The Unexpected Ingredient That Takes Pot Roast To A New Level

Pot roast on plate with carrots and potatoes
Pot roast on plate with carrots and potatoes - Bhofack2/Getty Images

A pot roast is a surefire way to get the whole family talking. That slow-cooked, umami-rich, undeniably hearty, and juicy dish that cooks itself in a one-pot cooker is a certified show-stopper. Can you tell we love pot roasts? Apart from its easy preparation and crave-curbing flavor, one of the most inspiring aspects of a pot roast is its versatility. You can make a pot roast out of beef, lamb, or chicken and pair it with your favorite vegetables, seasonings, gravies, and more. But, one of our favorite ways to liven up a classic beef pot roast is with a spankin' jar of dill pickles.

Dill pickles contribute a tangy, briny, and slightly sour flavor to a classic pot roast that balances its meaty machismo. Jarred pickles are typically preserved in a brine solution, which contains salt and other seasonings that can penetrate the surface of the meat and season it from the inside out. Plus, salt is a flavor enhancement that will bolster the culinary spirit of the other ingredients in your pot roast -- double win.

Scratch that -- triple win. The acidity in pickle juice will also help tenderize the meat, making it more succulent and shreddable. Who doesn't love a pot roast that falls right apart?

Read more: 11 Things You Didn't Know You Should Be Doing With Bacon

Origins Of The Pickle Pot Roast

Pickle pot roast with dill sprigs
Pickle pot roast with dill sprigs - X, formerly known as Twitter

We know what you're thinking -- what culinary mad scientist came up with the kooky idea of adding pickles to a pot roast? After all, it's not exactly the first thing ingredient that comes to mind when preparing a slow-cooked roast.

The origins of the pickle pot roast are a bit murky, but it's more than likely an offshoot of the iconic Mississippi pot roast. The genesis of the Mississippi pot roast starts with Robin Chapman, a Mississippi resident who crafted a slow-cooked roast with just five simple ingredients -- beef, butter, au jus gravy mix, ranch dressing seasoning, and jarred pepperoncini. Once Chapman's friends and family tasted the soul of the Mississippi pot roast, it took the American South by storm and has since become a full-fledged internet sensation with hundreds of online recipes dedicated to recreating -- and in the case of the pickle pot roast, reimagining -- Chapman's magnum opus.

Think of the pickle pot roast as the zesty cousin of the Mississippi pot roast that replaces pepperoncini with peppy pickles. Like the pepperonis in Chapman's original recipe, pickle-infused pot roasts yield a softer, more succulent version of the crunchy, fresh-out-of-the-jar pickles we're used to snacking on.

Additional Complementary Ingredients

Jar of pickles next to plated pickles
Jar of pickles next to plated pickles - Caterina Trimarchi/Shutterstock

Although pickles work great in the same template as the Mississippi pot roast, you can switch up the rest of your ingredients roster to your liking. Chunks of white or yellow onions can add a sweet or savory depth to the roast, while their flavors complement that on-the-nose tang of dill pickles. If you want to even out the sour aspect of the pickles, include umami-forward, savory ingredients like mushrooms or a dash of miso or soy sauce for a more balanced flavor. If you want to turn up the pickle piquancy, let fresh dill work its magic while your roast cooks down.

As for sides, keep it simple. Creamy mashed potatoes are a classic pairing that provides a neutral base that can balance out the vibrant flavors of this unique roast, while roasted carrots with a drizzle of honey or maple syrup can impart a touch of sweetness and earthiness to the plate that curbs the acidity of the pickles. When it comes to leftovers, you don't have to worry about adding sliced pickles to your pot roast sandwich -- it's already pickled to perfection.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.