Pot Roast


Dry aged for three weeks...anticipation...

Based on my mom's recipe, the difference thrown into the recipe was that I used a 5Lb. chuck roast that I dry aged in the refrigerator for three weeks, wrapped in one layer of cheesecloth and tied tightly with butcher twine, on top of a 1/2-inch bed of Kosher salt in a foil roasting pan. The results obtained by following this recipe with the dry aged cut were absolutely spectacular. By the time I was ready to cook the roast, the original 5Lb. roast weighed in at about 4.2Lb. so I upped the ingredients in the recipe just a little bit. The only thing I would have done differently would have been to separate the cooked beef into sections, and then cut those sections into 1-inch chunks at right angles to the grain - the roast shredded into 3-to-4-inch fibers that were a little hard to negotiate on the plate. A petty quibble, I know.

For an in-depth read about how dry aging works, what happens while it's working, and how to do it, this article from SeriousEats.com is excellent.

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds boneless beef chuck roast
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, plus more for serving
  • All-purpose flour, divided
  • Sunflower or Canola oil
  • 1 or 2 onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 to 3 cups beef stock
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • Bay leaves - 3 or 4 if small, 2 or 3 if larger
  • Fresh rosemary and thyme
  • 8 Oz. tomato paste
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • 6 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into 1-inch sections
  • 4 celery stalks sliced into 1-inch lengths
  • 4 potatoes, (Yukon Gold are good), peeled and sliced into 1/2-cubes
  • Unsalted butter, at room temperature

Unwrapped and beautiful!

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 300° 
  2. Coat roast in flour and season with salt and pepper
  3. Heat the sunflower oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the roast and brown on all sides to a deep golden color. Allow about 5 minutes per side. Reserve seared roast to a plate
  4. Sauté the onion with about 1/2 teaspoon salt until softened and beginning to brown, 5 minutes
  5. Deglaze pan with red wine  
  6. Add beef stock, garlic, some fresh thyme and rosemary, bay leaves, tomato paste, and Worcestershire sauce to taste. Return the roast to the pot. (Just throw in the thyme and rosemary sprigs whole - you can remove the stems and the bay leaves before serving)
  7. Bring pot to a simmer, then cover and place in the oven. Braise for 1.5 hours - meat should almost but not quite pull apart
  8. Add carrots and potatoes into the braising liquid around the roast. Cover again, return to the oven and braise until the roast pulls apart easily and the vegetables are tender but not mushy, 1.5 to 2 hours more.
  9. Remove pot from the oven and set over low heat. Transfer roast to a cutting board and separate into sections. Cut these sections at right angles to the grain into 1.5-inch chunks 
  10. Mix 2 Tbsp. butter with 2 Tbsp. flour together to form a dough called beurre manié - it's the equivalent of a roux and will thicken the gravy. When thoroughly mixed together, stir the beurre manié into the pot - stir and simmer for a few minutes until gravy thickens
  11. Return the shredded roast to the pot and serve over buttered egg noodles or bread, or just serve in bowls like a stew 

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