Once we started doing some research, we found pot roast to be conspicuously absent from most cookbooks—new and old. And that’s rather curious as most everyone grew up on some variation of the dish.
What we do know about pot roast is that it consists of inexpensive cuts of meat like chuck, flank and bottom round that cook slowly in a covered pot, becoming a rich, fork-tender meal. The fact that it’s frugal and easy and plain probably explains its popularity in the 1950s.
But today we crave more than “plain” food—our taste buds need a bit more stimulation. So we’ve added some new flavors to these reliable cuts of meat—namely Asian and Italian. These recipes offer all the comforts of old-fashioned pot roast, but with a lot more flavor—conspicuously so.
Recipes by Tracy Cuervels, a food writer in New York City.