No really, hear me out. If you’re like me, the term “pot roast” revives memories of sulking at a dinner table, unable to be excused until you choked through some grayish beef of questionable texture where even the usually fail-safe potatoes had been cruelly adulterated by having been cooked in the same pot. Did the adults even like this stuff? Or was this some sort of harrowing rite of passage for the kids and they were totally going to bust out the pizza and chicken nuggets after we sulked our way through until bedtime?
As an adult, I begrudgingly admit that I kind of get it now. When handled lovingly, pot roast takes the humblest, and often least-expensive of ingredients and transforms them into a rustic, hearty meal with minimal effort, capable of dancing with all of the taste buds while triangulating soundly among richness, brightness, and starchiness. A good pot roast is the very embodiment of “cozy,” which is definitely what we will be craving during those blustery January days.
Being no longer bound solely by the encrusted pages of our mothers’ most reliable cookbooks now, pot roast also need not be limited to one flavor profile. So let us shelve those mysterious “sauce packets,” inaugurate the newly acquired Airpot or Dutch oven, and usher in a new year with a renewed commitment to semi-nostalgic Sunday suppers replete with pot roast, hold the sulking.
Why not roast your way through 2018 with these 12 pot roasts for each month:
January: Garlicky Pot Roast
We’re not taking any chances with starting off the year right, so we’ll ward off the evil eye and all the other devils right out of the gate with this aromatic preparation featuring no fewer than eight heads of garlic, plus beer and gingersnap cookies because we want 2018 to know what we’re about. Get our Garlicky Pot Roast recipe.
February: Slow-Cooker Chinese Pot Roast
Invite your friends over for a “Year of the Monkey” celebration! Watch “12 Monkeys,” listen to The Monkees, choose a Monkey-themed beer for the occasion like Victory Golden Monkey, and serve up this Chinese-inspired pot roast with root vegetables and Chinese five spice powder. (No monkeys were harmed in the making of this recipe.) Get the recipe.
March: Grandma Flanigan’s Pot Roast in Guinness Gravy
Because we are outgrowing the need to bar-crawl our way through St. Patrick’s Day, but we still like to nod to the occasion and corned beef is so everyone’s-doing-it. Get the recipe.
April: Moroccan Pot Roast with Ras el Hanout
We resolved in January to be more adventurous and to cook with new ingredients, and this spicy-sweet Moroccan dish featuring the underutilized spice blend Ras el hanout is just the thing to prove you are no April Fool. Get the recipe.
May: Pot Roast Tacos
Pot. Roast. Tacos. Cinco de yes, please. Get the recipe.
June: Slow Roasted Oven BBQ Beef Brisket
The only difference between what we think of as brisket and that which we think of as pot roast is the particular cut of meat, but the process is otherwise identical, and who wouldn’t rather spend their backyard barbecue chilling on patio chair with a brisket sandwich rather than schvitzing over a hot grill? Get the recipe.
July: Shiitake Ginger Pot Roast
Because not every summer evening needs to be about hamburgers and hotdogs, and this Japanese-inspired pot roast is the perfect dish with which to sip cold sake on the patio. Get the recipe.
August: Jamaican Pot Roast
As if you need another reason to host a summer party, Jamaican Independence Day is Aug. 6 and is a perfect opportunity to weed out those of your friends who are unable to handle scotch bonnets. Get the recipe.
September: Italian Pot Roast
Throw your own San Gennaro festival by throwing roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, and sun-dried tomatoes into the pot, then pass the cannoli and await the goodness. Get the recipe.
October: German Style Pot Roast (Sauerbraten)
Because, Oktoberfest. Get the recipe.
November: Slow Cooker Korean Beef
Once the palate fatigue from all of those starchy-savory Thanksgiving leftovers sets in, you’ll be ripe to switch things up. This gingery, spicy Korean pot roast will be just the thing to rejuvenate your taste buds for the continuation of holiday eating in December. Get the recipe.
December: Pot Roast with Porcini and Beer
Forget the ham and close out the year with this elegant umami-explosion pot roast as a symbol of your commitment to a year of thematic eating. Get our Pot Roast with Porcini and Beer recipe.