Prep 15 mins
Cook 2 hrs
Judy Rodgers, in her wonderful Zuni Cafe Cookbook, does her spin on Belgian beef stew, (cooked in beer and thickened with a piece of bread) by starting it with short ribs. This recipe is adapted from that recipe into a pot roast. If you can plan ahead, season the beef with salt and pepper the night before you make this, covering it loosely and refrigerating it. Otherwise, try to season it at least an hour ahead and just leave it on the counter. By Roy Finamore from Tasty: Get Great Food on the Table Every Day.
- 1 (4 lb) beef chuck roast
- coarse salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 1⁄2 lbs onions, thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 (12 ounce) bottle beer (a pale ale is good here)
- 1⁄2 cup water
- 1 bouillon cube (mushroom, if you've got it)
- 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- Heat the oven to 300°F.
- Heat the oil in a deep, heavy ovenproof skillet or a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the beef well, until it’s crusty on all sides. Transfer the beef to a plate.
- Add the onions, thyme, and bay leaf to the pan, along with a big pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onions have softened and reduced in volume by about half. The onions will release some of their juices, so scrape the bottom of the pan and use these juices to release any of the browned bits from the beef.
- Pour in the beer and water, and crumble in the bouillon cube. You might want to grind in some more pepper at this point.
- Rinse the mushrooms under hot water, chop them, and add them to the pot. (Don’t worry that you haven’t reconstituted them; you’ll be doing that directly in the sauce for the pot roast and getting all their flavor.) Bring the sauce to a boil.
- Nestle the beef in the sauce, cover the pan, and slide it into the oven. Roast for 1 hour.
- Turn the meat over, cover the pan again, and roast for another hour, until a fork goes into the beef like buttah. ;o).
- Put the beef on a cutting board, tent it with foil, and let it rest for 10 minutes or so. Turn the stereo down so it doesn’t disturb the roast’s nap. Fold a couple of kitchen towels and rest one side of the pan on them so that it is tilted—any fat will gather at the bottom of the slope. Leave the sauce to sit for a few minutes, then spoon off the fat.
- Most of the onions should have almost melted into the sauce. If you’d like the sauce a bit thicker, put the pan over medium-high heat for a few minutes, and stir a few times. When you’ve got the consistency you want, turn off the heat.
- Stir the mustard into the sauce. Taste for salt and pepper.
- Slice the beef and arrange the slices on a platter. Include some of the sauce. Serve with the rest of the sauce on the side.
Holy cow! This was just so good. Incredible deep, earthy flavor and the perfect dish for a winter night.