Nell's Pot Roast

Grandma Nell's pot roast, Keller family comfort food, as told by Judith to Sally who adapted it with rough proportions from a basic beef pot roast recipe in the Joy. With comments from Judith, the first and wary adapter. ("I never had the chutzpah to serve it to Nell.")

  1. 3 - 4 lb. beef brisket -- Brown in heavy pan. Martheeenia adds:
    Make sure it is "First cut brisket" which is the fattiest, ask your butcher, and a little salt and pepper at the beginning of the browning and later to taste.
    And Judith adds:
    Use a cast iron Dutch oven on top of the stove. It's better than in the oven. I measured my pot and told the butcher the exact number of inches across the pot for the size of the brisket, and brought my tape measure to confirm his cut.

    If you are planning to have more than three people to dinner and would like to have some left over (it gets better the second day, but there may not be a second day), order at least a 7+ lb first cut, perhaps the whole first cut. (Yes, it's an expensive cut.) Do not let the butcher remove the fat. I bought the whole first cut. When you brown the fatty side, it makes its own fat. You may have to add oil. The brisket really shrinks down in the cooking process.

  2. When partially browned, add chopped carrots (about 1 cup), chopped celery (2-3 stalks), chopped onion (1 small to medium). (I also added some baby turnips, chopped, but they sort of disappeared.) And Judith adds:
    The carrots do not have to be chopped, just sliced and a lot; they make one of the veggies for the one pot meal. Frozen peas, added at the end, make the other. As for the Jewish rye bread, if not available, you may have to use packaged rye and add some caraway seeds.

  3. Brown all together, adding vegetable oil if needed (briskets aren't as fatty these days as they used to be).

  4. Turn the roast a few times during cooking.

  5. Add about 2 cups hot stock and 1-14 oz. can chopped tomatoes (with juice) and 3-4 slices Jewish rye torn in pieces, including crusts. Martheenia adds:
    Get the best real Jewish rye bread with caraway seeds.

  6. Simmer on top of stove or in 300 - 325 degree oven for 3-4 hours, until meat is tender. Add more stock if needed.

  7. At end, add some more carrots (cook until tender) also add peas (I used one bag frozen peas). Add more bread.

  8. Mash gravy with spoon, or not. Martheeeenia adds:
    Serve with wide German-style egg noodles covered in the gravy containing the peas and carrots and succulent slices of brisket. Mmmm.
    And Judith adds:
    In the rare case you have left over meat, hot pot roast open face sandwich on one slice of rye, with gravy poured over is great. So make sure you have plenty of gravy.

    When it's cooked, take out gravy and put it thru the Foley food mill. Save some of the sliced carrots from the mill and add them back in later with frozen peas.

    I'm sure you will develop your own style and pot roast procedure. BUONA FORTUNA! MITT GLICK. The only writ in stone part of this recipe is ONLY AND ALWAYS USE FIRST CUT OF BRISKET! BUON APPETITO!