Despite its name, pot roast isn't actually roasted, it's braised. Braising is a form of moist-heat cooking that breaks down connective tissues in tough cuts of meat, leaving them tender and succulent.
For this recipe, you'll need a large Dutch oven or brazier — one that's big enough to accommodate the meat and stock, and safe for both stovetop and oven. Make sure it has a tight-fitting lid, too.
You could also make this pot roast in a crockpot. Just brown the meat as described, then add the vegetables, meat, seasonings, and stock to the crockpot and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours or until the meat is tender. It helps to heat up the stock on the stovetop first.
- 1/4 cup canola oil (or other vegetable oil)
- 5 lbs. beef chuck (or brisket, excess fat removed)
- 1 large carrot (peeled and chopped)
- 2 medium ribs celery (chopped)
- 1 large onion (peeled and chopped)
- 5 cloves garlic (peeled and slightly crushed)
- 1 cup canned diced tomatoes (including liquid)
- 5 cups brown stock (i.e. beef stock)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 tsp. whole black peppercorns
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- Kosher salt (to taste)
- Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
Pre-heat oven to 300 F/150 C.
In a heavy, cast-iron dutch oven or brazier, heat the oil over high heat, then add the meat and sear it thoroughly, using a pair of tongs to turn it.
When a nice brown crust has developed on all sides of the meat, remove it from the pan and set it aside.
Add the carrots, celery, onions, and garlic to the pot and cook for 5 minutes or so, or until the onion is slightly translucent.
Return the meat to the pot and add the tomatoes, stock, bay leaves, thyme, and peppercorns. Heat on the stovetop until the liquid comes to a boil, then cover with a tight-fitting lid and transfer the whole thing to the oven.
Cook 4 to 5 hours or until the meat is tender.
Remove pot from the oven and leave the meat in the braising liquid while you make the sauce.
Ladle out around 2 cups of the braising liquid and pour it through a mesh strainer. Skim off any fat from the top.
Heat the butter in a separate saucepan, then gradually stir in the flour until a paste forms.
Heat for a few minutes, stirring, until the roux is a rich brown color.
Whisk the hot liquid into the roux, a little at a time.
Simmer for about 15 minutes, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve and season to taste with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Slice the meat across the grain, arrange slices on warm plates, sauce generously and serve while the sauce is hot.