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.
- 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)
- Season beef with salt and pepper on both sides.
- 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.
- 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.
- Using a separate, small bowl, mix together beef broth, balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. Stir until smooth.
- 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.
- 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.