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Mr. Joe’s Amazing Pot Roast

Ingredients

  • 4    pounds boneless chuck roast, trimmed of all visible fat and sinew with a sharp boning knife
  • 1/2    cup canola oil
  • 1    tablespoon butter
  • 3–4    tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2    cups water (add more if needed as it simmers)
  • 1    10-ounce can beef broth
  • 3    tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1    cup onions, chopped medium
  • 2–3    cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 1/4    teaspoon each: ground pepper, thyme, allspice, nutmeg
  • 1/2    teaspoon salt
  • 2–3    bay leaves
  • 1    tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Carrots and celery to taste

Preparation

I fell in love with my husband-to-be the first time he made this quintessential comfort food, which fills our house with irresistible aromas. We serve it with oven-browned Yukon Gold potatoes, cut in wedges, tossed in olive oil and herbs, and baked at 425º for about 20 minutes or until crispTrim meat and pat dry. In a heavy 4–5 qt. Dutch oven, heat 1/2 cup canola oil on medium-high. Lay meat in pan to brown about 5 minutes per side. (For smaller pan, cut roast in half and brown in batches.) Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.

To make a roux, pour off and discard all but one tablespoon of oil. Over medium heat, add the butter and gradually add the flour, stirring continuously with a wooden spatula or spoon until the roux achieves an aromatic medium-brown color.

Gradually add 11/2 cups water, stirring continuously, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Then gradually stir in the beef broth.

Add remaining ingredients except carrots and celery and stir well. Add the beef and cook over low heat for three hours, turning halfway through the cook time. Cool in the refrigerator overnight.

Before reheating, remove the fat (see Technique, p.91). Add bite-size pieces of carrots and celery and more water if needed. Cook over low heat until celery and carrots are tender and meat is thoroughly reheated, about half an hour. Discard bay leaves before serving. Spoon the sauce over the meat and potatoes. Serves 8.

Wine pairing: Any red wine will work. Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc or blends thereof