EATS: Hurricane Pot Roast


November 2, 2012 by annmquintero

Amazons, we’ve had a tough week in NYC, but rest assured that Randi, Dar, and I are doing just fine. I flew back to NYC from a gig in Annapolis just as everything was shutting down. I dropped my bags in my apartment and ran to the store to see what was left. No one knew how bad things would get or for how long and I had to do my regular post-trip kitchen re-stock as well, so I was looking for things that I could cook without electricity (I’m lucky to have a gas stove) and would sustain me and any hungry neighbors for a while.

I grabbed onions and potatoes, there were a few packages of celery and baby carrots left. When I got to the nearly empty meat case, I snagged the last chicken, a chuck roast, and a couple of pork tenderloins. True to Upper West Side form, there wasn’t a drop of organic milk to be found, so regular whole milk it was. The bread aisle had been ravaged, but that’s ok, because I’m trying to avoid bread anyway. In the checkout, I did spy a woman with cake frosting and a hairbrush. Hope she had a fun hurricane! I also swung by the liquor store to grab some cheap red wine; the chuck roast had given me ideas.

When dealing with cheaper, tougher cuts of meat like chuck, brisket, round, and shank, low and slow is the best approach. Normally I like to cook something like a pot roast in my CrockPot, but it’s absolutely possible to do it in the oven, keeping in line with the possibility of no electricity. I was lucky enough to maintain power throughout the storm, so that’s how I’ll describe the process here.

A word about CrockPots or slow cookers: They are cheap and easy and the perfect tool for when you want to come home to a delicious, hot meal after a day of work. I understand the instinct to be afraid of leaving an appliance plugged in all day in your absence, but I assure you, as long as you leave it on a hard, flat surface, leaving the crock pot working is little more dangerous than leaving a fan going.

What you’ll need:

Chuck roast
Herbs (I used a dried Italian blend and a couple of bay leaves)
Tomato paste
Red wine
Salt and pepper

Large skillet


Let’s talk mirepoix. Mirepoix is a classic French culinary base for most soups, stews, sauces, etc. It’s very fancy. So fancy that it’s a pile of chopped up onions, carrots, and celery. It’ll make your life easier if you just do all the chopping in advance and set the veggies to the side.

Mmmm… caramelization.

Put your large skillet on high heat and get it really hot.  Season both sides of your chuck roast with salt and pepper. Put just a drizzle of oil in the hot pan, then use your tongs to place the roast in the pan. Leave it there for at least 2 minutes. Don’t move it around. Don’t check it. Don’t fuss with it. What you’re doing now is searing the meat. Contrary to common folklore, searing does not “seal in juices.” It does, however, put a nice caramelization on the meat, bringing out flavor and lessening its potential to look unappetizingly grey after low, slow cooking. After at least 2 minutes on either side in the pan, move it to your slow cooker.

Add your already chopped mirepoix to the hot pan. I also added some garlic, smashed with the flat of my knife, to the mix. Take the heat down to medium and let the veggies soften a bit, picking up any burnt goodies left by the searing meat. Hit the veggies with a bit of salt and pepper. Toss in any herbs you have around. Dried herbs are well-suited to a slow cooking situation. Fresh is always wonderful, but this is a great time to use what you have in your pantry already. (I also found capers in my fridge, so I threw those in too!)

Once the veggies are soft, hit the pan with some red wine to deglaze it. All the tasty brown bits that are stuck to the pan will dissolve into the liquid, allowing you to keep all their flavor. I probably added a cup and a half of wine to my pan and allowed it to simmer for 10 minutes. I also added the tomato paste at this point.

After letting my meaty, herby, winey concoction mingle for a while, I dumped it unceremoniously over the top of my seared chuck roast, threw in a few extra baby carrots, some larger chunks of celery, popped the lid on and set it on low for 6 hours.

From that point on, I was a free agent. It was all bouncy cats, all the time!

We don’t need no stinkin’ knives!

With something this stew-like and saucy, you’re going to want something to soak it up. For some of you that might be a nice crusty loaf of bread or some bowtie pasta, but for a lot of my audience, I know that won’t quite do. For my gluten-frees, try mashed potatoes, rice, quinoa, or polenta. For my paleos I would go for smashed sweet potatoes with some salt and paprika, maybe a little garlic. Mashed, steamed cauliflower makes a nice faux potato as well. You could also just serve it over steamed broccoli. It may not get the same level of brilliant soppiness, but it’ll get you there all the same. And it’ll up your cruciferous intake to boot!

If you want or need to do this in the oven instead of in a crock pot, I recommend a dutch oven or a casserole dish with a good lid, on top of an aluminum foil-lined sheet pan in the oven at 250F for 6 hours. Everything else remains the same. You’ll end up with the same product, but the electric slow cookers use a lot less energy.

Be safe out there!

(If this is your first time reading EATS, I encourage you to check out the Introductions post for my philosophy and list of must-have kitchen items.)


