Pass the Pot Roast: Your Sunday Supper Meal Plan

by Matt Moore on September 25, 2012 · 22 comments

in Cooking, Food & Drink, Travel & Leisure

These days, it’s rare for me to spend a weekend at home in Nashville. Between the demands of work, relationships, and other opportunities, it seems my time is spent on the road more often than not. Many of you share my pain of hitting the deck at 11 p.m. on a Sunday evening just as you roll into town, only to get back to business early Monday morning. But such is life, and besides, travel does have its perks.

When I do find myself lucky enough to spend a weekend in town I tend to savor every moment, especially now that fall is in full swing. I like to start my Saturdays with a long run, prepping my body for the abuse of tailgate food, a few cold beers, and hour upon hours of watching college football.

But Sundays are different. I wake up early, clean the house, go to church, and start cooking. Many of you were probably nodding your heads in agreement up until the cooking part – or the waking up early part! Don’t worry, there are always a few NFL games providing my entertainment soundtrack while I am in the kitchen.

Cooking a Sunday Supper gives me a chance to reconnect to the town and friends I love. I head down to the Nashville Farmers Market to pick up fresh vegetables, shoot over to Lazzaroli Pasta to chew the fat with Tom, and finally round things out by visiting my favorite butchers at the local market. I’m not an outspoken foodie or “locavore,” but there’s something about creating relationships behind the food that tends to make my meals taste better.

That being said, at this stage in my life, my social scene is all over the map. I have friends who are single, dating, engaged, or just starting out with young families. It’s a unique stage as some are yearning for companionship and others just looking for a break from the routine. Then there’s always the musician friend or two that’s looking for a square meal after a solid week on the road – a common theme here in Music City. So, I usually receive a resounding YES when I invite ten or twelve of my closest friends over for a Sunday Supper. In fact, most of them have grown to dislike my busy travel schedule – for selfish reasons of course!

Sunday Suppers are always casual. I like to make comforting meals that can be prepped far in advance, and finished off with little to no hassle. After all, the whole point of hosting and entertaining friends is to enjoy their company – not to be stuck sweating away in the kitchen.

Whether you are single and looking to entertain friends, or you are taking over the kitchen duties to cook your family a hearty meal, I recommend my favorite Sunday Supper menu below. I’ve even gone so far as to create a shopping and prep list to assist you when making the recipes.

Whatever your Sunday routine or meal might be, I can guarantee your food will always taste best when shared with others. Plus, it never hurts to have leftovers to start the work week!



Shopping List

Produce/Vegetables Department

  • 2 Heads Whole Garlic
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 12 Whole Carrots
  • 2 lbs Fresh Green Beans
  • 5 lbs Baby Red Potatoes
  • 10 Heirloom Tomatoes

Meat Department

  • (1) 3-5 lb Rump Roast

Dairy Department

  • 1 Package Unsalted Butter
  • 12 oz Sharp White Cheddar Cheese
  • 8 oz Heavy Cream

General Grocery

  • Black Pepper
  • Kosher Salt
  • 1 Bottle Red Wine
  • 1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • Dry Italian Seasoning Blend

Sunday Prep List

  1. Prep, sear, and place roast in oven for 3-5 hours, depending on size of the cut.
  2. Watch football for a few hours.
  3. When one hour of cooking time remains on the roast, get back into the kitchen.
  4. Blanch green beans, place in ice bath, drain, and set aside.
  5. Wash, cut, and boil potatoes and garlic.
  6. Meanwhile, add carrots to pot with roast and cook for 30 more minutes.
  7. Mash potatoes, cover, and keep warm on low heat – adding more cream if necessary.
  8. Remove roast and carrots, tent with foil. Make gravy.
  9. Friends arrive. Table is set.
  10. Reheat green beans in butter.
  11. Slice tomatoes and season. Arrange on platter.
  12. Slice beef, and arrange on platter with carrots.
  13. Serve.

Sunday Supper Recipes (Serves 8 – 12)

Sunday Slow Roast Beef 

A foolproof dish that will make you the king of the kitchen. The garlic will slowly cook down to the consistency of butter, lending its wonderful flavor throughout the meat. Don’t worry too much if your meat shreds more than slices – it will be tender, juicy, and delicious.

