Recipe: Perfect pot roast

Nothing says comfort food like a perfectly tender pot roast with a pile of mashed potatoes. It’s a staple in my fall/winter cooking repertoire, and once you’ve tried it, I’m convinced it’ll become a regular meal at your house too. Browning the beef is what develops the wonderfully rich, deep flavors in this recipe, so be sure not to rush this process. I like to braise the roast with a mix of carrot, celery, leeks, fennel and rutabaga, but feel free to use whatever combination of veggies you’d like. — Andrew Zimmern

Photograph by Madeleine Hill

Ingredient List
• 3 to 4 pounds beef chuck roast
• 2 cups flour
• Bouquet garni of fresh thyme, rosemary, bay leaf and parsley
• 4 tablespoons olive oil
• 5 garlic cloves, peeled
• 1 cup tomato puree
• 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
• 4 cups beef stock
• 3 yellow onions, sliced
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
• 1 medium leek, white and light green part diced
• 2 ribs celery, diced
• 1/2 cup fennel, chopped
• 2/3 cup rutabaga, chopped

Instructions
Servings: 6
Total Time: About 4 hours
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
Heat a large oven-proof roasting pan over medium heat on the stove. Add the olive oil.

Season the beef with salt and ground black pepper. Place the flour in a large plastic bag. Dredge the roast in the bag of flour, shaking it free of any excess flour. Discard any extra flour.

Brown the beef in the oil, about 5 minutes per side. Remove meat from pan and set aside.

Add the onions, garlic and bouquet garnish of herbs to the roasting pan, cooking and stirring until nicely colored to a light brown, about 10 minutes.

Add stock and tomato. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Add the meat back to the pan. The top of the roast should ‘crown’ out of the braising liquid.

Place a 5-inch square of foil on top of the exposed meat.

Place roasting pan in a 300-degree oven, covered for 3 hours.

Meanwhile, place the butter in a large sauté pan over high heat. When foaming, add the carrot, fennel, leek, celery and rutabaga and sauté for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

After the meat has been cooking for 2 hours, add the vegetables to the roasting pan.

Test the pot roast for tenderness after the last hour of cooking; a fork should turn easily in the roast (you may need to cook longer than 3 hours depending on the size of your roast).

Place the roasting pan on stove top. With a slotted spoon, reserve the meat and vegetables to a serving bowl. Bring the liquids to a simmer and reduce by about half. Pour the reduced liquids over the meat and vegetables and serve.

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