3 thoughts on “EATS: Hurricane Pot Roast

  1. […] hit NYC; which is where the whole Urban Amazon team lives.  Fortunately we’re all safe and Ann made pot roast (yes, Ann’s pot roast is a fortuitous event).  As New York comes out of the dark times […]

  2. […] Plop it in the rack over your roughly chopped or broken carrots, celery, and onions (also known as mirepoix). Add a little bit of water to the pan to keep the veggies from burning too badly, and pop it all […]

  3. […] a drizzle of olive oil and add your carrots, onions, and celery on medium heat (You remember our mirepoix, right?). Add the bell pepper, garlic, crushed red pepper, thyme and salt and pepper as the veggies […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


Is the goal to be as big as possible? To dominate the landscape and block out the sun? 🌳 Or is the goal to have depth? To have purpose? To offer something worth having and grow to be steady and stable? 🌱 The last 2 years have grown me in immeasurable ways. They've forced me to think about my goal, purpose, and success and let go of what was hollow. My teachers would call that my "ego" - we all need one in the modern world, but if too much of us is ego our success is hollow. Eventually, hollow wins fall. 🌴 Doing the work, building the foundation of who you are, exploring what your purpose and what brings you joy allows you to grow to incredible heights; and the foundation allows you to weather the storms of life. 🍂 Share with me your genuine purpose, goals, and success. What keeps you grounded and growing? Hit those comments. 🌺 #quote #phrase #saying #success #motivation #motivatedmonth #growandchange #growdammit #hardwork #nevergiveup #lifecoach #lifefindsaway
Sometimes this is what “the work” feels like. 🐌 “The work” = that place where your resistance lives.  Where you want to quit, but you also know you’ll have to come back here again to ultimately get where you’re growing. 🦗 A few months ago my mom and I had this brilliant idea… we’d have MDSDBC: Mother Daughter Self Development Book Club.  Cute, right?! 😏 SO we decided to start with listening to Brene Brown “Daring Greatly” on audiobook at the same time. Let’s just say: Not cute. 🤦‍♀️ 🕷 It brought up a BUNCH of stuff for both of us.  And because we both knew the other was listening to it, we also knew the other one was processing said stuff.  We had some intense conversations; and yes, it was all for the best. But it was HARD. We had to get through "the work". 🐛 Oftentimes doing “the work” is painful and difficult.  We struggle and writhe inside, wishing we were on the other side. It feels a lot like this rusty garden sign: banged up and begging to be done.  Yet, just like these plants need time and care to produce something delicious and beautiful, so do we in our self development work. 🦋 Give yourself time.  Care. Water. Sunlight. (occasionally, dirt!) Be kind to yourself, keep the predators away and the future you're trying to grow for yourself will flower. 💐 . #growandchange #growdammit #motivatedmonday #mm #selfactualization #selfdevelopment #thework #motivatedmonth #doyou #keepinkeepingon #garden #inthegarden
Go outside. . . . . #outside #weekend #friyay #freedomtower #freedomfriday #gooutside #running #trainerlife #train #fitness #breakfree #getafterit #wildchild #gowild #motivatedmonth
Hey man, I’m with the band. . 👩‍🎤 Throwback to about a month ago - I’m out with my parents seeing their favorite local band, The Wally’s.  My mom tells Wally how I’m a singer (Thanks, mom!) and he’s like “sit in with us!”... but what he doesn’t know is it’s been over a DECADE since I’ve fronted a band.  Sure! Why not! . 😬 Saying I’m scared at that moment is an understatement. Most people don't know I developed performance anxiety about 8 years ago... including my parents.  But I remind myself this is a room full of strangers… and what can go wrong… and this is supposed to be fun… So I get up and start singing, but people are leaving.  LEAVING. Fleeing to the bar. I’m struggling to hear myself, but I know I’m on key. What’s going on!?... Turns out the mic wasn’t working properly. They couldn’t hear a thing. . 😰🥺😭 But I finished the song anyway, because what else was there to do? (We left immediately after because I was mortified. It's funny *now*.) . 😵 . Moral of the story?  If you’re scared, do it anyway.  The best place to rip the band-aid off was in a room full of strangers and the worst thing that happened was they couldn’t hear me.  So what!? Do it anyway! . . . #tt #throwbackthursday #singer #doitanyway #dowhatscaresyou #takearisk #risktaker #thewallys #thanksmom
it’s not all push and hustle.  Sometimes you’ve just got to take a break and float through it. . 📸 @jak.bestle . #summer #breathe #restore #curlygirl #backlit #float #relax #trainerlife #redneckpool #chill #heatwave
So grateful for the love 💖 . Yesterday so many people reached out to share their support and congratulations on Penn MAPP.  You guys! People were coming up to me all day to give hugs and tell me I’d inspired them. ME!?... but I haven't done anything yet?! I’m touched. Thank you to everyone who reached out. 🙏 . I was the first person in my family to finish a 4 year degree; and though my mom beat me to a Masters (so proud of her!) I'll be the first to go to an Ivy institution. 👩‍🎓 . Growing up rural poor, it was easy to think I wouldn't/couldn't get in. That people like me don't do things like this. Changing your life is often hard and scary, and it required to to rewrite your story .  But the alternative (not trying and not growing) is far worse. 🌹or🥀? . Your lovin’ keeps me goin’. I hope mine does the same. . . #girlswholift #transfomationtuesday #tt #fitpro #smartissexy #smartandfit #strongwoman #beautyatanysize #thickthighssavelives #legsfordays #squat
%d bloggers like this: