Whenever I spy a chuck roast on sale at the grocery, I grab one or two. While chuck is a tough and sometimes fatty cut of meat, it can be used for a tender pot roast, or any variety of tasty stews. Cooked long and low in a tasty broth, chuck roast is one of the most comforting cuts of beef I know. The tough gets all soft and most of the fat cooks down and can be skimmed off to make gravy.
On Sunday, I had a big cut of chuck roast, a lovely bottle of gifted Italian wine and 12 or so ounces of fresh cremini mushrooms. Sounds like pot roast. I have several recipes for pot roast, but none used much wine or mushrooms, so I varied my recipe a tad. You can never have too many chuck roast recipes.
I left the "sauce" loose, choosing to just pour it instead of thickening it for gravy. The buttered polenta soaked it right up. Yum.
Pot Roast with Red Wine and Mushrooms
3 or so pounds chuck roast
2 T. olive oil
salt and pepper
1 onion (sliced like an apple)
1 1/2 cups good red wine, merlot, cabernet, or a blend (mine was an Italian primitivo, similar to a zinfadel)
1 can vegetable broth
2 t. beef base or bouillon cubes
4 T. or so tomato paste or ready-made tomato sauce
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 T. Italian seasoning (herbes de provence would work, too)
5 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 stalks celery, sliced
8-12 ounces cremini mushrooms sliced or quartered (if you have mushrooms detectives, just quarter them so they can push them aside)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Heat a large dutch oven over medium high heat. Add oil and heat. Season roast with salt and pepper and place, seasoned side down, in oil. Season other side. Cook until lightly browned, and turn, cooking other side until lightly browned. Turn heat down to medium and add onions. Stir and let cook five minutes or so. Pour the wine and broth over roast. Stir in beef base, tomato paste/sauce, mustard and seasoning. Add garlic cloves. Bring to a simmer. Cover and place in 325 degree oven.
Cook for two hours until roast is beginning to fall apart.
Add carrots, celery and mushrooms. Cook for 30-45 minutes until vegetables are tender.
Remove meat from sauce. Break up into serving-size pieces. Remove vegetables to a bowl or platter and keep warm with roast. Strain sauce and skim some of the fat off. Season to taste. Serve in a gravy bowl with ladle.
Serve with mashed potatoes, hot noodles, or a bowl of steaming buttered polenta. Yum.