Your comment may need to be approved before it will appear on the site. Thanks for waiting. First time commenting? Please review the Comment Policy.
I had been bored to tears with squishy, wet, mushy pot roast with your basic carrots, onion and potato like Grandma (or in my case, Dad) used to make. This recipe, however, will appeal both with the slushy meat people and the carveable beef roast people. (Find out how below.)
I always change something in a recipe since I usually have something I want to do differently. First I used a RUMP instead of a chuck roast. Other than marbling and fat (chuck has more, rump has less), both are fine for this recipe, however, add back in 1 or 2 Tbs of olive oil to equalize the fat. Second, I do not keep pancetta on hand, but bacon is the same meat only it’s smoky. You can very easily use a blanching technique to remove the smoke flavor–the smoke will overwhelm the vegetables if you do not remove the smoke flavor by blanching. (You can find this technique in Julia Child’s vol. 1 of The Art of French Cooking and also online.) Third, I used 2 sun dried tomatoes instead of the tomato paste. Other than those changed, I followed the recipe to the letter.
The sauce of the recipe is so easy and quick to make, and after the braise of 3 hrs, you will have a nice simmered down vegetable stew in pot. I took out the braised roast, merely pressed the vegetables through a sieve, and returned to the remaining sauces to the Dutch oven, sliced the roast and placed it back into the dutch oven to warm while I made the other fixin’s (tomato/spinach/cucumber salad, baked potato). Voila! Plate the food, you’re done.
As for texture, you have a lovely roast which is also shreddable! So you can please your guests who enjoy more of the homey stew flavor, just serve it in a nice rich beef broth and make extra vegetables to put in the bowl before you sieve them.
I agree with the others who stated that the complex vegetable flavor, and the rustic pancetta/bacon and the richness of the beef make a very enjoyable flavor. The wine’s richness goes great with the sweet tomato, and the celery and carrot brighten up the dark roasty flavor. No one single flavor stands out, but because of the red color, your guests may detect tomato.
In all, this is a very easy, satisfying meal with not a lot of prep that you can pop out of the oven, serve, and enjoy a nice evening.
I don’t know if this thread is still active, but I’d like to try the recipe. The only problem: I don’t have an immersion blender, and don’t normally have a use for one. Can I use a blender instead? And does the sauce need to be processed to the consistency of puree?
Hi Chuck, you can simply use a whisk to help break down the vegetables if you don’t have an immersion blender.
An immersion blender is just a blender. There is no difference except convenience. Yes… you need to puree the heck out of everything, so that when you sieve, all the flavor has already been extracted and as little as possible remains in the sieve. The goal is to push every ounce of flavor through the sieve leaving nothing behind except MAYBE a missed bit of peel.
This sounds fantastic but I am allergic to red wine (not sulfites, rather the histamines or tannins)… What a shame. Anyhow, I have two questions: first, does anyone know if the tannins/histamines/etc. cook off or are instead concentrated more by cooking; and second, would white wine work also (not sure with beef) or a Bougelais? If neither, what liquid(s) would provide the richest flavor as a substitute? Thanks!
White wine would definitely work. In fact, you’d end up with a classic regional (Sardinian) Italian dish.
Teri, my thought is that is more of a scientific question, chemistry, than a cooking question. Report back your research findings!
This is delicious!!
The sauce reminds me of a good molé…not the flavors but the construction—Lots of ingredients but no one ingredient or flavor stands out. We are eating Paleo around here and the sauce was so rich and thick we didn’t even miss the conventional, grain based thickeners. Definitely a keeper.
This sounds great, I have a perfect sized bit of beef in the freezer waiting for this recipe. One question though on ingredient replacement… my husband hates celery! I understand why its in this recipe, the flavours would work well together, but i just don’t think i can sneak it past him. Any suggestions for an alternative veg that would lend a strong enough flavour?
Really, really love this blog by the way!!
You will not be able to taste the celery. It blends in with everything else and gets pushed through a sieve. If you absolutely cannot use celery, use parsley – stems and all, but a smaller amount than the celery which is mostly water. ~Elise
What I want to know is how you keep the beef hot while making the sauce? I can’t imagine that tenting the beef is enough to keep the beef hot while all that reducing and blending is going on.
It keeps it warm enough. ~Elise
The warmer function on your oven can be used to quell your fears, however, be as quick as possible so your roast isn’t gonna dry.
