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MY SUNDAY BEST HERBED POT ROAST
Of all the pot roast recipes I've ever tried, none really pleased me---soooo, I made up my own, and Wow! was this ever a success! This is the only way I'll do it---after all, if the family loves it, you've got it made. The cooking liquid produces some of the tastiest and yummiest sauce or gravy for your mashed potatoes that you'll ever have!
Serves: 6

1 3-4 pound beef boneless chuck roast
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion -- sliced
2 cups celery trimmings and leaves
3 cloves garlic -- sliced
1 small dried red chile (cayenne)
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs fresh rosemary -- divided
4 sprigs fresh thyme -- divided
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup dry red wine
Hot water
6 medium carrots

Remove roast from refrigerator and bring to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Use heavy kitchen twine to tie the roast around the edge to hold the meat together and cook evenly. Season roast on both sides with salt and pepper. Use your hands to rub flour into both sides of the roast.

Heat oil in a Dutch oven until very hot but not smoking. Sear the roast on both sides, about 5 minutes per side, and remove to a plate. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the onions and celery. Sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper to bring out the flavor; cook and stir about 5 minutes or until vegetables of softened and just beginning to turn golden. Add the garlic, chile, bay leaves, 2 sprigs of the rosemary, and 2 sprigs of the thyme.

Place roast on top of vegetables, and place remaining rosemary and thyme on top of roast. In a measuring cup, combine the vinegar, tomato paste and wine, and pour around the roast int he pot (not over the meat). Add enough hot tap water to bring the liquid to about half-way up the sides of the meat.

Bring slowly to a low boil. Reduce heat to low, cover the pot tightly and simmer untouched over very low heat 2 hours.

Add carrots, re-cover the pot and simmer 1 hour or until meat is tender but not falling apart.

Remove the roast to a serving platter, tent with foil to keep it from drying out, and keep warm. Increase heat to high and bring the liquid in the pot to a rolling boil and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until carrots are tender. Remove carrots to the serving platter. Continue to boil the liquid until reduced by about 1/3 and beginning to thicken to create a sauce, about 10 minutes.

Strain cooking liquid into a bowl or saucepan and discard solids. Sauce may be served as is or be used to make gravy.

If gravy is desired, return sauce to a low boil. Combine 2 tablespoons of flour or cornstarch with 3 tablespoons of COLD water and slowly stir into boiling liquid. Cook and stir constantly over high heat until reduced to desired consistency.

Slice roast across the grain on the bias, and serve with sauce or gravy on the side.

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Copyright 2005 Carol Stevens, Shaboom's Kitchen, All Rights Reserved