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If you’ve never cooked with hard cider, you have to give this a try!
An hour before starting to cook, remove the roast from the refrigerator. Rinse it and pat it dry with paper towels. Place on a plate and sprinkle fairly generously all over with kosher salt and pepper. Let it stand at room temperature.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat the bottom of a 5 to 7-quart French oven with a thin film of olive oil and set the pot over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering, put meat in the pot and let it cook, without moving it, until it is deeply browned on the bottom and lifts easily from the pot when turned. This should take about 8 minutes or so. Continue to brown all sides of the meat, turning as needed. Transfer meat to a plate and set aside.
Add mushrooms, onions, and carrots to the pot and cook, stirring, until softened. This should take about 5 minutes. Stir in thyme and cloves. Then pour in hard cider and beef broth. Stir to release browned bits on the pan bottom. Add bay leaf. Let the mixture come to a boil, then return meat and any accumulated juices to pot.
Cover pot and transfer to the oven. Cook, turning meat over once about halfway through cooking, until meat is tender and pulls apart easily when prodded with a fork. This should take about 2-1/2 to 3 hours.
There are a couple of different ways you can finish up this beautiful pot roast:
For an easy weeknight meal, I simply break apart the meat with a wooden spoon while it sits in the juices in the pot. The meat should be extremely tender, and not even need to be cut with a knife. This is personally my favorite way to eat the roast, all loose and juicy and tender.
To achieve a more sliced look, remove the meat from the pot after it has been in the oven for about 2 hours. Then slice it against the grain and return it to the pot with slices intact as much as possible, along with any accumulated juices, nestling it back into the veggies and juices. Return the pot to the oven and cook for another 30 to 60 minutes.
My family prefers this served over/alongside creamy mashed potatoes, but herbed wide noodles are good, too.
Source: Inspired by the “Yankee Pot Roast Redux” from All About Braising by Molly Stevens, but greatly simplified and adapted from my family’s favorite Classic Pot Roast.
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!