This was fantastic! Used a good bottle of Italian Red Zinfandel (Luccarelli Primitivo) and didn’t bother straining the liquid before hitting it with an immersion blender.
I received rave reviews for this.
This was great! Did vary by using 2 cups beef stock made from base and 2 cups good red wine we had left over from last night. Also used a small amount of Wondra flour to very slightly thicken the resulting strained jus – very slightly. We could have just drunk the sauce that was left over, but decided to use it with the leftovers tomorrow night and then freeze whatever ( if any) is left after that. 5 star recipe! Thanks for putting it up.
Would this work with say a 10lb sirloin roast and a bottle of Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages (which I almost always have on hand)?
I wouldn’t! Because your roast is about 3x the size of the chuck roast… and you’d have to chop that into thirds in order to get the sear correctly… and then of course, you’d have to triple everything else. (As for the wine, I am using a very full bodied wine but… if you wanted to try it, I’m sure you would love the outcome since it sounds like the Beaujolais is well-loved in your home).
Sounds amazing and I will try it when the locusts descend, um I mean when the family visits. Only problem is that I need to know how to increase the ingredient proportions for 20 people. Help!
Make three of them? Or make two of them with lots of sides. ~Elise
This is very similar to my version of Julia Child’s Beef Stew with Zinfandel. Instead of using chuck (whole or cut up) I use thick slices of beef shanks. I buy 5 or 6 lbs of them, cut about 1″ thick, complete with the bones. I salt and pepper them and brown them (much easier than browning smaller pieces of meat). Then I deglaze the pan with sliced onions and carrots(cut in 1-2 inch chunks) until they are golden, and add the garlic. Then I add a bottle of Zin, a 28-oz tin of chopped tomatoes, and beef stock if needed to cover the meat. I also add Herbes de Provence or just thyme depending on how I feel. I let it cook in the oven at 325 for a few hours. After that I take out the bones, skim the fat, reduce the sauce if necessary (usually not) and serve with noodles, rice or potatoes. The marrow in the bones and the connective tissue in the shanks give the sauce a particularly smooth deliciousness. This improves after a day or two in the fridge, and also freezes well.
Elise, I have a question. I know that everyone says the alcohol cooks out of the wine when your heating it, but can I make this for my family? I have 4 kids and a large chuck roast in the freezer. (I also have Zinfendel in the house, because I have 4 kids.)
Anyway, this looks absolutely delish and I want to try it. Should I hold out for “date night” with hubby, or make it for Sunday dinner?.
This is perfectly fine for a family meal. There may be a trace of alcohol left after all that cooking, so if you are allergic to alcohol, then you shouldn’t cook with it at all. But for serving to a family? You’ll be fine. ~Elise
Sorry if this is a stupid question, but do you salt the beef then pat it dry or pat it dry then salt the beef? I am a beginner cook and it seems patting after salting will remove the salt?
Great question. You can go either way actually. But one reason to salt the roast first, while it is coming to room temp, is that the salt will help draw the moisture to the surface. Then when you pat the roast dry, it will more easily brown. The roast will have absorbed some of the salt. ~Elise
Totally agree with Elise… you have over 3 hours of cook time at boiling (212 degrees) to 300 degrees… the alcohol burns off much quicker than the liquid in the wine!
Nice to see this recipe featured again. I’ve made it several times and it never fails to please. Don’t get too picky on the wine–any dry red works just fine.
It occurs to me that this would be a fantastic way to cook Venison!
This recipe was my weekend project. I did all the steps up until boiling/putting in the oven on Saturday, then cooked on Sunday. This made a truly great dinner. The sauce looked so good after the first reduction/whisking that I left it alone and will use the extras as a sort of stew over rice. Served with simple steamed asparagus and bread for sopping up the sauce. Excellent.
I bought white zinfandel by mistake, so I used a bottle of merlot that I had in the pantry. This was fantastic. I didn’t add sugar, nor did I feel that I had to strain the vegetables. We enjoyed them right along with the roast.
Is there a way to make this a slow cooker recipe?
You should be able to do step 3 in a slow cooker. Just don’t stir. ~Elise
Made this on Sunday and it was fabulous! Like another poster, I went the less expensive route and used thick cut bacon instead of the pancetta and switched out a bottle of 2 Buck Chuck Shiraz for the Zinfandel. The sauce is so good!
Very nice recipe, flavorful, makes a wonderful finishing sauce. Has been added to my cook binder.