POT ROAST WITH BRAISED ONIONS AND PAR-BROWNED POTATOES
Sur La Table
A thick-cut boneless chuck steak is the best choice here. It's ideal for when you want a pot roast but don't want to cook a big roast with lots of leftovers. Chuck is generally well marbled and will cook up soft and tender.
· 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
· 1 (2-pound) boneless chuck roast, about 1¾ in. thick
· Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
· 2 large yellow onions, cut into 1/2 inch wedges, plus 1/3 cup finely chopped
· 1 TB fresh oregano leaves, chopped or 1 tsp dried
· 8 small red potatoes, unpeeled, halved, or equal weight larger red potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
· 1/3 cup finely chopped carrot
· 1/3 cup finely chopped celery
· 1/2 cup full-bodied red wine
· 2 cups low-sodium beef broth
· 2 TBs tomato paste
· 2 TBs finely chopped fresh oregano leaves, for garnish
1. Heat a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat and pour in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Tilt the pan to coat. Sprinkle the meat well on both sides with salt and pepper. Add to the pan and cook adjusting the heat between medium and medium high as needed, for about 5 minutes per side, or until well browned. Use tongs and a wide spatula to transfer the roast to a plate.
2. Add the onion wedges to the pan and cook over medium to medium-high heat, stirring, for 10 minutes, or until well browned. Season with the fresh or dried oregano and some salt and pepper. Transfer to a large bowl.
3. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the hot pan and place the potatoes, cut side down, in the pan. Cook, without turning, for 10 minutes, until well browned on the cut side. Transfer the potatoes to the bowl with the onions. Set aside.
4. Add the chopped onion, the carrot, and the celery to the hot pan along with a drizzle of oil if the pan is dry. Cook over medium heat, stirring, for 3 minutes, or until tender. Pour in the wine, bring to a boil, and stir. Scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Boil for 2 minutes, or until the wine is reduced by half. Add the beef broth and tomato paste and bring to a boil, stirring until blended.
5. Return the meat and any juices that have accumulated on the plate to the pan. Spoon the broth over the meat. Cover and cook over low heat for about 1 hour, or until the meat is tender.
6. Gently lift the meat from the pan and place on a plate. Puree the juices and solids from the pan to make a sauce. Add the puree to the reserved onions and potatoes, and stir to combine. Slide the meat and juices back into the pan. Spoon the vegetable mixture on top of the meat. Cover and cook over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes until the potatoes and onions are tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
7. Transfer the meat to a cutting board and cut crosswise into thick slices. Arrange the slices on a warmed platter and top with the vegetables and sauce. Sprinkle with the fresh oregano.