It’s frigid outside, and the forecast calls for snow to fall throughout the night tonight and during the morning tomorrow. The wind has been blowing all day, blustery and raw, and the sun has been hidden behind a thin layer of gray clouds. It’s a perfect day for comfort food.
I love a dish that you can throw together in a pot, stick in the oven and let cook while you nap for a couple of hours (what is it with me and food that cooks while I sleep
?). What could be easier?
This pot roast is just that. Simply brown your meat, add your roughly chopped vegetables, cover the whole thing with most of a bottle of wine, add water to cover and stick it in the oven.
And after your nap? You’ll be gently roused from your slumber by the scent of rich, delicious, slow-cooked beef wafting through the house.
I don’t remember what inspired this dish. I didn’t grow up eating pot roast, and up until a few months ago had never made it myself. One day I just had this need to try it, and so I picked up a chuck roast at the store, smothered it with some stock and wine and stuck it in the oven. I didn’t use a recipe, I just went on instinct. What resulted has since become one of my, and my family’s, favorite meals. I’ve served it over rice, over homemade papparadelle, and now over whipped potatoes. And each time it has been wonderful.
For real – if you like beef, you have to make this.
Don’t get me wrong – it’s not good for you. But you’re not going to make it every day, either. I probably make it once a month, and it’s darn satisfying. The meat just falls apart, and the vegetables become tender and infused with the wine and beef juices.
Beef Pot Roast
prep time: 10 minutes
cook time: 3 hours
2 1/2 lb. Beef Chuck Roast
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
3 large carrots, cut into 1-inch sections
8 oz. button mushrooms, quartered
1 bottle of wine, minus two glasses (one for the pot, two for the cook, right?)
water to cover
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
- Preheat your oven to 350F
- Place a dutch oven (I think mine is about 7 or 8 quarts) on the stovetop over medium heat and add the 2 tablespoons oil.
- Salt and pepper the beef on both sides, and place it in the hot dutch oven. Brown it on both sides.
- Add the vegetables
- Pour the wine over the whole thing. If it doesn’t cover the meat and veg, add water to cover.
- Place the top on the pot, place it in the preheated oven and let it cook for 2-3 hours.
- Remove it from the oven. The meat should be very, very tender and the vegetables cooked through.
- Using tongs or a slotted spoon, remove the meat and veg from the cooking liquid and place in a serving dish, leaving the cooking liquid in the dutch oven.
- Make a beurre manie with two tablespoons butter and two tablespoons flour.
- Place the dutch oven containing the cooking liquid on the stovetop over medium heat. Slowly add the beurre manie, whisking constantly. The sauce should become thick and glossy.
- Pour the thickened sauce over the meat and vegetables.
- Serve over whipped potatoes (recipe below)
prep time: 5 minutes
cook time: 30 minutes
1 1/2 lbs. yukon gold potatoes
1 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
- Peel and quarter the potatoes and boil in liberally salted water until fork tender
- Drain potatoes, place back in the pot and place over low heat
- Add cream and mash by hand.
- Once potatoes have been broken down, whip using a hand-held mixer until light and fluffy.
- Taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper to taste.