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Pot Roast

2 to 6 lb thick cut meat, such as English roast or eye of round
1 can beef broth (optional)
3 good-sized potatoes, or several baby potatoes
6-10 carrots, washed and cut into large pieces
garlic
rosemary
parsley
marjoram
sage
basil
salt
pepper

Make sure you have a large, heavy saucepan which is appropriate
for oven use as well as stove-top use. It should be large enough
that your cut of meat will sit flat in the bottom. Brown meat on
both sides in the bottom of the pan; leaving the stove heat on
medium-high, pour broth in bottom of the pan, then fill with water
until the liquid covers up to a little over halfway up the side of
the meat. Allow to simmer until bubbling, though do not allow to
boil too hard. Put in approximately one crushed clove of garlic,
three leaves of sage, a teaspoon of rosemary, a few leaves of
parsley, a few leaves of marjoram, a few leaves of basil, a very
generous amount of pepper, and several shakes of salt. If using
dried herbs, be sparing with the dried garlic, use a couple of
pinches of sage, marjoram, rosemary, and parsley, and be sparing
with the basil. All of this is to taste; if you hate rosemary,
for instance, you can leave it out. At this point you ought to
put one or two pieces of carrot in the mix to cook with the meat;
this gives additional flavor. Allow the entire mix to simmer,
covered, for one hour; flip the meat and cook an additional hour.
Check liquid occasionally to ensure that it does not go below the
halfway mark.

After the two hours are up, make sure your oven is preheated to
about 350 degrees. If you are using large potatoes, peel them and
cut them into medium-sized chunks: too small and they will fall
apart, too large and they are unmanageable. The carrots should be
likewise cleaned and diced into medium-sized pieces. Put all of
these in the pot. The carrots should be allowed to get into the
broth as much as possible, but it is fine for the potatoes to sit
on top. Check liquid level one more time, then cover again and
put into the oven (middle rack) for another two hours. At the end
of this, check with a fork to see if potatoes are tender (they
should be). If they are, then you are done.

Eat up! If you have other things in the oven while you are preparing
this dish, it is fine to continue the last two hours of cooking on
the stove, though the liquid will have to be checked more frequently.
Once you get used to this recipe, a lot of variations are possible;
for instance, the broth is not necessary, especially if you're
trying to avoid excess sodium; and some people use a dash of red
wine in the broth for flavor.

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