It's officially winter at our house. So a boneless chuck roast has once again become our favorite cut of beef: moist and flavorful, comfort food deluxe. As the days get even darker and colder in these New England woods, we're going to be turning to recipes like this one quite a bit. If only we could grow an undercoat like our collie!
Oh, wait, at our age, we do have hair growing in such unusual places. Too bad it doesn't keep us warm. Although if we really let it go. . . .
Anyway, enjoy the pot roast. It's a great way to slow down this (or any) Sunday. See the note after the recipe for information on the specific cut of beef we're talking about.
- 4 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
- One 4-pound boneless beef chuck roast, tied
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup red currant jelly
- 3/4 cup reduced-sodium beef broth
- 1 1/2 pounds fairly small yellow potatoes, halved
- 5 medium carrots, cut into 2- to 3-inch chunks
1. Brown the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring often, 4 to 6 minutes. Remember: brown is deeper flavor later; crisp is better texture later. (If you're lucky enough to have a 6- to 8-quart slow cooker with an insert that can go right on the stovetop, do these tasks in it and smile smugly.)
2. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon bits to a large bowl. Add the tied chuck roast. Brown on all sides, turning occasionally, about 8 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the bacon.
3. Add the onion; cook, stirring often, until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the rosemary, garlic, thyme, allspice, and pepper; cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the jelly and stir for a minute or so until it melts.
4. Pour in the beef broth and scrape up any browned bits as it comes to a simmer. Pour and scrape the contents of the skillet into a 6- to 8-quart slow cooker--or simply transfer the insert from the stove to the cooker. Nestle the roast into the ingredients; sprinkle the bacon around it and pour in any juices in the bowl.
5. Tuck the potatoes and carrots around the roast. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, or until the roast is fork-tender. The dish will hold on the keep-warm setting at this point for up to 3 hours.
6. Use large tongs and a meat fork to transfer the roast to a cutting board. Use a slotted spoon to fish out all the vegetables and bacon, putting them in a serving bowl. Pour the remaining liquid in the cooker into a fat separator or skim it in the cooker with a flatware spoon to get rid of excess fat. Cut the butchers' twine off the roast and slice into 1/2-inch thick rounds to serve with the sauce and vegetables.
A boneless chuck roast is a thick tube of meat, not necessarily the flatter arm or blade roasts commonly sold as pot roast in North America. Ask the butcher at your market to be sure you've got the right cut. The roast needs to be tied with food-safe butchers' twine in three or four places. Wrap the twine around the roast and knot securely. Or ask the butcher at your supermarket to do it for you.