1 3-5 lb Rump Roast
8 Whole Cloves Peeled Garlic
Kosher Salt
Freshly Cracked Pepper
1 Large Onion, roughly chopped
2 Cups Red Wine
12 Whole Carrots, ends trimmed, unpeeled

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Next, preheat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, use a knife to cut small inserts into the beef, stuffing the holes with garlic. Liberally season the entire roast with kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper. Next, sear all sides (except fat cap side) for 2-3 minutes, or until browned. Add onions to the bottom of the pot, set roast on top, and deglaze with red wine. Cover and place into the oven to roast undisturbed for 3-5 hours (approximately 1 hour per pound). When thirty minutes remain, add carrots to the pot, cover and continue to cook. Remove roast and carrots and tent with foil (15 minutes) prior to slicing thin and on the bias for service.

Mushroom and Onion Pan Gravy

Guilty as charged. I promise this is the ONE time I’ll ever endorse using that canned concoction. But damn, this gravy is absolutely delicious – and ridiculously simple. Trust me; I’ve won over several chef friends with this gravy, many of whom have also joined me on the dark side of canned, processed goodness. If you prefer to make your gravy the classic way, make a slurry of flour/water and add it to the reduced drippings and finish with butter. I promise this version is better though . . . just saying.

Beef/Wine/Onion Drippings
1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup

With the roast removed; skim off any fat from the top of the drippings (the oily stuff floating at the top). Next, crank up the heat to medium-high on the stovetop and reduce the drippings mixture by half. Add canned soup to dripping mixture, reduce heat to medium-low, and whisk for a minute or so until evenly combined. Allow the mixture to come back up to a slow simmer (to thicken), and turn down heat to low. Serve alongside roast beef and sides.

Fresh Green Beans

These will always beat those things out of the can (ignore my comments above!). Again, this is a super simple recipe that can be prepped hours in advance and finished off just prior to serving.

2 lbs Fresh Green Beans, washed and ends trimmed
Kosher Salt

Fill a large pan with two inches of water, bring to a boil over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of salt — blanch green beans in the boiling water for 60 seconds. Strain beans and place in an ice bath until completely cooled. When ready for service, return beans to the same pan and sauté in melted butter until heated through. Season with kosher salt to taste, and serve.

Quick & Hearty Garlic Mash

A rustic and informal version of a traditional favorite. The garlic and sharp cheddar flavors provide a nice contrast to the earthiness of the dry seasonings. Topped with plenty of gravy, this is comfort food at its finest.

5 lbs Baby Red Potatoes, quartered
Kosher Salt
8 Cloves Garlic, smashed and peeled
1 Tablespoon Italian Dry Seasoning
12 oz Sharp White Cheddar Cheese, grated
1 1/2 Sticks Unsalted Butter
1 Cup Heavy Cream
Freshly Cracked Pepper

Bring potatoes and garlic to a boil in a large pot with a generous pinch of salt — boil for 12-15 minutes. Strain potatoes, and add back into the pot with remaining ingredients. Using a potato masher, roughly mash the potatoes until all ingredients are incorporated and combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve.

Sliced Heirloom Tomatoes

Simple and straightforward. I find that the acidity in the tomatoes and their cool, crisp flavor helps to cut through the rest of this hefty meal. Besides, the colors look killer.

10 Heirloom Tomatoes
Kosher Salt
Freshly Cracked Pepper

Slice tomatoes, season with salt and pepper. Serve.

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Billy September 25, 2012 at 10:04 pm

Just a quick thought about the roast – I enjoy the roast beef my mom made, and she always seared it. One night, she was cooking dinner, forgot to sear the roast before putting in the oven. It turned out to be the best one she’s ever made. Feel free to sear it if you want that outside “crust”, but I now prefer my roast beef without a sear.

2 brand September 25, 2012 at 11:00 pm

We have a roast dinner every sunday, usually a leg of lamb, with potatoes roasted in duck fat. Veg always varies from parsnips to green beans, but I definitely look forward to it. Thinking about doing a pork roast this weekend stuffed with prunes (saw ramond blanc do it on food revival)

3 Matt September 26, 2012 at 3:10 am

I’d love to see Sunday Supper posts featuring a vegetarian main dish.

However, the green beans and the garlic mashers look swell. Cheers on the lovely photos!

