A Very Flavorful Sunday Dinner Roast.I remember to this day, my dear Aunt Ida smiling ever so effortless to the butcher behind the meat counter. He had just told her the price of her soon-to-be Sunday chuck roast. Little did she know that I recognized a flutter of her eyelids at the mention of thirty-nine cents per pound. As she smiled and graciously recognized the rise of groceries, she also verbalized that it was two cents lower across town at Piggy Wiggly. But then, as she later told me, this was our butcher, our friend who ran a small, independent grocer. We have to do what we can to support our local merchants, the small businesses, the real livelihood of our township she said.
That was back in 1965, and as I shop today looking at the price of beef, I too would love to go back to thirty-nine cents per pound - do away with the additional four dollars added to it . . . and that is today's sale price. A chuck roast has always been a more economical cut of beef and yet it is a favorite to serve for Sunday Dinners. With proper preparation and cooking technique, this and other less expensive cuts like blade and rump can result in the same tenderness as the higher priced sirloin tip and rib. The secret is to cook less expensive roasts in liquid as the simmering produces a very tender and flavorful roast.
Marinated Chuck Roast4 to 6 servings
1 -3 to 4 pound beef chuck roast, trimmed of fat
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil or mixed with rendered bacon grease
2 cups cut-up carrots, bite size
1/2 rib celery, diced
1/4 chopped bell pepper
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 -10.5 oz condensed beef broth (red can)
10 or 12 small fingerlings, new reds or yellow gold potatoes, cut in half
Bourbon Marinade for Beef
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried garlic-parsley blend
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons bourbon
Rub the salt all over the roast and place in a zip-lock bag or resealable marinade container. Do not over salt. Mix the brown sugar, pepper, garlic blend, onion powder, Worcestershire, vinegar and bourbon together and pour over the roast. Refrigerate for 12 hours or at least 4 rotating often.
Heat oven to 325 degrees F.
Remove and drain roast from marinade. Place marinade aside. In a large deep skillet with lid, heat over medium high heat and add oil. Sear roast on all sides to brown the outer surface.
Remove roast to a platter. Add the carrots, celery, bell pepper and onion to skillet. Reduce heat to medium and saute to get a golden brown caramel edge on the onions.
Mix the reserved marinade and the beef broth in the skillet and slide the roast into the liquid. Cook covered in the oven with a tight fitting lid for about 2 hours. Carefully add the potatoes to the liquid around the roast and place the cooked vegetables on top and around the roast.
Continue cooking covered another 1/2 hour or until vegetable are tender. Remove roast and vegetables to a platter for serving if desired and use the liquid in the skillet for a mouth-watering sauce, either au jus style or with a thickener for gravy.
Note: Dried Garlic-Parsley Blend is a ready made blend of dehydrated bits of garlic mixed with parsley from Badia. I use it frequently but if you cannot find it, substitute 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and a good pinch of dried parsley flakes.