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
Kosher salt
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.



Ciao Chow Linda said…
That's high praise, but not unexpected. Domenica's recipes are the best. What a great winter meal Stacey
oui Chef said…
My mom is a Marchetti, I wonder if Domenica and I are related? Wouldn't that be fun! This looks like a perfect ski-house meal, I'll be making it soon!
Tillie said…
This looks SO GOOD! I hate pot roast (bad memories), but I will be sure to make this one. I purchased Domenica Marchetti's book because of the last recipe you posted, and I had this one bookmarked. Will be making it now that the weather has turned cool.
This sound wonderful. I love polenta, but your suggestion of cauliflower sounds even better for a lighter meal.
Katie C. said…
It looks delicious! I haven't made my first pot roast of the season yet so this might be on the todo list for next week. I'm surprised that you use white instead of red wine. BTW, since the veg cooks down into and becomes part of the sauce, you could use your food processor to whiz down the veg.
Terrah said…
I'm going to "go there" with this recipe. I also remember those strands of tough beef leather growing up. Chewing on stew chuck was akin to eating a beef flavored sponge.

But this recipe makes the idea of a good chuck appealing. Only, instead of braising in the pot, I'd sear the meat and then throw everything in my slow cooker. Like you, I'd do this recipe with the cauliflower. Perfect recipe for this time of year!
Dena said…
Sounds wonderful??? Oh my God it's the best pot roast I ever made! I think this will be my next cookbook purchase. Thanks for helping me look like a great cook every week!
domenicacooks said…
Stacey, thanks for the shout-out. That recipe might have been the most popular one from the book. I haven't made it for a few months, but after I saw your picture on Facebook I bought a chuck roast. xo