This is Ina Garten’s recipe that I make once a year in winter. I’ve only made a couple of slight changes to it and it is absolutely delicious. It is even better the next day which I use as just a spaghetti sauce. It is definitely a weekend meal as it needs to cook in the oven for 2 and a half hours.
Company Pot Roast: Adapted from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics
Serves 8 (or 6 if you’re hungry!)
- 1 (4 to 5 pound) boneless beef chuck roast, tied (I trimmed it to get rid of the outer fat layer)
- salt & pepper
- 4 medium carrots chopped
- 2 large onions chopped
- 3 medium stalks celery chopped (Ina used more stalks but I like to use a little bit less celery)
- 2 medium leeks chopped (white and light green parts)
- 5 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 2 cups red wine such as Pinot Noir (Ina used Burgundy)
- 2 Tbspns cognac or brandy
- 1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes in puree (Ina used whole tomatoes)
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 3 branches fresh thyme (or 1 tspn dried thyme which makes the pot taste just as good)
- 1 branch fresh rosemary (Ina used 2 branches but I wanted to mellow down the flavor of the rosemary. You can also use just a teaspoon or 2 of dried rosemary)
Note that Ina also used 1 chicken bouillon cube but I omitted it as I don’t like using it.
The most time consuming part of this recipe is chopping up the vegetables. Combine the chopped carrots, onions, celery, leeks and garlic and set aside.
Preheat oven to 325F.
Dry the beef with a paper towel. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper all over the roast,
then sprinkle it with flour (don’t forget the ends).
In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons oil / butter over medium heat. Add the roast and sear for 4-5 minutes on each side until browned all over (don’t forget the ends).
Remove the roast to a plate and set aside.
In the same dutch oven over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons oil / butter.
Add all the chopped vegetables, plus 1 tablespoon salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper.
Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 -15 minutes. Do not brown.
Add the wine and cognac and bring it to a boil.
Now add the tomatoes, chicken stock, (bouillon cube if you want to use one), 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Tie the thyme and rosemary together with kitchen sting and add it (or just add the dried herbs). Add the roast and bring everything to a boil. Cover and place in the oven for 2 1/2 hours. You want the meat to be tender (meat will be about 160F internally).
Remove the roast from the dutch oven to a cutting board. Put foil around it to keep warm. If you see fat on top of the sauce, you can skim it off.
Ina transfers half of the sauce to a blender or food processor, purees it and then returns it back to the pot. I decided to just use an immersion blender and puree the whole sauce as I’d prefer the sauce to have a smoother consistency, and my kids do not like to eat bits of carrots. This also thickens up the whole sauce. If you choose to puree half of it, then you need to thicken it. Ina did this by mashing together 2 tablespoons flour and 1 tablespoon butter with a fork, then stirring it into the sauce and simmering it for a couple of minutes.
Remove the strings from the roast, and slice it. Transfer it to a serving plate and pour the sauce on top.
Bring a pot of water to a boil, add 1 tablespoon salt and the noodles and cook according to package directions. Drain and return to pot and add 1 tablespoon butter. Stir gently.
Sauteed String Beans:
This is also Ina Garten’s recipe, but I have seen this same recipe many other places.
Serves 8 as a side dish
- 1 1/2 lbs String Beans
- 1 Tbspn butter
- 2 shallots sliced
- Salt & Pepper
Add the string beans to a pot of salted boiling water. Cook for 3-4 minutes, drain and add to ice water.
In the same pot, heat butter on medium heat, add shallots and for 5 – 10 minutes until lightly browned. Add the drained beans to the pot. Season with 1 tspn salt and 1 tspn pepper. Stir gently until heated through.