Classic pot roast

Nothing fancy here, just a delicious classic. I like cooking finely chopped vegetables for the full time with the meat – they essentially dissolve and add flavor to the sauce. Then I add bigger chunks of vegetables near the end of cooking to eat with the meat. In my opinion, a chuck roast is much better than round.

One boneless chuck roast, about 3 lbs
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp powdered bay leaf
1/2 c each finely chopped onion, carrot, and celery
1 c sturdy red wine
Beef stock, canned is fine (low salt)
1 TB tomato paste
1 c carrots in 1 inch chunks
1c  celery in 1 inch chunks
1/2 c turnip in 1/2 inch chunks
2 TB flour
1 TB butter, soft

Peel the garlic and cut into slivers. Pierce the roast all over with a thin paring knife and insert the garlic into the slits. Pat dry with paper towels and rub with the salt, pepper, and bay.

The ideal pan for this is an oval enameled casserole such as le Creuset. The shape will fit the meat evenly all around allowing a 1-2″ gap. This lets you cook the meat without adding too much liquid.

Heat 1 TB oil in the pan over medium high heat until smoking. Add the meat and brown for about 10 minutes on each side. Regulate the heat so the meat is browning without the oil burning. Remove the meat to a plate. Reduce heat to medium and add the finely chopped veg to the pan and cook, stirring, for 5-10 minutes. Add the wine and cook until the wine is mostly gone. Add the tomato paste and return the meat to the pan along with any juices that have accumulated. Add beef stock until it comes about 1/2 way up the sides of the meat. Bring to a simmer, cover, and put in a 325 degree oven. Check once in a while and regulate the oven heat to maintain a gentle simmer. If necessary add more beef stock. After 1-1/2 hours add the remaining veg and distribute them in the liquid around the roast. After 1/2 hour add the butter and flour, kneaded together to a paste, mixing it into the sauce. Cook for another 1/2 hr. If desired skim off excess fat, then serve.

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