Build a Better Pot Roast

Pot roast doesn't typically get a nutritional nod, but that's likely because of the marbling (striations of fat not found in top round or loin). But for just 176 calories, 3 ounces of chuck roast (the cut that makes the best pot roast) boasts 22 grams of protein and almost half of the recommended daily intake for iron. In pot roast recipes, the meat is seared, simmered in broth and embellished with vegetables, making it the perfect dish for a cool night.

In this dish, I'm celebrating fall by adding another autumn treat--apple cider; its sweet goodness marries the rich broth with the tangy balsamic vinegar.

Perfect Pot Roast

I like to serve the roast with a nice hunk of country-style, artisan-baked bread.

1 boneless chuck roast (about 2 1/2 pounds)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 yellow onion, cut into 2-inch pieces
6 carrots, peeled and cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
1 cup apple cider
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 300ºF.

Season the roast all over with salt and pepper. Rub the thyme and oregano all over the meat. Set aside.

Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a large ovenproof saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots and garlic and sauté 3 to 4 minutes, until tender and golden brown. Remove the vegetables from the pan and set aside.

Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil to the pan over medium heat. Add the roast to the pan and sear it until browned on all sides (about 1 minute per side). Add the broth, cider, balsamic vinegar, rosemary, and bay leaves and bring to a simmer, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.

Return the onions, carrots and garlic to the pan, cover with a lid (or foil), transfer the pan to the oven and cook for 3 hours, until the meat pulls apart easily when tested with a fork.

Remove the bay leaves and rosemary stems. Pull the meat apart with two forks and serve with the vegetables and broth. Garnish with fresh parsley.

Serves 6

Nutrition Info Per Serving
Calories: 264
Total Fat: 12 grams
Saturated Fat: 3.6 grams
Total Carbohydrate: 16 grams
Sugars: 12 grams
Protein: 22 grams
Sodium: 145 milligrams
Cholesterol: 52 milligrams
Fiber: 3 grams

Robin Miller is host of Quick Fix Meals, a nutritionist and author of 10 cookbooks, including “Robin Takes 5” and “Robin Takes 5 for Busy Families.” She is the busy mom of two active boys. Her boys and great food are her passion. Check her out at www.robinmillercooks.com.

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