When the relationship with your spouse/partner/lover/pet/organ donor needs some special attention, do not attempt to remedy the situation by making a reservation at an upscale restaurant. Instead, show them that you are truly sorry or truly care, or want take back those things you said about his/her mother after drinking too much wine, by preparing a special dinner. And there is no better make-up/I’m sorry I tried to put that there/I shouldn’t have said that dinner, than the American classic, pot roast.
All you need is a Dutch oven, a decent chunk of reasonably priced beef, a few vegetables, lots of wine and a few hours to kill. Typically, pot roast recipes call for the vegetables to be pureed which results in a thick gravy, but I forgo that to make my own red wine jus.
Remember this beef lovers, all is forgiven after a delicious pot roast.
- 1 (4 to 5-pound) prime boneless beef chuck roast, tied
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup flour for dredging plus 2 tablespoon for roux
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups chopped carrot
- 2 cups chopped yellow onion
- 2 cups chopped celery
- 5 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- At least ½ bottle of good red wine, such as Burgundy
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup chicken stock, preferably homemade
- 3 branches fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter for roux
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
- Pat the beef dry with a paper towel. Truss the beef into a somewhat tubular form and liberally season the roast with salt and pepper. Dredge the whole roast in flour, including the ends.
- In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the roast and sear for 4 to 5 minutes, until nicely browned. Turn and sear the other side and then turn and sear the ends. This should take 15 to 20 minutes to complete. Remove the roast to a large plate.
- Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the Dutch oven. Add the carrots, onions, celery, garlic, tomato paste, salt, pepper and cook over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender but not browned. Add the wine and pour yourself a glass. Bring it to a boil.
- Add chicken stock, thyme and bay leaf and season again.
- Put the roast back into the pot, and cover. Place in the oven for 2 1/2 hours, until the meat is fork tender.
- Remove the roast to a cutting board. Pour the remaining vegetables and sauce through a strainer. Discard the vegetables. Pour the sauce into a gravy separator and let it rest for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk the butter and flour in the Dutch oven to form a roux. Cook for 2 minutes before slowly adding the sauce to the pot and whisk vigorously. Cook and let it reduce for 5-10 minutes. Taste for seasonings and adjust. At this point I would add 2 teaspoons of kitchen bouquet to give the sauce a deeper color (thanks, Carol).
- Remove the strings from the roast, and slice the meat. Serve warm with the red wine jus spooned over it.
Suggested serving: a cooked potato in some fashion and a big grin knowing that all will be forgiven.