Chuck Roast: What to do with it?

chuck

It appears in your freezer, or your shopping cart, at the bottom, in  the back,  (maybe) shamefully sitting among the legitimate food that belongs there because it’s DELICIOUS, ALWAYS IN SEASON, and EASY AS FUCK TO PREPARE. It’s about as cheap as meat comes and super-tasty. Never eat this in a restaurant or as a guest or host. This is strictly Home Food.

Preheat oven to 275F

Ingredients:

chuck roast, of any size

salt and pepper, and any other herbs/seasonings you like with beef, mixed with flour

oil

red wine

beef stock

1 onion, quartered, and some celery if you have it

any roasting vegetables, peeled as needed, cut into bite-sized pieces (the primary ones are carrots and potatoes, but rutabagas, parsnips, celery root, sweet potatoes, yams, mushrooms, and turnips are all good too)

Wondra Sauce Flour (or regular flour, see instructions)

Heat up some oil in an enamel-coated Dutch Oven, or something similar. Rinse and pat dry the chuck roast. Dredge in flour mixture.  Time to brown the meat. Don’t skip this step, because it creates a thing called the Maillard Reaction, where the browning seals the meat and slightly caramelizes. Then add some beef stock or wine, a cup or two, and deglaze the pan, being careful to not knock the crust off of the meat. You should have about an inch of liquid. Drop in the quartered onion, and celery if you have it.  Cover tightly, and place in the oven. Bake for several hours (let’s say 5, but it could be 4 or 6), adding liquid (wine or stock—you can use all stock, but don’t use all wine) if it’s nearly all gone. Once that chuck is falling-apart tender, take it out of the braising liquid (that’s what you were doing) put on a plate, and wrap tightly with foil. Put your roasting vegetables in the pan, adding more liquid if there’s less than an inch left. Roast the vegetables until the toughest one is fork-tender. Remove vegetables from pot with a slotted spoon. Discard celery and remains of the onion, if any exist. Add Wondra flour. If you don’t have any, put regular flour in a small jar and add very cold water. Beat it with a fork, and then shakeitshakeitshakeitshakeit until it’s a lump-free slurry. In either case, keep beating that gravy with a balloon whip. Do not wander off! Continue to add flour until the gravy is the right thickness (with each addition, give the flour a couple of minutes to absorb) and then check seasonings. Add fresh ground pepper and salt until it tastes like gravy. If you have any demiglace (or lazy chef demiglace, Kitchen Bouquet), whisk in a little. Serve the chuck, vegetables, and gravy family-style.

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