches (I served ours in a pita pocket leftover from when we had gyros last and the leftover French bread from the meal).
So the next time you want a roast, but want something a little different, give this Italian-Style Pot Roast a try…I promise, it tastes as yummy as it smells! 🙂
I usually cook a 2 1/2 to 3 pound roast. If you cook a much larger roast, you will want to increase the amount of vegetables and liquids accordingly.
Italian-Style Pot Roast (Number of servings depend upon size of roast and heartiness of appetites)
- Beef roast or lean brisket of desired size (2 to 3 pound roast will work best)
- 1 can (14 – 15 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained (I used Italian-seasoned tomatoes)
- Hearty glug (1/2 to 3/4 cup) of red wine OR water OR beef broth or stock
- Beef bouillon cube (leave out if use if you use beef stock or broth)
- Coarse ground black pepper
- Worcestershire sauce to taste
- 1 -2 bay leaves
- Garlic cloves and/or garlic powder to taste
- Seasonings to taste: basil, Italian seasoning, oregano, red pepper flakes, parsley
- One (or two) onions, cut into quarters or eighths
- Zucchini (1 or 2, depending upon size of roast and the quantity and variety of other vegetables you will use), cut into thick slices or chunks
- Other vegetables to taste, cut or sliced: yellow squash, mushrooms, bell pepper, celery, even the more traditional carrot and/or potato if you like
- Let the roast or brisket sit out for abut 45 minutes to an hour so it can lose the chill from the ‘fridge. (It will brown better if it’s not completely chilled.) Dry with a paper towel (this will also make it brown better) and brown in a lightly oiled non-stick skillet over medium to medium-high heat. (If there is a side that has fat — such as on a rump roast or brisket — once browned, position the meat with the fat side up.)
- Reduce heat to medium. Add in garlic cloves, if using, and lightly sauté.
- Deglaze pan with wine (or water or broth/stock). Add in undrained tomatoes and bouillon (don’t add bouillon if you use beef broth/stock). Add in bay leaf(ves), some hearty splashes of Worcestershire, and season to taste with coarse ground black pepper. Sprinkle in some red pepper flakes if you want a hint of fra diavolo flavor.
- Turn heat to low (you want it at a low simmer), cover, and let simmer until meat begins to become tender (depending upon cut and size of roast, this may be anywhere from 2 to 3 hours). Occasionally baste the pan juices over the roast.
- Once the roast begins to be a bit tender, add in onion and season to taste with basil, Italian seasoning, oregano, and parsley. If cooking any other root vegetables with the roast (such as carrots or potatoes), add those at this time, as well. Cover and simmer about 15 minutes. Add in zucchini and other vegetables, such as yellow squash, mushrooms, etc., and simmer, covered, until vegetables are done — approximately another 30 minutes.
- Let rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove roast to a platter. Trim away fat cap, if present. If desired, thicken pan juices as you would for gravy. Cut meat into slices and return to the pan.
- Refrigerate or freeze leftovers.