When Tom was growing up his family enjoyed a traditional Sunday dinner of Roast Beef and Gravy. His mother would start the roast before they left for church, and when they returned home, she prepared side dishes, made the gravy and dinner was ready.
Tom loved this dinner. He even misunderstood the words of the song they sang on Sunday morning about Christ arising from the grave. He thought it was a song about Sunday dinner, “Up from the gravy ‘n roast.”
Enjoying customs and eating traditional foods is part of what we enjoy about gathering around the table at holidays. But not all meals need to be as elaborate as a holiday meal to be enjoyed. Still, there’s nothing quite like rich aromas of roast beef wafting through the house to draw people to the dinner table, whether on Sunday or any other day it’s convenient.
I’ve used a variety of cooking methods and cuts of meat over the years for preparing a roast beef dinner. A crockpot used to be my appliance of choice, but in recent years I’ve found the InstantPot to consistently yield the most tender results. Plus, less water is needed for cooking in the InstantPot which means the resulting broth is much more flavorful.
The chuck roast is my favorite cut, and I usually cook about 6 pounds at a time, but you can adjust the recipe accordingly.
Adding chili powder and cumin to the cooking broth, is also ideal for preparing beef to shred for your favorite Mexican dishes. That’s an extra, noteworthy tip, in my book!
Roast Beef and Gravy
- pressure cooker
- 6 lb chuck roast
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 2-3 cloves garlic diced
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- 4 cups cooking broth
- 4 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 can mushrooms or fresh mushrooms, sliced
- Cut chuck roast into 3" x 3" chunks following natural divisions in the meat. Trim away any excess fat.
- In a hot cast iron skillet brown the chunks of meat in batches. Avoid over crowding the pan.
- With the InstantPot on sauté, add diced onion and garlic and sauté slightly. Add in the browned meat, soy sauce, salt and pepper. Add hot water to the cast iron pan and scrape the cooked bits of fond off the bottom. Pour this liquid into the InstantPot along with the meat. Add additional liquid if desired. The meat does not need to be covered.
- Seal the InstantPot and cook for one hour. Use the quick release or allow the steam to release naturally. Remove meat from the pot, placing on a platter and cover with foil to keep warm.
- Ladle cooking broth into a fat separator then pour into a cast iron pan and cook on med-high heat.
- In a small dish whisk cornstarch and water together until smooth. Pour cornstarch mixture into the heating broth. Stir constantly until broth has thickened to a gravy. Add salt and pepper to taste. And optional canned or fresh sautéed mushrooms, if desired. Serve immediately.