Dave's Beef Roast
This roast is tasty because it is braised (browned) and the juices saved for later.
You need two pans, one for braising, like a heavy skillet (save the meat juices), and a bigger covered one to simmer it in, such as a Dutch oven.
You can cook this inside or on the grill in summer. If you do, make sure the pan you are using will stand the heat! Remember, you really need to save the juices from braising, so you don't want to loose them.
(1) Sprinkle garlic powder all over the meat, or poke holes and insert whole cloves of garlic.
(2) Place meat in heavy skillet. Braise (brown) the meat, either on top of the stove or on the grill. If you place it on the grill you must be careful not to use a pan that would be damaged by the heat, including the handle! You aim is to get the meat a dark brown all over, but not burnt. If the meat is very lean, you might need to add a little water to the pan so that the juices don't burn.
(3) Add some water, maybe 4 or 6 cups, to the pan for cooking. Add whole onion, scrubbed carrot(s), celery and bay leaves. Turn the heat on medium to heat the water so you aren't putting hot meat into cold water.
(4) Remove the browned meat from the skillet and place into the heated water.
(5) Add some water (about 1/2-inch deep) to the braising pan, place over heat and simmer to loosen some of the yummy dark stuff (that's what gives it such good flavor). You can add wine or beer but very sparingly or it could start tasting weird. Once you have all the goodies loosened, add it to the other pan with the roast. The water level is not critical, but you don't want it to go dry or to cover the meat completely, either. If the roast is flat, the water may almost cover it. If the roast is chunky, the water may be half-way up the side. Cover the braising pan and set aside if you plan to make gravy.
(6) Simmer roast until tender, at least 2 hours or longer. Longer is better. Don't rush it. You may want to turn the roast over half-way through. Near the end of the cooking time you should add salt and pepper. (Don't salt too soon because it can make uncooked meat tough).
(7) When the mean is tender and done, remove it to a platter or cutting board. Remove the onion, carrots, celery and bay leaves. Add peeled carrots to the pot. Cook for 15 minutes. Add peeled potatoes. Place roast back into pan, making sure the veggies stay under water.
(8) Carrots & potatoes take about 45 minutes to cook. They are done when easily pierced with a fork. Don't cook them so much they fall apart.
(9) Remove roast and slice. Transfer veggies to serving dishes. Serve juice on the side with a ladle, or make gravy (see below).
Homemade Beef Gravy
Uncover the braising pan you set aside earlier. Heat it up and add some butter, loosen any remaining brown stuff in the pan. Add some butter, about 1/4 to 1/2 stick depending upon how much gravy you want to make. Add an equal amount of flour. Mix the flour and butter together a let cook slightly. This is a roux (pronounced roo). Now add some of the meat juices slowly, while blending everything with a whisk. When you get it thinned out, simmer it slowly until it thickens slightly. Don't let it burn or get too thick. Add salt & pepper to taste. If it's too thick, whisk in more liquid, too thin, let simmer. If it's really too thin because there wasn't enough roux, you can combine flour and cold water (make it sort of pancake batter consistency) and whisk it in slowly, just a couple T-spoons or so at a time. The gravy will thicken as it cools, so don't cook it too thick. It must be served hot, so it's the last thing you cook before serving. Make sure you taste it to see if it needs salt.