Beef Pot Roast (prep. time about 3 hours. Serves 4-6)

This is a long-term commitment. Expect to take a good portion of the day to make this. But the roast beef and broth can be used again for lots of left-overs, including French dip, sandwiches and chunked up and served over egg noodles. (Note, I give a bunch of little tips in the instructions. Questions can always be directed to

3 lb. sirloin or chuck steak

½ C. flour

2 medium yellow onions

3 ribs celery

4 carrots

1 large potato

1 C. broccoli florets

12 oz canned peeled tomatoes

4 cloves garlic

1 tbl. Each oregano, basil, rosemary, parsley (or sprigs of fresh herbs if available)

2 bay leaves

2 C. Pinot Noir (or any dry red wine)

Salt & cracked black pepper

2 Tbl. Olive oil

Liberally salt and pepper all sides of the room-temperature roast.  Let the roast sit for about a half hour with the salt and pepper infusing the meat. Scatter flour on a large plate and roll the roast in the flour, coating all sides.  Rough chop the onions, celery, carrots and potato. Peel and crush the garlic cloves. If using sprigs of fresh herbs, tie them together with butcher string. If using dried herbs, place them, including the bay leaves in a square of cheese cloth, draw up sides to form a bag and tie the top with butcher string.  In both cases, leave a long enough piece of string so it hangs outside the Dutch oven or other heavy, oven-proof pan.

Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until it is almost smoking. Sear all sides of the roast until it is very dark brown, turning with a pair of tongs (you’re probably going to want to make sure the windows are open, or you will soon be hearing the melodious screams of your smoke detectors). Remove the meat to a plate to rest. Turn down heat to medium and add the onions and garlic. Heat oven to 325.  When the onions and garlic are almost tender, pour in wine and turn the heat back up to medium high.  While you bring the wine to a boil, use a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.  Simmer wine about three to five minutes to reduce to almost a syrup consistency. Put roast and any juices from the meat back in the pan along with the chopped vegetables and the herb package, leaving the string hanging over the edge of the pot. Hand crush the tomatoes as you add them. Pour in enough water to bring the level about 2/3 from the top of the roast. Bring to a simmer, then cover the pot and, using oven mitts, place the pot in the heated oven.  Check the roast with a meat thermometer after about 45 minutes. If you want a more rare roast, the temperature should be between 125 and 130. The roast will continue to cook after you take it out of the oven.  A well-done roast will be about 140 degrees internal temperature.  *Tip: you can also check doneness by pressing on the meat with your finger. If you make a tight fist and press the space between your thumb and index finger, that’s what a well-done roast will feel like. As you gradually relax your fist, you’ll feel what medium and rare will be like.

Remove roast to a plate and tent with aluminum foil to rest.  Return pot to stovetop and simmer to further reduce the sauce, if you like. Remove and discard the herbs.

After the roast has rested, cut across the grain of the meat to desired thickness. If you cut with the grain of the meat, it’s going to be tough.

Plate up the meat with vegetables from the pot, spooning the broth over all.  Serve with bread and, of course, the rest of the wine.