In our house, Armand’s Pizza is on speed dial.
The delivery man knows me. He knows my boys. He greets my beagle by name.
“I have a special for you,” he said last week. “It’s only good on Tuesdays.
“You’ll use it a lot.”
I may be a professional cook, but I feed my children takeout. Especially on Tuesdays, which is one of my busiest days.
But not today. I’d pulled a boneless chuck roast out of the freezer this morning with the idea of slow-cooking it later this week. But at 2 p.m., I decided to chuck our usual Tuesday pizza in favor of an old-fashioned pot roast. A rainy, frigid day called for something homier than a pepperoni combo.
The effort was minimal:
- Season the roast and brown it in a pot;
- Add vegetables, broth and wine; then
- Braise everything in a low oven for three hours.
If things went according to plan, I’d be done with prep in 20 or so minutes, and a full dinner would be ready by 6.
I was, and it was. The boys came up to set the table as I was dishing velvety vegetables and rich pan sauce around a burnished piece of meat.
“Isn’t it Tuesday?” the little one asked.
“Yeah,” said his brother.
“Where’s our pizza?”
Better-Than-Takeout Pot Roast
Use whatever vegetables you have on hand for this dish. The slow braise in the oven makes them melt on your tongue. You can puree any leftovers and make a lovely soup with them. Likewise, leftover meat can be used for sandwiches or added to a soup or chili. (Another meal made without dialing the phone!)
- 3-pound boneless chuck roast
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 1 pound carrots, scrubbed and cut into large chunks
- 1 large onion, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 3 celery ribs, cut into large chunks
- 1 cup Brussels sprouts, tough ends removed
- 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
- 2 cups beef broth
- 2 cups red wine
- 1 rosemary sprig
- 3 thyme sprigs
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
Pat the meat dry, then rub it all over with salt, pepper and flour:
Place the olive oil in a very large pot and warm it over medium-high heat. When hot, add the chuck roast and brown it on all sides.
Remove the meat and add the potatoes, carrots, onion, celery, Brussels sprouts and garlic to the pot:
Season with salt and pepper and saute for 5 minutes, scraping up the browned bits from the pot’s bottom.
Add the broth and wine, continuing to scrape up any brown bits. Bring the mixture to a boil, then add the rosemary and thyme sprigs:
Place the chuck roast in the liquid. Put a tight-fitting lid or piece of foil over the pot’s top and place the pot in the oven. Bake for 3 hours, turning the roast halfway through.
After 3 hours, remove the pot’s covering (be careful … steam will pour out) and test the meat with a large fork. The fork should slide right through the beef. Remove the meat and vegetables to a platter and spoon the sauce over.