On a cold evening there is nothing better than a homestyle pot roast. The savory goodness of this dish always reminds me of sitting around the kitchen table with my entire family. My mother makes a mean pot roast, but her style has more of an Italian flair to it. She dresses her version up with lots of garlic and shallots instead of the traditional sweet onions. She is also a fan of using fresh rosemary and thyme in her dish. This meal can be served with polenta, mashed potatoes or served over wide egg noodles.
Two important things to keep in mind. Do not use an expensive cut of meat for this. A bottom round of beef is perfect and will cook so that the meat is falling apart when you serve the dish. This is what you want. Many people cook their pot roast on the stovetop. I opt for the more even cooking in the oven. Better yet, if you have a convection oven use that instead.
Here is what you will need:
- A Dutch oven
- 1 (4 lb.) bottom round of beef
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 5 carrots, peeled and chopped into bite sized pieces
- 5 stalks of celery chopped into bite sized pieces
- 8-10 shallots, peeled and chopped in half
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 5 stalks of each of fresh thyme and rosemary
- 1 small can of beef broth
- 1 large can of San Marzano diced tomatoes
- 1 cup of red wine (preferably a Syrah or Cabernet)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 3 tbsp unbleached flour
- 2 cloves of garlic, handful of parsley and 1 tsp lemon zest
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Cover the bottom of the Dutch oven with extra virgin olive oil. Over medium heat brown the beef on all sides. Once each side is brown and crispy remove the beef and pour off some of the grease. Place back on the stove and deglaze the pan with about 1/4 cup of the wine. Let cook down, add in about 2 tbsp of olive oil and place the carrots, celery and shallots into the Dutch oven. Saute for about 5-8 minutes, smash the 5 cloves of garlic with a chef's knife and add into the pot. Let cook until fragrant.
Now remove the rosemary and thyme leaves from their stalks and add into the pot with the can of beef broth, tomatoes and wine. Place into the oven and cook for 2.5 hours or until the beef is fork tender. Remove from the oven and transfer 1 cup of the liquid into a small pot. Add in the flour and whisk until smooth. Whisk this mixture into the Dutch oven and cook over medium heat until the broth thickens. If the broth does not thicken repeat the process with the flour, 1 tbsp at a time, until it is as thick as you want it to be.
Serve with polenta, mashed potatoes or served over wide egg noodles.