Italian Pot Roast

Italian Pot Roast

Serves 4 to 6

1 boneless chuck-eye roast (3.5 - 4 pounds)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1 pound cremini or white mushrooms, quartered
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (14.5- ounce) can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup tomato sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup red wine
1 large garlic heat, outer papery skins removed, then halved
1 large sprig fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Pat the roast dry with paper towels and season with salt & pepper.

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown the roast on all sides, 8 to 12 minutes. Transfer the roast to a large plate. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the onions, celery, mushrooms, and tomato paste until the vegetables begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, sugar, water, 1/2 of the wine, garlic and thyme. Return the roast and the accumulated juices to the pot and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Place a piece of foil over the pot, cover with the lid and transfer the pot to the oven.

Cook until the roast is just fork-tender, 2.5 to 3.5 hours, flipping the roast after 1 hour. Uncover the pot and let the roast rest in its juices for 30 minutes, skimming the surface fat after 20 minutes. Transfer the roast to a carving board and tent with foil. Remove and reserve the garlic head and skim the remaining fat from the pot. Add the remaining 1/2 cup wine to the pot, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and cook until the sauced begins to thicken, about 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, carefully squeeze the garlic from the halves and mash into a paste. Add the rosemary to the pot and simmer until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Remove the rosemary and thyme springs, stir in the mashed garlic, and season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Cut the meat against the grain into 1/2 inch thick slices, or pull it apart into large pieces.

Source: The Best of America’s Test Kitchens - Best Recipes and Reviews 2008