“I’d be a vegetarian too if I had to eat factory farmed meat.”
I ‘m talking with a cattle rancher who goes on to tell me the horrors of factory farms and the cows who are raised there, the very stories that caused me to be a vegan a few years back.
“There’s a better way to raise ‘em,” he says.
This cattle rancher, Melvin is his name, is almost 80 years old. He’s spent his life rearing grass-fed cattle and I enjoy visiting his meat stand in the farmer’s market every week. On the table at his booth lies a crumpled copy of Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma and Melvin loves to explain the difference between his meat and the norm.
He jokes, “I don’t go to 7-11 to get a candy bar and a Slurpee and neither do my cows.”
I’m a little confused when he tells me this, but he goes on to explain to fatten-up cows in the DFW area, they are fed mismarked bags of chips from the local Frito Lay plant, day-old doughnuts and yes, even candy bars. When asked what he feeds his cows, he smiles and tells me “grass, of course”.
He kindly answers my questions and puts my mind at ease about eating meat from his cows. He says I can visit the cows, although he warns me it’s not much to see–just grass and cows and their shelter, but to me this is exciting. I like connecting with my food source and knowing where my meat comes from. I’m thankful to be able to purchase the meat of well-reared, well-respected cows. And I’m thankful to do business with such a well-weathered man.
Melvin suggested I make a pot roast…so I did. Here it is.
Classic Pot Roast
Inspired by Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman
- 1 roast (3-5 lbs) (I used an arm roast, but chuck roast is more common)
- 3 Tablespoons ghee or butter
- 2 whole yellow, sweet onions
- 8 whole Carrots
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3-4 cups beef bone broth
- 3-4 sprigs of fresh rosemary and thyme, de-leaved and chopped
Rub sea salt and pepper all over the raw roast. (Wash your hands
Peel and chop two onions in half. Scrub the carrots and chop them in small 2-3 in. chunks.
Melt butter or ghee in a pretty large Dutch oven (or something else that will hold the roast, carrots and onions and can go in the oven) over medium-high heat. Once the butter is good and melted, place the onion halves in the pan. Brown them onions on one side, then once browned, flip the onions and brown them on the other side. Once browned on both sides, remove them from the pan and set them aside.
Now, toss in the carrots into the same Dutch oven and sautee them until they brown a little ~2 minutes. Remove the carrots from the pan and set them aside with the onions.
Put the meat in the pan and brown it on both sides for about a minute on each side. Remove the roast and set it aside on a plate.
Add 1 cup beef broth to the Dutch oven to deglaze the pan. With the burner still on medium-high, let the broth heat up. Using a wisk or spoon, loosen anything that is stuck to the bottom of the Dutch oven.
Now put the roast, carrots and onions back into the Dutch oven. Add 2-3 more cups of beef broth until the meet is more than halfway covered with liquid. On top of the meat and vegetables, sprinkle fresh herbs.
Place the lid on the Dutch oven and then put the Dutch oven in the oven. Roast the meat in the oven at 275F oven until internal meat temperature is around 150F (for a medium roast, the internal temp should reach 160F, but when you take out the roast and let it sit for a good 20 minutes, the internal temp will continue to rise while it stands). Basically 3 lbs=around 3 hrs, 4-5 lbs=3.5 to 4 hours.
Ps. The Pioneer Woman suggests making mashed potatoes with this meal. Best advice ever. If you want to make it Paleo friendly, check out these cauliflower mashed potatoes.
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