Italian Style Spice-Rubbed Pot Roast, slow-cooked, fork-tender and so delicious
The making of Italian Style Spice-Rubbed Pot Roast
Italian Style Spice-Rubbed Pot Roast, slow-cooked, fork-tender and so delicious.
As you view my recipes, you might notice, I like things that are slow-braised. As a matter of fact, I love things that are slowly braised. Why? Well, a couple of reasons pop right into my head. Number one, it's so easy. Number two, it's so delicious.
Easy? You ask. Yes. Even though it takes a long time to cook, slow-braised food is hand-off time. Once you've prepped it and put it into the oven, it's kick back and do something else time. While the food cooks, filling the house with lovely aromas, you could be out taking a walk, playing ball with the dog (or the kids), going to the gym, reading a book. Whatever you want. With low-temperature slow-cooked foods, you even have fudge time on when it's done. An extra half hour or more won't hurt the final product. If you know you are going to be gone all day, just set the oven for a lower temperature, or put the roast into your slow cooker and walk away.
Browning the Meat is the KEY to Success
Remember this the most important step to a really great slow-braise is in the browning. Make sure you pat your meat dry before putting it into the hot pan, dry meat browns, wet meat steams. And don't rush the process of browning, give yourself time. Generally speaking, when the meat is properly brown, it will release itself from the pan. If you find yourself having to pry the meat from the pan, it wasn't ready yet. Leave it be. You can almost get too burnt, almost, and still, be fine when braising.
Mirepoix = Added Flavor
Mirepoix in European cooking is a combination of carrots, onion, and celery. I'm not a big fan of the flavor of celery in my slow-braised meats so I omit it. But you can add it if you like. I add garlic to the mix instead.
After browning the meat, turn the heat down to medium and saute your vegetables with just a pinch of salt until they just begin to soften, then add your tomato paste. Cook the tomato paste into the vegetables allowing it to cook off some of the raw tomato flavor. Now stir in the wine. You want to reduce the wine by about ½ of its original volume, this not only concentrates the flavors but cooks off all the alcohol making this a family-friendly meal.
Then proceed with adding the rest of the ingredients, except the slurry, choose your cooking method, set it, and forget it.
Once your meat is fork-tender ready, remove it from the pot, along with any thyme twigs, to make the gravy. Now you have a few choices here.
- Just add the slurry to the pot until the gravy is thick as you like it and serve with the chunks of cooked vegetables.
- Use an immersion blender to blend the vegetables into the gravy then add the slurry as necessary to thicken the sauce.
- Add the slurry to the pot and then strain the vegetables out for a nice smooth rich beefy gravy.
Choices, I like choices. I generally chose method #3.
Serve this delicious pot roast with some Mashed Potatoes, or egg noodles.
Italian Style Spice-Rubbed Pot Roast
- 3 teaspoons Kosher salt plus more as needed
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasonings
- 1 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3 pound boneless chuck roast
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 1 carrot diced
- 3 large garlic cloves sliced
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- ½ cup dry red wine
- 2 cups low-sodium or homemade beef broth or as needed
- 4 fresh thyme sprigs
- 2 fresh Italian parsley sprigs
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water also called a slurry
- Heat oven to 300° F
- Combine the salt, paprika, Italian seasonings, pepper, and cayenne in a small bowl. Mix well. Evenly rub the spice mixture on all sides of the roast. Set-aside.
- Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or heavy bottom pot with a tight-fitting lid, over medium heat. When hot, add the meat and brown it on all sides; remove to a plate.
- Lower the heat and add the onion, carrot, and garlic to the pot, season with a pinch of salt; cook until just softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir to coat the vegetables; add the wine and simmer until the wine is reduced by half. Add ½ of the beef stock and stir, scraping up any browned bits; return the meat to the pot along with the thyme and parsley and any accumulated juices, then add enough stock to just come up to the top of the meat (not covering, just to the top); bring to a simmer; cover and place in the oven. Cook until the roast is fork-tender, about 2 ½ to 3 hours.
- Remove meat to a heated platter and cover loosely with foil; bring the sauce to a simmer on the stovetop and reduce by about ½; about 5 - 10 minutes. Slowly add the cornstarch mixture until the gravy is to the consistency you like. Slice the meat against the grain, serve with gravy.