I love slow cooking pot roast or whole fresh hams or pork butts or beef brisket. I don’t get much of a chance to do it in Florida because it is so warm all of the time, but when we get a little cold spell you can be sure I will be slow cooking something or another.
Here’s an old favorite of anybody who lives in the cold now or did at one time. This was a staple when I was growing up in cold Chicago. My Mother’s Pot Roast was so typically American and this coming from a cook who was so typically Italian. Note the addition of the marinara: Mom had to put something Italian into every dish.
1 5 Pound Chuck Roast, Tied
1 Tablespoon Coarse Sea Salt
2 Teaspoons Freshly Ground Black Pepper
¾ Cup All Purpose Flour for Dredging Roast
4 Tablespoons XVOO, Divided
2 Large Spanish Onions (About 3 Cups), Coarsely Chopped
8 Carrots (4 Cups), Peeled and Cut Crosswise On the Diagonal Into ¼ Inch Pieces
6 Celery Stalks (3 Cups), Cut Crosswise into 1/4 Inch Pieces
8 Large Garlic Cloves, Finely Minced
1/2 Cup Madeira Wine (Optional)
2 Cups Marinara
4 Cups Homemade Beef Stock or Chicken Stock or Low Sodium Canned Beef Stock
2 Teaspoons Coarse Sea Salt
1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 Bouquet Garni with 2 Bay Leaves, 6 Sprigs Fresh Oregano, 3 Large Sprigs Fresh Basil, 3 Sprigs Fresh Thyme, 3 Large Sprigs Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley
1 2 Pound Bag Fingerling Potatoes, Cut into Half or Thirds Crosswise
Preheat the oven to 325°.
Season the roast all over with 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt and 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper. Dredge the roast in flour, including the ends. In a large pan such as a Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons XVOO over medium heat. Add the roast and sear on all sides, including the ends, until nicely browned. This will take about 15 minutes. Remove the roast from the Dutch oven to a large platter.
Add 2 tablespoons XVOO to the pan. Add the carrots, onions, celery, garlic, 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt, and 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and slightly brown. Add the Madeira and bring to a boil. Add the marinara, beef stock and the Bouquet Garni to the pan. Put the roast back into the pan and bring to a boil. Cover the Dutch oven with the lid and place in the oven. Roast for 3 hours, turning the roast in the sauce half way through the cooking time.
Remove the roast and the Bouquet Garni from the pan. (Discard the Bouquet Garni.) Skim off as much fat as possible from the sauce. Bring the sauce to a gentle boil over medium heat and add the potatoes. Cook the potatoes in the sauce for 20 to 30 minutes until they are tender, stirring often to be sure the potatoes and carrots do not stick to the bottom of the pan. Check the sauce for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.
Remove the strings from the roast and cut the roast into thick slices. Spoon the sauce with the vegetables on top of the meat. Serve immediately.
Hints and Tips: The amount of flour on the meat and the potatoes will thicken the sauce naturally. You should not need to add any more flour to thicken the sauce.
Be sure to let the meat rest before slicing. The amount of time it takes the potatoes to cook in the stock will allow the meat to rest comfortably.
If you don’t have marinara handy you can use 1 small can Tomato Paste mixed with 1.5 cups water.