Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Simple Pot Roast

I have tested more pot roast recipes over the past few months than I care to remember. We are talking Spanish with anchovies, German with vinegar, southern with bacon, western with beans … the list goes on and on. What I discovered was a) simple is best, and b) Cook’s Illustrated knows what they are doing! The hardest part of making this dish was keeping the husband out of it while it was cooking. He kept wandering into the kitchen, sniffing around and licking his chops.

This is heavenly and perfect to make now that it’s finally cold outside! And with no potatoes added, you can serve it over a healthy grain or pasta without feeling guilty. Good old fashioned comfort food that will stick to your ribs but not your waistline!

Simple Pot Roast
Courtesy of Cook’s Illustrated
Serves 6 to 8

1 (3½- to 4-pound) boneless beef chuck-eye roast, trimmed and tied
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 small carrot, peeled and chopped
1 small celery rib, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp sugar
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup low-sodium beef broth
1 sprig fresh thyme
1-1½ cups water
¼ cup dry red wine

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300˚. Thoroughly pat roast dry with paper towels; sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Brown roast thoroughly on all sides, reducing the heat if fat begins to smoke, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer roast to large plate; set aside. Reduce heat to medium; add onion, carrot, and celery to pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and sugar; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chicken broth, beef broth, and thyme, scraping bottom of pan to loosen browned bits. Return roast and any accumulated juices to pot; add enough water to come halfway up sides of roast. Bring liquid to simmer of medium heat, then place a large piece of aluminum foil over pot and cover tightly with lid; transfer pot to oven. Cook, turning roast every 30 minutes, until fully tender and meat fork or sharp knife easily slips in and out of meat, 3½ to 4 hours.

Transfer roast to carving board; tent with foil to keep warm. Allow liquid in pot to settle for about 5 minutes, then use a wide spoon to skim fat off surface; remove thyme sprig. Boil liquid over high heat until reduced to about 1½ cups, about 8 minutes. Add red wine to pot and reduce again to 1½ cups, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Using a carving knife, cut meat into ½-inch-thick slices, or pull apart into large pieces; transfer meat on warmed serving platter and pour about ½ cup sauce over meat. Serve, passing remaining sauce separately.

For a printable version of this recipe, please click here.

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