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Dishing Up Maryland
by Lucie L. Snodgrass
Few meals evoke as much nostalgia as pot roast, and with good reason.
• 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
• 1½ tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
• 1 (4-pound) beef chuck roast
• 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
• 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
• 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
• 8 small potatoes, peeled and halved
• 4 carrots, peeled and quartered
• 1 rutabaga, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
• 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
• 1 cup half-and-half
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Mix together 1/4 cup of the flour, the 1½ tablespoons salt, and the pepper. Rub the mixture all over the roast until it is thoroughly covered. Heat the shortening in a large Dutch oven; add the roast and brown it over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, turning the roast to brown all sides evenly.
2. Remove the pot from the heat and spread the mustard on the roast. Add 1½ cups hot water and the onion and cover the pot.
Transfer the roast to the oven and cook for 3 hours. Pull the pan out of the oven and add the potatoes, carrots, rutabaga, and sweet potato. Return the pan to the oven and roast for 1 hour longer. Remove the roast from the oven and place the roast and vegetables on a serving platter, reserving the pan drippings. Cover the platter to keep it warm until you're ready to serve.
3. Make the gravy: Pour the pan drippings into a bowl and let the fat rise to the top. Skim the fat off and discard. Measure out 1 cup of liquid, adding water if needed. Pour the drippings back into the Dutch oven and stir in the remaining 1/4 cup flour. Cook the mixture over low heat, adding the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and half-and-half. Keep stirring until the gravy boils and thickens; serve the gravy with the roast.
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