Perfect pot roast

    4 hours

    This long-simmered, one-pot meal is wonderfully satisfying. It can be prepared ahead, so it's perfect for family dinners as well as informal entertaining. Serve with a crunchy mixed salad and seeded bread.

    26 people made this

    Serves: 6 

    • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 kg (2¼ lb) piece boneless beef chuck, about 7.5 cm (3 in) thick, trimmed of fat and tied
    • 2 large onions, finely chopped
    • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
    • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
    • 250ml (8 fl oz) dry red or white wine
    • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
    • 1 large carrot, grated
    • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
    • 450ml (3/4 pint) beef stock
    • 600g (1 lb 5 oz) new potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
    • 1 celeriac, peeled and cut into 2.5 cm (1 in) cubes
    • 1 swede, peeled and cut into 2.5 cm (1 in) cubes
    • 4 carrots, sliced
    • salt and pepper
    • 3 tbsp chopped parsley to garnish

    Prep:30min  ›  Cook:3hr30min  ›  Ready in:4hr 

    1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC (325ºF, gas mark 3). Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole. Add the beef and brown it over a moderately high heat for 6–8 minutes or until it is well coloured on all sides. Remove the meat to a plate.
    2. Reduce the heat to moderate. Add the onions, celery and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes or until the onions begin to soften. Add the wine and let it bubble for about 1 minute, then add the tomatoes with their juice and the grated carrot. Cook for a further 2 minutes.
    3. Return the beef to the casserole together with any juices that have collected on the plate and the chopped thyme. Tuck a piece of greaseproof paper or foil around the top of the meat, turning back the corners so that it doesn't touch the liquid, then cover with a tight-fitting lid. Transfer the casserole to the oven and cook for 2½ hours.
    4. About 20 minutes before the end of the cooking time, bring the stock to the boil in a deep saucepan with a lid. Add the potatoes, celeriac, swede and sliced carrots. Cover and simmer gently for 12–15 minutes or until they are starting to become tender.
    5. Meanwhile, remove the beef from the casserole and set aside. Remove any fat from the cooking liquid, either by spooning it off or by using a bulb baster, then purée the casseroled vegetables and liquid in a blender or food processor until smooth. Season to taste.
    6. Drain the potatoes and other root vegetables, reserving the liquid. Make a layer of the vegetables in the casserole, put the beef on top and add the remaining root vegetables and their cooking liquid. Pour over the sauce. Cover the casserole and return to the oven to cook for 20 minutes or until the root vegetables are tender.
    7. Remove the beef to a carving board, cover and leave to rest for 10 minutes. Keep the vegetables and sauce in the oven turned down to low.
    8. Carve the beef and arrange on warmed plates with the vegetables and sauce. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve immediately.

    Each serving provides

    Excellent source of folate, niacin, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, zinc. Good source of iron, vitamin B2. Useful source of selenium.

    Some more ideas

    Brisket can be used instead of chuck, as can topside of beef. * Any leftover beef can be chopped or shredded and mixed with the sauce and/or a freshly made tomato sauce, then served over spaghetti or other pasta. * Substitute a boneless gammon joint, soaked if necessary, for the beef. Soften 1 chopped onion in 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil with 2 chopped garlic cloves (omit the celery). Add the wine (use white) and gammon (there is no need to brown it first). Omit the tomatoes, grated carrot and thyme and add 750 ml (1 1/2 pints) unsalted vegetable stock, 3 cloves, 1 1/2 tsp mustard powder and 1 strip of orange zest. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, adding the root vegetables after 25 minutes. When the meat is cooked, transfer it to a carving board as in step 7. Strain the cooking liquid and remove the fat, then boil rapidly until reduced to 600 ml (1 pint). Stir in 2 tbsp cornflour mixed with 1 1/2 tbsp cold water and boil until the liquid has thickened. Finish as in the main recipe.

    Plus point

    Swede is a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables. It is a useful source of vitamin C and beta-carotene and rich in phytochemicals that are believed to help protect against cancer.

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