Prep 15 mins
Cook 2 hrs 30 mins
Mysterious but nonetheless delicious
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 1⁄2 lbs boneless chuck roast (probably looks huge, but it will shrink as it cooks)
- salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 cups dry red wine
- 1 cup water, divided
- 2 tablespoons biryani curry paste
- 2 turkish bay leaves or 1 california bay leaf
- 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1⁄2 lbs yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into largish bite-sized chunks (about 4 to 5 potatoes)
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- Heat a heavy, deep skillet or dutch oven large enough to accommodate the roast over medium-high heat. Pat the roast dry with paper towels and salt and pepper it on both sides. When skillet is hot, add oil and brown roast on both sides, 4 to 5 minutes per side.
- Transfer roast to a plate, reduce heat to low and add red wine to skillet. Pour it in all at once. It will sizzle and splatter like crazy, but adding the wine all at once actually overwhelms the pan’s heat and reduces the splattering; the wine merely boils angrily at you instead. Add 1/2 cup of water, further calming things down, then stir in the Biryani paste, scraping up any browned bits in the pan as you do.
- Return roast to pan, along with any accumulated juices. Add more water as needed to bring the liquid level partway up the side of the roast without submerging it completely [see Kitchen Notes below]—you want to braise it, not boil it. Add bay leaves and minced garlic.
- Cover and let simmer over a very low flame for two hours, checking occasionally and adding water if liquid boils down too much, but it probably won’t unless your lid doesn’t fit the pan well. You can also drizzle some of the liquid over the roast occasionally. About an hour into cooking, turn the roast over in the pan.
- After the roast has cooked for 2 hours, add potatoes and onions to the pan, scattering around the roast. It doesn’t matter if the potatoes aren’t totally submerged—they probably won’t be, in fact—the steam will cook them through. Cover the pan and continue to cook for another 1/2 hour.
- Transfer roast to plate, tent with foil and let it rest for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat under pan and leave covered. Slice roast across the grain into 1/2-inch [or so] slices. Even with your sharpest knife, the edges of the roast may shred a bit.
- Fan a few slices of roast on each plate. Arrange potatoes next to the roast slices and spoon sauce over both. Serve with a salad or pretty much any green vegetable. This dish is big flavored enough to stand up to steamed broccoli, for instance.