Just popping in quickly today to share a recent variation of my favorite (aka my mother’s) brisket. With Passover approaching, I thought you might like to see a vegetable-rich approach to serving a big hunk of meat. In this recipe, I throw in rutabaga and parsnip for added sustenance–and a little change.
So if it’s the same as a brisket, why do I call this one a pot roast? Well, I actually didn’t use the cut of meat known as brisket for this dish; I ordered a small chuck eye roast from Fleisher’s, via Good Eggs. Apparently, chuck eye comes in smaller chunks than brisket, so if you’re not feeding a crowd, I recommend the cut.
Most of the time, though, brisket refers to the meat and pot roast to the method of cooking it low and slow in a pot. (You can actually roast the pot roast, but I prefer to do it on the stove.) For me, “brisket” sounds like Passover and Hanukkah and other Jewish holidays, whereas “pot roast” seems more non-denominational. So you can see why the names might have come in and out of fashion over the last hundred years or so.
A few weeks ago, when spring seemed like it would never come, I finally conceded to winter’s vegetables, which I hadn’t cooked with all that often throughout December, January, and February. Perhaps it’s counterintuitive, but to me the diced parsnip and rutabaga, though they should remind me of winter, make the pot roast herald the beginning of spring.
You can see more Passover recipes here.
Pot Roast with Rutabaga & Parsnips
Serves 4 to 6
Like most slow-cooked meats, pot roast tastes amazing the next day–so feel free to make ahead, or, at the very least, don’t fear your leftovers.
One 2 to 2 1/2-pound chuck eye roll
1/2 pound rutabaga, cut in a large dice (about half a large one)
1/2 pound parsnips, cut in a large dice (2 medium)
Salt and pepper
Neutral oil, like safflower
2 large onions, sliced
Pat the meat dry with paper towels and sprinkle with about 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and lots of freshly ground pepper.
Heat a heavy, lidded pan at least a little bit bigger than the brisket over high heat for about 3 minutes.
Add enough oil to cover the pan with a film (about 2 tablespoons). Carefully place the chuck eye roll in the pan. Let it sear to a golden brown, 4-5 minutes, then flip and let the second side cook.
Lower the heat to medium, push the meat to one side of the pan and add the onions, tossing to let all the slices get covered in the oil. Cook 2-3 minutes, just until the onions wilt. Sprinkle on some salt and pepper.
Pour enough water to come halfway up the meat–it’ll range, depending on the size of your pot and the thickness of your meat. I use about 4 cups. Let the water come to a boil, then turn the heat as low as it goes, cover the pot, and simmer for 3 1/2 hours. You’ll want to flip the brisket occasionally.Add the vegetables and press down to submerge them in the broth, then cook another 45 minutes to an hour, until the veggies are soft, the onions have melted, and the meat is buttery tender.
If you’ve made the meat ahead of time, let the pot cool to room temperature. Transfer to a container, or put the whole pot in the fridge. Once chilled, you should be able to skip some of the fat from the top. To reheat, simply place the pot, covered, over medium-low heat and let simmer for at least 20 minutes.