Classic Beef Pot Roast

Chef Terry John Zila creates a classic dish for your Sunday dinner.


One 4 to 5-pound boneless beef chuck roast, tied
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
All-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoon unsalted butter

Additional tablespoon of olive oil and unsalted butter each
3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
2 large yellow onions, peeled and chopped
4 stalks celery, trimmed and chopped
4 leeks, white and light green only, cleaned and chopped
6 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

3 cups drinking quality full bodied red wine
2 tablespoons brandy
1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes in puree
2 cups beef stock
1 tablespoon granular chicken bouillon
3 branches fresh thyme
2 branches fresh rosemary
1 bunch Italian parsley

2 tablespoons All-Purpose flour
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  2. Pat the beef dry with paper towels. Season the roast all over with 1 tablespoon salt and 2 teaspoons pepper. Dredge the whole roast in flour, including the ends. In a large Dutch oven, such as a Le Creuset, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoon unsalted butter over medium heat. Add the roast and sear for 4 to 5 minutes, until well browned. Turn and sear the other side and then turn and sear the ends. Remove the roast to a large plate.
  3. Add the additional olive oil and unsalted butter to the Dutch oven. Add the carrots, onions, celery, leeks, garlic, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, and 2 teaspoons pepper and cook over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender but not browned.
  4. Add the wine and brandy and bring to a boil. Add the tomatoes, beef stock and bouillon. Tie the thyme, rosemary and parsley together with kitchen string and add to the pot.
  5. Put the roast back into the pot and bring to a boil, and cover. Place in the preheated oven for 2 ½ hours, until the meat is fork tender or about 160°F internally.
  6. Remove the roast to a cutting board. Remove the herb bundle and discard. Skim off as much fat as possible from the sauce.
  7. Transfer half the sauce and vegetables to a blender and puree until smooth. Pour the puree back into the pot, place on the stovetop over low heat, and return the sauce to a simmer.
  8. Place 2 tablespoons flour and the butter in a medium bowl and mash them together with a fork. Whisk in a cup or two of the pureed sauce into the flour and butter mixture. Stir into the sauce and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring until thickened.
  9. Taste for seasonings and add addition salt and pepper if needed. Remove the strings from the roast, and slice the meat. Serve warm with the sauce.
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