Friday, April 19, 2013

Chuck Roast with Gravy

So pot roasts on this blog are nothing new. However, I think I have made some improvements to the process and I'd like to document them here. As always with pot roasts, low and slow is the way to go, but if pressed for time, you can increase the heat a little; raising the temp to 275 degrees should shave an hour off the cook time (while sacrificing some of the tenderness).

  • 3-5 pound chuck roast, trimmed of large hard clumps of fat
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 rib celery, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
Heat the oven to 210 degrees. Season the chuck roast with salt, pepper, and cumiin. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large dutch oven. Brown roast on all sides. Remove roast from pan and set on a plate. Reduce heat to medium and cook the onion, carrot, and celery until they start to brown around the edges. Mix in garlic and cook for 20 seconds. Mix in tomato paste and cook for another 30-60 seconds, until the tomato paste thickens and darkens slightly. Add the broth, stirring vigorously and scraping loose any brown bits off the bottom of the dutch oven. Stir in Worcestershire and vinegar. Add the bay leaf, roast, and any collected juices from the plate. Cover and cook in the oven for 4-5 hours or until desired tenderness is achieved.

When tender, remove the roast and set on a cutting board. Drain and reserve the juices out of the dutch oven, straining off the vegetables. Let the juices sit until any fat separates out of them. Skim off the fat using a spoon (or just drain directly into a fat separator). Add the fat back to the dutch oven. Heat over medium heat until shimmering and whisk in the flour. Once the flour has toasted to a blonde color, wisk the remaining juices back in. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. After it comes to a boil, reduce to a simmer. If too thick, add up to 1/2 cup of beef broth to thin it out (remembering that the gravy with thicken slightly as it cools when served). Reduce heat to its lowest setting. Adjust seasoning to taste, adding more salt, pepper, Worcestershire, or balsamic vinegar as desired. Slice the roast (or chop, if you prefer) on the bias and add to the simmering gravy for 1-2 minutes to let the gravy infuse into the meat. Serve over mashed potatoes or rice (I like short-grained brown rice a lot for this).

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