Italian Pot Roast
The secret to a flavorful roast is to add aromatics toward the end of the cooking time, so they don’t “cook away.” Also, adding too much braising liquid can water down the pot juices. Try changing up the herb mix for variety.
Italian Pot Roast
3.5 lbs Beef Chuck Blade Roast (bone-in)
Freshly ground pepper
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup hearty red wine, such as cabernet or merlot
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 tbl balsamic vinegar
1 tbl brown sugar
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 small onion, sliced
4-5 sprigs each fresh rosemary and thyme (or 1 tbl each, dried)
6-8 fresh basil leaves, chopped (or 2 tbl dried)
Preheat oven to 325. Coat roast with about 3 tbl olive oil, rubbing all over. Season roast liberally with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Over medium heat, brown roast on all sides in a dutch oven just large enough to snugly hold the roast, adding more olive oil as needed. Add bay leaves, wine and tomatoes. Boil for one minute, cover tightly, then bake in oven for two hours, adding balsamic vinegar and brown sugar after one hour. After two hours, add garlic, onion and herbs to pot, letting some rest on top of the roast. Cover and continue cooking for another 45 minutes to an hour, until roast pulls away from the bone and meat is fork-tender. Remove roast to shallow platter and tent with foil to keep warm. Defat cooking liquid: Strain liquid (reserving solids) into a deep, tall container and allow fat to rise to top (placing the container in the freezer will speed up this process). Skim fat from juices. Correct seasonings. Slice beef, place on platter, and pour defatted juices over top, adding reserved onions and garlic. Garnish with fresh herb sprigs and a chiffonade of fresh basil. Serve with buttered pasta.