The only thing I use cornstarch for these days is as a dry shampoo. I guarantee you, it’s possible to cook thick, beautiful stews, soups, and gravies without the use of all-purpose flour or cornstarch.
When your next pot roast calls for cornstarch try using one of these purées instead:
- Puréed potatoes
- Puréed sweet potatoes
- Puréed red lentils
- Mashed white beans
- Puréed parsnips
- Puréed carrots
- Puréed cauliflower
- Puréed onions and leeks
Or any combination of the above.
With soups that will be puréed anyway, you can simply add your choice from above with the rest of the ingredients.
With pot roasts or stews, after cooking you get your stew or roast going, cook your potatoes, red lentils, white beans, parsnips, cauliflower, onions, and/or leeks separately, purée them with a bit of the water or broth from the roast or stew, then add it all back into the main pot to continue melding and cooking down with the rest of the ingredients.
I’ll often add these thickeners even if a recipe doesn’t call for them because I prefer thick soups to thin, brothy ones.