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This is a simple and flavourful recipe from this month's "Gourmet Magazine" (Feb. 2009). "Long, slow cooking turns a supermarket chuck roast into something gloriously tender, flavorful, and aromatic. Leftovers are delicious shredded, heated in the sauce, and served over egg noodles." It's also great sided with mashed potatoes. Cooks' note: Beef improves in flavor if made at least 1 day ahead (up to 4 days) and chilled in sauce (covered once cool). Discard solidified fat. To reheat, remove meat from sauce and slice, then spoon gelled sauce over meat in a shallow baking dish. Cover tightly with foil and heat in a 325°F oven, about 45 minutes. Alternatively, you can reheat meat, unsliced, in sauce.
- Pat beef dry and season all over with 2 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wide 5-to 6-quart heavy pot over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Brown beef on all sides, about 15 minutes, then transfer to a plate.
- Cook onions with bay leaves and 1/2 teaspoon salt in remaining tablespoon oil in pot, scraping up brown bits from bottom and stirring occasionally, until onions are well browned, about 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Cut a round of parchment paper the diameter of the inside of pot (near the top). Set parchment round aside.
- Add beer and vinegar to onions and bring to a boil, stirring and scraping up brown bits. Add beef and meat juices from plate and return to a boil.
- Cover with parchment round and lid and braise in oven until meat is very tender when pierced in several places with a meat fork, about 3 1/2 hours.
- Transfer beef to a cutting board and let stand, loosely covered, 20 minutes. Cut off string, then slice meat. Skim off fat from sauce and discard bay leaves. Reheat if necessary. Serve braised beef with onions and sauce.
Good stuff! I had a 3.8 pound roast. Ran out of red wine vinegar, so I used the apple cider vinegar I had on hand. Three hours at 350° covered with the normal dutch oven lid. Fork tender at that point. Thanks for sharing.