Braised Beef with Shallots & Carrots

Braising, a method of slow cooking in liquid, takes advantage of tougher (and usually less expensive) cuts of meat and has been around for centuries. Chuck roast, a budget-friendly cut, is my choice for this recipe, I also prefer it in soups and stews. The process begins with thoroughly browning the meat, which is the foundation of flavor and produces fork-tender meat with a rich and flavorful sauce. Pot roast, as it is often called, is a tried and true comfort food fit for company.

Gremolata, the simple garnish of lemon, garlic and parsley, is often associated with the Italian dish, Osso Buco, Finishing the dish with a generous sprinkle of this classic condiment, balances the meat’s richness with an aromatic freshness.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Pounds boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 4 pieces
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 8 ounces shallots, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 5 carrots, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 -2 lemons, zested
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (optional)
  1. Season beef with salt and pepper on both sides.
  2. Using a 12-inch skillet, heat the olive oil and over medium-high heat, brown the meat well on all sides (this step gives tremendous flavor to the meat). Remove meat from skillet, set aside.
  3. Add the shallots to the skillet, cook 10 minutes or until tender. Stir occasionally. Add the garlic and flour, cook while stirring for a minute. Stir in the tomatoes and carrots.
  4. Using a separate, small bowl, mix together beef broth, balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. Stir until smooth.
  5. Add the broth mixture to the skillet, stir and bring to a boil. Return the meat to the skillet and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook 1 1/2 hours.
  6. Uncover the skillet, cook 45-60 minutes or until beef is fork-tender and carrots are cooked. Season with salt and pepper.

 

Gremalata: Using a small bowl, mix the lemon zest, parsley and garlic (if using) together. Set aside.

To serve, Slice the meat and place in individual shallow bowls over a bed of polenta, farro grits or mashed potatoes. Spoon the sauce and carrots over the meat. Sprinkle the gremolata over the entire dish.

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