Using lead suggestions from Cooks Illustrated and America’s Test Kitchen (both great resources), and a little fine tuning of our own produced one incredible meal. For this roast I used a boneless English Chuck Cut, a little higher on the arm, a bit more tender and better marble for flavor – a shoulder blade cut would work for this too or regular old fashion Chuck Roast.
1 beef roast, 3 1/2 – 4 lbs
1 large sweet onion, chopped course
1 large carrot, chopped course
1 rib of celery, chopped course, use leaves too chopped finer
5 medium to large garlic cloves, minced
16 ounces of fresh white mushrooms, quarter some, cut some in half, leave a few whole
1 15 ounce can of beef broth
1 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes, don’t drain, put in the juice too
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
2/3 cup of dry red wine of your choice
Use at least a 6 quart Dutch oven, heavy bottom preferred.
Trim off excess fat around the edges – Rinse roast in cold water, pat dry with paper towel, rub in you preferred amount of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Let sit on the counter for about 15 minutes for the roast to warm a bit and allow the salt and pepper to penetrate.
Adjust rack to center, preheat the oven to 300.
Bring heat to medium high to warm pot, THEN add a tablespoon or so of vegetable oil to cover bottom. When oil begins to shimmer, put in the roast and brown well on all sides. Remove roast and set aside on a platter.
Reduce the heat a bit, add the carrots, mushrooms, onions and celery to the pot, cook about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the garlic and a pinch or two of sugar, stir for about a minute, then add tomatoes (juice too), beef broth, red wine and thyme scraping the bottom of the pot to get the browned meat ‘bits’ moving around as you go.
Return roast to pot – liquid should at least cover the roast half way, if not add 1/2 cup of water or so. Bring pot to a heavy simmer, cover with foil and cover tightly with the lid.
Roast for two hours, remove pot and flip roast over, replace foil and lid, roast for two more hours.
Remove roast from oven, put it on a platter, cover with foil to keep warm.
Let pot sit for about five minutes, use a spoon to remove fat as it comes to the top (quick method, I lay a sheet of paper towel over the top of the liquid to absorb the fat, repeat three times should get most of it).
Place the pot on the stove, bring to a medium boil, add the rosemary, reduce liquid by about half stirring occasionally – 7 or 8 minutes.
Cut the roast to serving sizes, place the platter and bowl of the juice and vegetables on the table, spoon the juice over the meat and go for it – boiled red skins, mashed potatoes or perogies go well this – I’d also suggest warm rolls, a fresh spinach, pecan and cranberry salad, and almond green beans to finish off the complements.