I don’t often eat beef, but when I find beef chuck roast at my organic supermarket, I can’t resist. Pot roast is the ultimate comfort food. It’s warm, filling and savory, a one-dish meal loaded with vegetables and potatoes. It takes several hours to cook, but it’s worth the wait.
I buy grass-fed organic beef. I have ethical concerns about eating meat, but I eat it anyway, consoling myself by the fact that the animals are treated reasonably well during their short lives. Humans are carnivores, although we probably eat far too much meat for our own good.
Beef chuck roast is usually sold in 3 pound chunks. I try to buy slightly smaller hunks of beef so we don’t eat as much meat. Cooking the beef for 3 hours flavors the vegetables and creates an amazing gravy-ish sauce that’s irresistibly delicious.
For the best results, salt the meat 24 hours before cooking. I take the meat out of the package, rinse and dry it thoroughly, then sprinkle it liberally on all sides with regular table salt. Put the salted meat in a covered glass bowl and leave it in the fridge for at least 8 hours.
It’s tempting to put all the vegetables into the pot at once, but resist the urge. The potatoes go in for the last hour of cooking. Put them in too soon, and they’ll turn to mush. You can substitute other root vegetables or brussels sprouts for the potatoes, and all will be well and scrumptious.
Most pot roast recipes call for celery, because it’s a thickener. I omit the celery because no one in my family likes it (and what to do with all that extra celery?). The vegetable broth I use contains celery, so that thickens the broth into a nice gravy for this dish.
A Cozy Pot Roast for a Cold Day
Salt the meat the night before cooking this pot roast, and you'll end up with a delicious one-dish meal. It takes 3 hours to cook, but it's worth the wait.
- 2.5 pound beef chuck roast (preferably organic), salted 24 hours earlier
- 1.5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1.5 tablespoons organic avocado or organic canola oil
- 1/4 cup flour, divided
- 4 large onions, sliced
- 1 jar or can (7 oz) tomato paste
- 8 large carrots, sliced
- 6 green onions, both white and green parts, sliced
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 large bay leaves
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Wash and dry the chuck roast. Tie it up into a roll with cooking string if you wish.
In a large Dutch oven with a lid, heat the oils over medium-high heat.
Put half the flour into a large bowl, and dredge the meat on all sides. Shake off any excess.
Sear the meat in the Dutch oven. Turn it until it’s lightly browned on all sides.
Place the meat on a plate, and set aside.
Put the onions and tomato paste into the pan, and cook for 2 minutes.
Sprinkle with remaining flour, and cook another 2 minutes.
Stir in carrots and green onions and sauté for 1 minute.
Stir in the white wine, broth, salt, pepper
Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat.
Return the meat to the Dutch oven, cover and bake at 350 degrees F for 2 hours, flipping the meat over at the 1 hour point.
Remove from oven, sprinkle the potatoes all around the roast, and return to oven for another hour. The meat should be tender and the potatoes very soft.
Place the roast on a cutting board, and slice into thin slices.
Put slices of meat in shallow bowls, and spoon vegetables and sauce around the meat.
Sprinkle with fresh parsley, and serve immediately.