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Main Dishes for Christmas? Pot Roast?


All Big 10
15 Year Member
We're going to have all the kids & their spouses for Christmas this year. I've been trying to come up with main courses and special items. In the past we have had turkey and we once did a Prime Rib. Prime Rib is almost too rich and we won't have that big a crowd (8 adults); usually we've done that when we've had closer to 20 adults. We've also done Crown Pork Roast, but it's been done and not everyone is as enthused.

I am getting enamored with the idea of a Pot Roast (or at least an Oven Roast). Like my mom used to make in the oven with potatoes and carrots (throw in other root vegetables). I've never really done one, nor have the kids (they are in their late 20's early 30's). Most of everyone's attempts have been slow cooker recipes, which really aren't the same thing (basically boiling or even lower temperature). I am thinking of in the oven with a covered roasting pan. I really don't have a heavy kettle to do one on the stove.

Any recipes or ideas and hints?

My biggest issue is I will probably have to leave out coating with flour when braising (gluten free issues). I don't think that will be a problem. In the past I would skip the braising step out of "efficiency" (I now understand why that is such a bad idea).
One thing I am bound and determined to make this year are Runza's . It has probably been five or six years since I last did that and the in-laws who are not gluten sensitive have never had them. And quite frankly the frozen ones from Runza (Drive Inn) that they may have had are not as good as freshly made ones. Eight is kind of a small crowd, so I will have to shrink the batch size. It seems in the past I usually wind up making roughly 60. So I need to cut it way down.
  • YIELD:6 servings
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • One 3- to 5-pound chuck roast
  • 2 onions
  • 6 to 8 carrots
  • Pepper
  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups beef stock
  • 3 or 4 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 2 or 3 fresh thyme springs

  1. Preheat the oven to 275F.

  2. Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and let it get really hot. While it heats, prepare the other ingredients.

  3. Generously salt the chuck roast on both sides. I like kosher salt because it adheres more readily to the meat.

  4. Cut a couple of onions in half from root to tip...

  5. Then cut off the tops and bottoms and peel off the papery skin.

  6. When the pot is very hot, place the onions in the oil and brown on both sides, about a minute per side. Remove the onions to a plate.
  7. Now, with the burner on high, deglaze the pot by adding 1 cup of the beef stock, whisking constantly. The point of deglazing is to loosen all of the burned flavorful bits from the bottom of the pot.

  8. Throw the carrots into the same (very hot) pot. Toss them around until slightly brown, about a minute or so. The point here is to get a nice color started on the outside of the vegetables, not to cook them.

  9. Remove the carrots from the pot and allow the pot to get really hot again. Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan.

  10. Place the meat in the pot and sear it, about a minute per side. Remove to a plate.

  11. Now, with the burner on high, deglaze the pot by adding 1 cup of the beef stock, whisking constantly. The point of deglazing is to loosen all of the burned flavorful bits from the bottom of the pot.

  12. When most of the bits are loosened, place the meat back in the pot...

  13. Followed by the carrots and onions. Pour enough beef stock into the pot to cover the meat halfway.

  14. Next, put in the fresh rosemary and thyme sprigs. The fresh herbs absolutely make this dish. Tuck them into the juice to ensure that the flavors are distributed throughout the pot.

  15. Now, just cover the pot and roast for 3 to 5 hours, depending on the size of your roast. For a 3-pound roast, allow 3 to 3 1/2 hours. For a 5-pound roast, allow for a 4- to 5-hour cooking time. Don't disrupt the roast during the cooking process.

  16. When the cooking time is over, check the roast for doneness; a fork should go in easily and the meat should be very tender. Remove the meat to a cutting board and slice against the grain.

this if my favorite holiday salad and for the lettuce it calls for i just use a bag of the mixed fancy lettuce

Roasted Pear Salad With Endive, Pomegranate, Blue Cheese, and Hazelnut Vinaigrette Recipe
  • YIELD:8 to 12
  • For the Hazelnut Vinaigrette
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup toasted crushed hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the Pears
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 bosc pears, slightly underripe, cored, halved, and cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • For the Salad
  • 4 whole Belgian endives, bottoms trimmed, separated into individual leaves
  • 4 heads frisée lettuce, pale yellow leaves only, roughly pulled apart by hand, rinsed and spun dry in a salad spinner
  • 6 cups (about 8 ounces) baby arugula leaves, rinsed and spun dry in a salad spinner
  • 4 ounces crumbled Gorgonzola, Stilton, or Cabrales cheese
  • 4 ounces seeds from 1 medium pomegranate

  1. Make the vinaigrette: Combine honey, vinegar, and hazelnuts in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Place bowl on top of kitchen towel rolled into a ring to keep it steady, and slowly pour olive oil into bowl while whisking constantly. Vinaigrette should form a semi-stable emulsion. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then aside in the fridge.

  2. For the pears: Heat butter in a 12-inch heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until foaming subsides. Add sugar and swirl until melted and starting to brown. Add pears and toss to coat. Cook, tossing occasionally until pears are softened but still retain some texture and exteriors are a burnished, glazy brown, about 4 minutes total. Transfer to a large plate and allow to cool completely.

  3. To serve: Combine endives, frisée, arugula, and pears in a large bowl and drizzle with 6 tablespoons vinaigrette. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Gently toss with hands until evenly coated with vinaigrette. Taste and add more vinaigrette or salt and pepper as necessary. Add cheese and pomegranate and toss briefly. Serve immediately.


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