Prep time: 15 minutes
Active cook time: 2 minutes
Total cook time: 4-6 hours
1 English roast, 3.5+ pounds (chuck eye works too)
1 white onion
2 cloves of garlic, minced or through a press
2 medium carrots
1 celery stalk
1 C. chicken broth (optional)
2 tsp. sugar
Salt & pepper
Sprig of thyme
Dutch oven or other big pot with lid that can go in the oven
I like to salt my beef before I cook it, almost all the time. That means I salt steaks, roasts, what have you. By “salting” I mean that I generously cover the thing in kosher salt and stick it in the fridge for an hour or two. Much like brining for poultry, salting steaks and roasts makes them more tender and flavorful. So, if you’re home at lunch to put the roast in the oven, salt it. Then eat lunch; then put it in the oven.
- Salt the beef with kosher salt and stick it on the plate, in the fridge for an hour or two (optional)
- In the Dutch oven, heat enough oil to just cover the bottom of the pan
- While the oil heats, season your roast with salt (if you haven’t salted it) and pepper (no matter what)
- When the oil’s hot, brown the roast on all sides. Will take about 10 minutes for all the sides to be nicely browned.
- While the meat browns, coarsely chop your onion, carrots, and celery; preheat the oven to 300 degrees F
- When the meat’s brown, remove it from the pan and let is rest on the plate. Add the chopped veggies and garlic to the pan.
- Cook the veggies until just tender, then add the garlic and sugar. Cook the garlic and sugar for about 30 seconds or until you can just start to smell the roasting garlic.
- If you’re using chicken broth, add it now.
- Use the broth to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. If you’re not using broth, add a bit of water and scrape up the bits.
- Add the roast back into the pan and fill with water to halfway up the sides of the roast; add the sprig of thyme.
- With the lid on, bring the pot to a simmer.
- Once simmering, put the whole shebang in your now-warm 300 degree oven and leave it there for 3 – 4 hours.
Eating the Roast
When you pull the roast from the oven, it should be cooked all the way through and fork-tender. What you do next is up to you. I boiled then pan-fried white potatoes and cooked up some green beans to go with mine. I also used a slotted spoon to remove the veggies and reduced the remaining liquid to about half. Then I added a flour-butter mixture to thicken it just a little and used it as a really runny gravy. It was tasty but not fantastic. The roast makes great leftovers as sandwich meat, pasta topping, even just reheated with the same sides as the first night.