“So what are going to make?” She walked right into it.
“Uhhhh. A pot roast?”
She says that we should talk more, but she usually ends up in this spot. This is not new. I’ve been pulling this crap for the 26 years we’ve been together (okay, so it’s more like 17…who’s counting?).
Braising is probably my favorite way to prepare meat. The cooking liquid breaks down the fat and muscle tissue of the already seared meat, creating a rich flavor. It also means that I can do some heavy lifting and take a nap before finishing the meal.
WHAT WORKED: The heaps of garlic. The one thing with braising is that you need a fair amount of salt, otherwise you get a rich, but flavorless, sauce. The garlic and salt added a nice flavor to the rather cheap cut of beef (chuck) that I used. I borrowed cooking times from Martha, but otherwise this is a totally improvised recipe.
WHAT DIDN’T: Wegmans. I couldn’t find the right size piece of meat that I wanted. I was looking for a 2.5-pound piece, but all that was in the case was 1.75- or 3.5-pound pieces. Since the meat will shrink (remember that the fat is going to melt), my choices were either too much or way too little.
WHAT DID THE WIFE SAY: “This is really good. I like the fact that there are a lot of flavors here.” It was the most she said about something I cooked in weeks.
WILL IT MAKE ANOTHER APPEARANCE: Most likely. It’s a nice, easy weekend meal that takes little effort and produces a lot of food.
- 2.5 to 3.5 lb. boneless chuck roast
- 6 to 8 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 cup peeled and chopped carrots
- 1 lb. small potatoes
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 cup red wine
- 3 cups beef stock
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over high heat. Salt and pepper the lean side of the roast and place it lean side down in the pan. Brown the roast five minutes on each side. Remove the roast from the pan, add the onion and garlic to the grease and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Return the meat to the pan, add the potatoes and liquid. Cover and cook in the oven for 3.5 hours.
Remove the meat from the pan and let stand 10 minutes before slicing. Transfer veggies to a serving bowl. Strain the pan juices through a fine mesh sieve and serve along with the rest of the food.