Free The Animal

Umami Beef Pot Roast and Beef Stew

Question: what to you have with the last bit of the pot roast you made last week?

Answer: the beef stew you just made.

The recipes:

Pot Roast. Use this recipe to the letter for a pressure cooker, or with my adaptations for a slow cooker:


You’ll get better results with a slow cooker, and you likely won’t have to thicken the gravy. Do the searing of the roast on the stove top, on high, four 10 minutes per side—no touching it, and don’t skimp. Slow cook on either high (about 6 hours) or low (about 10 hours), until meat is fork-tender, then add the potato and carrot for the last hour. Pro tip: add 1/2 to 1 tsp of Worcestershire sauce as an added umami element and 1-2 pinches of cayenne pepper for an oh-so-slight little bite.

Beef stew; classic, plus my “umami mods” that make knees buckle, so eat sitting down:

Brown the beef cubes in batches on the stovetop with 2-3 TBS of a good cooking oil like coconut, lard, tallow, palm, or olive.

Put everything together in a pot on the stove, EXCEPT the potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, and peas. Bring to a boil, reduce to low/medium low and cover for a light simmer for 1 1/2 hours.

Add the potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, and peas, bring back to a boil, simmer covered for another 1 1/2 hours.

Add 1 rounded tsp thickening starch to enough cold water to stir into a slurry, add to the pot, bring to a boil and stir. If the gravy is thick enough to your liking, then S&P to taste and you’re done. If not thick enough, do another tsp of starch and that ought to be sufficient.

One last thing. If you make your beef cubes yourself from a roast, then put the trimmings in a saucepan, cover with water, then simmer covered for the first 1 1/2 hour of cooking the stew, then strain it into the pot.

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