Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Mom's Pot Roast

from Sara Foster's Fresh Every Day

Serves 4 to 6

1 3-pound chuck roast, at room temperature
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 TBS canola or safflower oil
1 large onion, peeled and cut into 8 wedges
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
6 fresh thyme sprigs
4 fresh rosemary sprigs
¼ cup port
¾ cup water
4 to 6 cups beef broth
Additional carrots and potatoes if desired

Preheat the oven to 325.
Season the roast generously on all sides with salt and pepper.
Heat the oil in a large dutch oven, or large ovenproof skillet over medium high heat. Add the roast and sear to a rich brown color, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Add the onion, carrots, thyme, and rosemary to the pot. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are light brown and the onion is soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Return the roast to the pan (lay directly on top of vegetables). Add the port and water, let cook for 1 minute. Add the beef broth until it nearly covers the roast (but not quite). Bring ot a boil over medium heat.
Cover with a lid or foil, and place in the oven to roast for 2 hours, 30 minutes. If you are going to add additional carrots and potatoes, this is the time to add them. Continue to cook another 40 to 60 minutes, or until the meat breaks up easily with a fork, and the vegetables are tender.
Transfer the roast to a shallow serving dish. Remove the herbs from the cooking liquid. Pour the vegetables and liquid over the roast and serve.
OR: Strain the vegetables and the herbs out of the liquid. Add a slurry of water and flour and cook to boiling over medium high heat. Add additional salt and pepper if desired. Serve gravy alongside roast.

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