4 Chet September 26, 2012 at 6:04 am

My mom always seared as well. One of my favorite meals growing up. On my grocery list for the weekend, thanks for the reminder. I will be heading to the Nashville Farmer’s market on Saturday for my vegetables.

5 ArchiesBoy September 26, 2012 at 8:40 am

Excellent recipe! It would be useful if it could be downloaded as a pdf.

6 Charles September 26, 2012 at 9:20 am

My wife & I call this “voodoo”…when we think about something, and the next day it happens. Was thinking yesterday of asking you guys why not post some “art of man cooking” articles. I cook alot and because my wife lives 6 hours away, I’m cooking for one or eating lots of leftovers.

7 Andy September 26, 2012 at 10:19 am

Is 3 pounds of meat really enough for ten people? This meal sounds amazing, I just don’t want to accidentally invite too many people over.

8 Kelly September 26, 2012 at 11:10 am

I was just thinking about making a roast last weekend, but got off to a late start and never got around to it. This looks fantastic, if I make this over the weekend I’ll post back how it turned out.

9 Craig September 26, 2012 at 11:11 am

I’m a big fan of the pot roast dinner, but I take the easy route and pile everything in the slow cooker and go for 8 hours.

I’ll have to try this approach though, it sounds very tasty!

10 Jessica September 26, 2012 at 11:48 am

The recipe sounds amazing, but having the Sunday meal as the centerpiece for connecting with friends and community is the important take away for me. Thanks for a great recipe and article.

11 Tyrel September 26, 2012 at 11:56 am

This is a great recipe. I would recommend a chuck roast, usually cheaper and these types of roasts are ALWAYS more tender! Bon apetite!

12 KP September 26, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Here’s your very raw PDF, ArchiesBoy:

13 Matt Moore September 26, 2012 at 2:42 pm

@Andy – most commonly, you will only find this cut in the 3 – 5 lb range. 3 pounds for 10 people equals an average of 1/3 lb of beef for your guests, or just over a 5 ounce portion. Considering the amount of other sides, it will definitely serve your group. For heartier eaters – pick up a bigger roast to be on the safe side. Thanks!

14 Joe Anzaldua September 26, 2012 at 7:34 pm

What did you mean by “…on the bias for service.”??
I’m a simple man. Please explain! Thanks.

15 Matt Moore September 27, 2012 at 8:58 am

@Joe – “On the bias” refers to cutting on a diagonal, against the grain. It will result in the most tender cut.

16 Richard September 28, 2012 at 11:07 am

To speed things up one could use a pressure cooker

17 ArchiesBoy September 29, 2012 at 9:44 am

Hey, KP, thanks so much for the pdf! I’m sure everybody here on the comment list thanks you too! :-)

18 Tracy October 1, 2012 at 11:25 am

In lue of the red wine, coffee adds a great flavor profile to a roast, especially a good dark roast. This is how my father makes it. Also a good dark ale or Guiness is a great substitution.

19 Lee October 12, 2012 at 11:21 am

Made recipe as written. Loved everything but gravy, too salty For me roasting is the only way to go Have 2 slow cookers which hardly ever use, If I want flavor intensity I either roast, slow cook, or pressure cook (big time saver and flavor is more intense than slow cooking.

Will make this recipe again, but not do the salt crust, which I often use in grilling but just use lemon pepper. Hopefully this will tone down gravy. Either that or do a heavy dilution.

Charring is a taste thing, not sealing in juices. I happen to like the subtle taste it adds to the roast. The sides were excellent.

20 Bornokyo October 29, 2012 at 4:12 am

I like this site but I am also a vegan. Something more vegan please.


21 Mike the Man December 13, 2012 at 9:43 am

Sounds like a fabulous and inexpensive (considering the amount of people it feeds!) dinner.

The only thing I would add would be some lovely yorkshire puddings, and you get somethign that rivals a proper Sunday roast!

22 Brett June 10, 2013 at 12:52 pm

Does it matter if the Dutch Oven is enameled cast iron, or seasoned cast iron? The seasoned Cast Iron Dutch ovens seem to be a lot less expensive, and from my experience with Cast Iron I would assume it would last forever with proper seasoning. The Enamel However seems like it would chip and eventually come off.

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