When Mark was a boy, a big roast was a part of the Sunday tradition. His mom learned from her mother that a long, low oven is key to transforming an inexpensive cut of meat into a tender treat. If possible, select a roast directly from the butcher instead of from the prepackaged cuts. The shape and trim are generally superior, and yet the cost is about the same. Leftovers freeze extremely well in freezer bags, which are then easily defrosted in the microwave for quick weekday lunches. Just right on Bread from Heaven rolls.
Braised Arm Roast Recipe
|WHAT YOU NEED||WHAT TO DO||WHY|
||To prepare, remove the roast from its packaging and place on a large plate; pat dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle seasonings over roast; massage into all sides. Cover with an inverted bowl; set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes before continuing. Place an oven rack in the lowest position; preheat to 250°F Convection (verify with an oven thermometer). Meanwhile…||Drying the surface assists browning and helps the seasonings adhere. Taking the chill off promotes even braising. Internal oven thermostats are often improperly calibrated.|
||In a 6-quart enameled cast iron Dutch oven over medium heat; circulate the butter to coat the base. When it begins to foam (~2 minutes), add the roast. Sear 3 minutes, fat side down. With a big fork, or tongs, turn and sear second side 3 minutes. Remove from heat; arrange onion and bay leaves around roast; add the broth. Insert a barbecue thermometer probe (long probe, long cord, digital display) into the center of the roast.||Preheating the Dutch oven discourages sticking and promotes searing (rapid browning). The Maillard (my YARD) reaction (browning) adds rich flavor. A thermometer removes the guesswork in braising meat.|
|Cover and braise undisturbed in the oven to 200-205°F (~3 hours). Rest meat at room temperature 30 minutes before lifting the lid. For maximum liquid reabsorption, continue resting until the thermometer registers 120°F. Shred with two forks and serve.||Slow braising to 200°F preserves attractive reddish pigmentation (myoglobin) and breaks down the connective tissue in meat. Resting improves color and moisture holding capacity.|
Additional Testing Notes: Slowly heating meat to 160-180°F over 1-2 hours dissolves collagen into gelatin with minimal dehydration. If oven allows an extra low setting of 200°F, heat meat slowly to 120°F (2+ hours), then increase oven heat to 250°F to slowly to finish cooking to 180°F (1+ hour). It is similar to temperatures used in smokers.