Domenica's Italian Pot Roast
Are you afraid of pot roast like I am?
Do you cringe at the words "roast beef"?
Memories of a big, tough dried out piece of meat with overcooked starchy potatoes and soft tasteless carrots conjure up bad feelings for me.
Irish and Jewish people can relate to this (are there any Irish Jews?).
I will also put a London Broil (my mother's famous well done specialty) in the same category.
Well, fear no more.
This is the BEST pot roast recipe I have ever had.
There are no potatoes and no "stewing".
Everything I have made from Domenica Marchetti's Glorious Soups & Stews of Italy, has only been fabulous.
Would I ever steer you wrong?
I made this for company on a Sunday, and everyone raved.
Polenta or mashed potatoes would be a nice side for the sauce, but I opted for mashed roasted cauliflower, to keep it a bit lighter.
A tip: use a white wine that you would drink. I chose a Pouilly Fuisse, a white Burgundy.
Also: You are using a 3 lb. whole chuck roast. Do not use chuck cubes like you would for stew, though they are from the same cut of beef.
The recipe is pretty easy and straight forward. I made no changes and it came out perfect.
Use the leftovers the second day for a nice ragu over pasta.
Now that there is a nip in the air, this is the perfect autumn Sunday dinner.
Domenica calls this Gabriella's pot roast, and it is her mother's recipe.
You will not be disappointed.
Gabriella’s Pot Roast (Stracotto di Manzo alla Gabriella): adapted from The Glorious Soups & Stews of Italy
3 lb. boneless chuck roast
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped (about 2 cups)
2 cloves garlic, lightly crushed with the flat side of a knife blade
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 cup dry white wine (one that you would enjoy drinking!)
1 cup canned chopped tomatoes
1 cup low sodium beef broth (homemade is best)
Heat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Season the chuck roast with kosher salt and pepper. In a Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot with a lid, heat the olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. When the butter has melted and begins to sizzle place the roast in the pot.
Brown it on all sides, turning it every 3 to 4 minutes, for even coloring. Get a good sear, be patient.
Using tongs, transfer the meat to a plate.
Reduce the heat to medium, add the onion, garlic, carrot, and celery and saute, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and the onion is pale gold but not browned.
Stir in the thyme, followed by the wine, tomatoes, and the broth. Return the meat to the pot along with any juices that have accumulated on the plate. Bring the mixture to a simmer, cover, and place in the oven.
Let the pot roast braise, turning the meat one time after the first hour.
Braise for about 2 1/2 hours or until it is fork tender and the sauce is deliciously thick and red-brown.
Let meat rest on a platter and slice. It will be nice and tender, you don't even need a knife to cut it.
Spoon sauce over and serve.