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The best recipes are always the ones where the ingredients, measurements and details are passed down from family member to family member. Let's face it, not one of us was born a perfect chef!

Most of us, at some time or other, have gotten into 'discussions' as to who has the best recipes for various dishes. Well, time and time again, the same statements pop up:

"My Mom makes the best spaghetti sauce!"

"Aunt Tilly make an apple pie to die for!"

And so on.

So, in my humble effort to keep the tradition alive, and for those of you with no family recipes handed down, WELCOME TO THE FAMILY! I will share with you "Pot Roast and Gravy ala Dad!".

Half the fun of learning a family "secret", is cooking with the person handing down the recipe!

My father taught me this recipe one rainy, cold, Sunday morning...perhaps one of the best times to make a pot roast, in this author's estimation.

On a rainy, cold day, what could be better than the smell of a wonderful dinner cooking? MMM! (okay..you are right..the eating of it!)


The following recipe, while seeming to be "abstract', and not having "exact" measurements, will work every time. And keep in mind, Dad took his time to explain it right, so I in turn will do the same for you!

It will not matter what cut of meat you buy, as we have found that even the 'cheapest' cut of meat used has made the most savory, tender roast!

Have fun, experiment, and you are guaranteed to have a lovely, succulent pot roast when done!

Ingredients:

1 cut of meat for roasting
(sized to your family's needs)

fresh onions
fresh garlic

granulated garlic powder
pepper

vegetable oil

Place unwrapped roast onto a large plate.

Peel garlic cloves, and slice into 1/8 inch slices.

Using sharp kitchen knife, pierce the roast about an inch deep, in various places.

Into each piercing, place a slice of the fresh garlic. (use a finger to push the garlic way in)

Lightly sprinkle roast on all sides with the granulated garlic powder, and pepper.

Using a heavy pot, (large enough for your roast, and later, added veggies), pour enough vegetable oil in to just cover the bottom of the pot.

Heat the oil until a drop of water will "sizzle" off of it.

Lower the flame to medium, and place roast in, fat side down.

Let the roast sear on each side.

While the searing process is on, boil up a teakettle full of cold water.

By searing, as dark as possible without truly burning the meat, you will wind up later with a dark and rich gravy.

After the searing process, your roast should look almost, but not quite, burnt.

Lower the flame.

Slowly add enough of the boiled water to cover the roast about half-way.

Cover the pot, and leave on a medium flame.

Meanwhile, slice up enough onions to taste. These can be sliced in "half moon" shapes; or if you prefer a gravy without large onion pieces, finely dice the onion.

Add onions to the simmering roast.

Be careful not to let the water come to a full boil, keep the flame just high enough to keep the water simmering.

While the roast is simmering, scrub up some carrots, celery and red skinned potatoes.

(The amount of each depends on the size of your family, and the size of your pot!)

Hint: Handed down recipes, such as this, are great for anyone because without "exact" amounts and measurements, you can cook what you need to fit your family's needs!!

After scrubbing up the veggies, you can choose to peel them, or leave the peel on. Either way, chop the carrots into 1" pieces, and add to the pot.

Cook for another 45 mins.

Cut potatoes, while carrots are cooking, into about 1" square pieces. Add to the pot.

Cut up washed celery into about 1/4" pieces, across the stalk (not length wise!) and add to the pot.

Continue to simmer the roast and vegetables until the potatoes are tender.

Remove the roast from pot, cover on serving plate.

Remove veggies from pot using a slotted spoon, put in bowl, cover and set aside.

Into a small frying pan, melt a half a stick of butter, over a low flame.

To this, add 2 heaping tablespoons of flour, stirring continuously.

This will form a "roux", perfect for gravy making.

If the mixture seems too thick, slowly add water, until the mixture resembles thick pancake batter.

Stir continously, till an even golden brown.

Under the pot roast pot, turn on a flame high enough to bring remaining juices and water to a simmer.

Slowly add the "roux", and stir with a wire whisk or slotted spoon.

Gravy is ALWAYS the bane of a cook. The trick with gravy is to have patience.

Let the gravy simmer, till you see bubble "plopping" on the surface, then stir some more. (You will slowly see the mixture thicken to a nice consistancy if you have the patience to wait!)

When the gravy has reached the right consistency, turn off the heat.

Slice up your roast, laying the slices on a serving platter.....pour gravy into a gravy boat, or pitcher.....place the bowl of veggies on the table....and VOILA!

A great dinner to be had, courtesy of my Dad!