An Amazing Dinner from a Slab of Meat that Scared Me

What does a meat-shy cook do with a chuck roast? I had a big bison one staring at me in the freezer for almost a year. Last week I decided to overcome my fear and use the darn thing. The internet is such a beautiful thing. Epicurious particularly, and voila. Beef Braised In Red Wine. WOWOWOW. What resulted was a delicous, comfort meal on a burr cold night from a very humble cut of meat. We served it over polenta that Craig actually liked (he’s such a grown up these days), roasted green beans, and a Fennel and Granny Smith Salad with Blue Cheese. Chuck roast is inexpensive. Buy one (bison would be preferable, otherwise grass-fed beef), and make this soon. Do use a decent wine. If you wouldn’t drink it, don’t cook with it. The recipe indicates its flavor improves if baked and allowed to rest for a few days, which is spot on.

Beef Braised In Red Wine
Modified from Epicurious
4 servings
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 3- to 3 1/2-pound boneless beef chuck roast
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 pound bacon, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
3 celery ribs, finely chopped
large handful of  mixed “gourmet” mushrooms, coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Some dried thyme and rosemary
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups Barolo or other full-bodied red wine such as Ripasso Valpolicella, Gigondas, or Côtes du Rhône
2 cups beef broth
Heat oil in pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Meanwhile, pat meat dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sear until very brown on all sides, at least 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate using a fork and tongs.

Add bacon to pot and sauté over moderately high heat, stirring frequently, until browned and fat is rendered, about 3 minutes. Add onion, carrot, celery, and mushrooms and sauté, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Add garlic, thyme, and rosemary and sauté, stirring, until garlic begins to soften and turn golden, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add wine and boil until liquid is reduced by about half, about 5 minutes.

Add beef broth and bring to a simmer, then return meat along with any juices accumulated on plate to pot. Cover pot with lid and transfer to oven. Braise until meat is very tender, 3 hours. Transfer meat to a plate, and boil sauce until reduced by about one-third, about 5 minute. Season with salt.

Cool completely in sauce, uncovered, and then chill in sauce, covered for up to three days. Skim any fat from surface of sauce. Reheat, covered, in a preheated 350°F oven until hot, 30 to 45 minutes – an hour is fine, too – then slice across the grain. Mine fell apart, but we thought that was a fine thing.

Serve atop polenta or mashies and spoon veggie gravy over meat and starch.

1 comment:

  1. Scary meat? Heck no; this meal was amazing. And she's right as I feel like a grown up eating polenta. I think my main polenta-phobia must have come from tasting it one time earlier in life, probably soemthing like 30 years ago. It really is pretty darn good, especially when combined with the flavors of this dish.



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