Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Roast Beef In It's Own Gravy

This recipe is one that I grew up with, it's my Mother's recipe. I never really knew roast could be fixed any other way nor did I think it would be as good if it was. To me this was the best. (Apologies to all those whose roast I hate that wasn't fixed like this, I know yours was delicious as well, just in a different way).

Every time I fix this, until now, I have to call my mother to check the type of roast that's the tastiest & to find out about how long it should cook, other than that it is a snap to prepare. Actually those parts aren't hard either, I just can't always quite remember the answers to those questions. I did use a different type of roast once & it wasn't near as good, so I encourage you to take my advice on this, use a chuck roast.

At this point I feel it's my duty to inform you that I did add my own little touch to this one & this is where the southern portion of this whole blog thing I'm doing comes in. With that introduction I shall present to you...drum roll please...bacon grease. (Insert dramatic music here) Yes, I said bacon grease. Call yourself fortunate that I'm NOT including a picture of the small jelly jar of cold bacon grease I keep in my fridge. I thought I would spare you that...this time.

I know this sounds gross but you shouldn't be afraid, just trust me when I tell you bacon grease is the best seasoning, next to seasoned salt, for almost anything. It adds a ton of flavor. It's what makes southern food, southern. It puts the soul in soul food & it puts the calories in all of the above, but you must try it. Run out now, fry a ton of bacon & save the grease. Use it in this recipe or on any vegetables you are cooking on the stove or any meats you need to sear or eggs you need to fry. I challenge you to tell me it's not fantastic.

Now with that said let's get on with it, shall we?

The cast of characters is...

Per Mother you will use a 2-3lb chuck roast. As mentioned earlier, this part is very important, so pay close attention. The chuck roast is the most tender & will fall apart when it's cooked, no knife needed. It is well marbled which lends to the tenderness. You certainly can use any roast you like, but don't call me when it's not completely falling apart & melting in your mouth. You will also use minced garlic, seasoned salt, black pepper, bacon grease (not shown), cream of celery soup & golden mushroom soup. Campbell's is the only brand that sells the golden mushroom soup, as far as I know.

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees & pull out a baking dish, I used a 9x13. You'll also need a skillet big enough for the roast. Drop about a teaspoon or so of bacon grease in the skillet over high heat. Keep an eye on it so you don't burn it. If it's getting too hot too quick, just pull the skillet off the stove for a minute.

Now you will rinse the roast off with water. I don't know why, my grandfather was a butcher & he told us too, so that's what we do. Pat it dry & begin your seasoning.

Excuse my oh so delicate hands being in this picture, I was trying to demonstrate. Rub her down with the seasoned salt, pepper & garlic.

Be sure to season all sides of the roast, head to toe, front to back. 

Now flop her down in the hot skillet. She's gonna be heavy so you may need to use the tongs or a heavy duty spatula.

Why am I calling the roast a she?

Let that sear for about 2-3 minutes. Until it looks like this-

Then flip it over & sear for another 2-3 minutes on the other side.

Searing helps seal in the juices & ensures you get that nice caramelized crust on it, plus it just adds alot of flavor. Especially with the bacon grease. Challenge me...remember!

Now while that finishes searing grab your cans of soup & a small mixing bowl.

Pour both soups in the bowl & mix them together really good.

You're probably needing to pull that skillet off the stove about now so do that.

Grab your baking dish for the roast.

Spread a couple of tablespoons of the soup mixture in the bottom of the baking dish. There's that oh so delicate hand again, be prepared, you're gonna see it alot.

Now place the roast in the dish on top of the soup. See how nice & brown that gets after a good sear in bacon grease. Amazing!

Take the soup mixture & pour over the top of the roast.

Be sure to cover the entire thing, the whole head to toe, front to back thing again.

Cover with foil & put her in the oven & do not pay attention to how dirty my oven is or the oh so delicate hand, again, or the fact that I'm still calling the roast a she.

This will bake about 2 1/2-3 hours, probably closer to 3. Just be sure to use your meat thermometer to check he internal temperature which should reach 170 degrees.

Use this time to rest from all the hard work you've done preparing this wonderful meal & to get "all the fixins" ready.

Once it's done pull it out of the oven, leave it covered & let it rest for about 8-10 mins.

Letting meat rest helps to redistribute the juices & helps prevent it from becoming dry. The rule of thumb is at least 10 minutes but due to the way we've prepared this with the gravy, a little less time will do.

Isn't she beautiful, swimming in all that gravy goodness. The juice from the roast cooks out & mixes with the soup to make an absolutely delicious gravy. The meat will be tender & juicy & will truly fall apart with the touch of a fork. Well, maybe not quite that tender, but it'll be close.

Mother usually served this with rice, it's a great compliment to the gravy. But by special request of my boyfriend, who we will affectionately refer to as The Hunk, I fixed mashed potatoes. They were almost as good as the rice, but that's personal preference. Since this recipe brings me back home a little bit, rice would be my first choice simply due to the nostalgia of the whole thing.

That's it, hope you enjoy & as always, I would love to hear from you!

Roast Beef In It's Own Gravy
  • 1 2-3lb Chuck Roast
  • 1/8 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp bacon grease (may be substituted with vegetable or canola oil)
  • 1 can cream of celery soup
  • 1 can golden mushroom soup

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Place bacon grease in skillet over high heat.

Rub roast on all sides with garlic, salt & pepper. Place roast in skillet to sear, 2-3 minutes. Flip roast over & sear another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat. In a separate bowl, combine soups. Spread about 2 Tbsp of soup mixture in bottom of a 9x13 baking dish, (a smaller baking dish is fine too).  Place roast in baking dish. Pour remaining soup mixture over roast. Cover & bake for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until internal temperature reaches 170 degrees. Remove from oven & let rest for 8-10 minutes. Roast should be fork tender. Uncover & serve.


  1. I made this yesterday and it was awesome! Everyone who ate some loved it.

  2. this is very similar to the way I fix roast for us...(i usually finish it up in the crockpot though) I will agree, it is simple, tasty, and hands down some *really* good roast beef!
    Congratulations on your blog...
    cathy b. @ brightbakes