I purchased a beautiful Pot Roast and asked my Hubby to make it for me on a rainy summer Sunday. He of course, cannot do anything the easy way, he looked up a recipe from Ina Garten and decided to make it. I was in charge of everything else so I roasted carrots and baby red potatoes.
It was very delicious and flavorful, the gravy has a thick and a bit chunky texture because she indicates you should blend in some the veggies from the roast so don't expect a super smooth gravy.
One (4- to 5-pound) prime boneless beef chuck roast, tied
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Good olive oil
2 cups (4 carrots) chopped carrots
2 cups (2 onions) yellow onions
2 cups (4 stalks) chopped celery
2 cups (2 to 4 leeks) chopped leeks, white and light green parts (we used and had green onions)
5 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 cups good red wine, such as Burgundy
2 tablespoons Cognac or brandy (we used Sherry)
One 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes in puree
1 cup chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 chicken bouillon cube
3 branches fresh thyme
2 branches fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C).
2. Pat the roast dry with paper towels. Season the roast all over with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper. Dredge the roast in flour, turning to coat all sides (including the ends). In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the roast and sear without moving for 4 to 5 minutes, until nicely browned. Turn and sear the other side and then turn and sear the ends. This should take 4 to 5 minutes for each side. Remove the roast to a large plate.
3. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the Dutch oven. Add the carrots, onions, celery, leeks, garlic, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper and cook over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender but not browned. Carefully add the wine and Cognac and bring to a boil. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, bouillon cube, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Tie the thyme and rosemary together with kitchen string and add to the pot. Put the roast back into the pot, bring to a boil, and cover. Place in the oven for an hour. Turn the heat down to 250°F (120°C) to keep the sauce at a gentle simmer. Roast for a total of 2 1/2 hours, until the meat is fork tender or about 160°F (71°C) internally.
4. Transfer the roast to a cutting board. Remove the herb bundle and discard. Skim off as much fat as possible from the surface of the sauce.
5. Transfer half the sauce and vegetables to a blender or a food processor fitted with the steel blade and puree until smooth. We used my stick blender.
6. Pour the puree back into the pot, place on the stove top over low heat, and return the sauce to a simmer. Place 2 tablespoons flour and the butter in a small bowl and mash them together with a fork. Stir the butter mixture into the sauce and simmer, stirring constantly, until thickened, which ought to take about 2 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings accordingly.
7. Remove the strings from the roast and slice the meat. Pile it onto a platter and serve it warm with the sauce spooned over it.