Sorry mom, but my pot roast is perfect. This recipe is a mashup of several excellent recipes I have tested over the last decade and I swear to you this is THE best. Hands down. No lie.
A good pot roast recipe should transform a cut of meat into a tender, rich, flavorful main course by means of a slow, moist cooking process called braising. Like many other meat dishes, the success of this meal depends on the cut of meat you get from the store. I buy chuck-eye roast because it will not dry out after a long braise. I look for light marbling throughout and do not pick roasts that look overly fatty or too lean - look for something in the middle. I start by browning the roast on all sides, then add the veggies and some sugar to caramelize the vegetables and develop flavor. You will be blown away by how awesome and rich this pot roast taste.
1 (4- to 5-pound) boneless beef chuck roast
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon galic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Olive oil (I like California Olive Ranch EVOO)
4-5 carrots, chopped large (about 2 inches long)
2 yellow onion, chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
2-4 leeks, white and light green parts chopped
5 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 teaspoons sugar
2 cups good red wine (Select something you would also drink with dinner)
2 tablespoons Cognac
1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes in purée
1 cup chicken stock (I like to use Better than Bouillon paste and double the amount of paste in one cup of warm water)
3 branches fresh thyme
2 branches fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
10 ounces red potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
Prep the beef
Pat the meat dry with a paper towel. Season the roast all over with 1 tablespoon salt and 1½ teaspoons pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Dredge the whole roast in flour, including the ends. In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the roast and sear for 4 to 5 minutes, until nicely browned. Turn and sear the other side and then turn and sear the ends. Searing should take 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Remove the roast to a large plate.
Cook the veggies
Add 2 more tablespoons of olive oil to the Dutch oven. Add the carrots, onions, celery, leeks, garlic, add sugar, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1½ teaspoons pepper and cook over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes until tender but not browned.
Add the Cognac, wine and bring to a boil. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Tie the thyme and rosemary together with kitchen string and add to the pot. Put the roast back into the pot and poke as many potatoes around the roast as you can. I try to get them at least 3/4 submerged in the braising liquid. Bring the pot to a boil, and cover. Place in the oven for 1 hour at 325, then turn the heat down to 250 and continue to cook for 1.5 hours. If the roast is not fork-tender, continue to cook at 30-minute intervals until it is falling apart.
Sauce and Serve
Remove the roast to a cutting board and pick out the carrots and potatoes. Remove the herb bundle and discard. Using a spoon, skim off as much fat as possible from the sauce. Using an emersion blender, purée half the sauce until smooth. I try to avoid blending the carrots at all cost! Place the Dutch oven on the stovetop over low heat, and return the sauce to a simmer. Place 2 tablespoons flour and 1 tablespoon of butter in a small bowl and mash them together with a fork. Stir into the sauce and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring until thickened. Taste for seasonings. Slice the meat and serve with the potatoes, carrots and warm sauce spooned over it.