Where’s The Beef?

May 12, 2020

It seems we are about to have shortages of beef and pork as the virus shuts down some meat packing plants across America and that can spell dismay for all those summer backyard grill-fests we had planned. Most popular cuts like steaks, ribs, chops and ground meat might be harder to get then say a chuck roast. But for my money, I would rather enjoy a tasty slow braised chuck roast with sweet red wine flavored onions than a steak. It’s about the flavor that you can coax out of a chuck roast. A well marbled roast about 3 to 4 pounds is what I usually look for because that marbling is the key to flavor, flavor that comes from fat.This is the easiest cut of meat to cook because once it is seasoned, seared and combined with onions, garlic and wine and popped into a low heat oven, there is no guess work as to when it will be just right. Let it cook unattended for about 1 3/4 to 2 hours; the house will smell great and the meat will be surprisingly tender and very tasty.
Start with a 3 or 4 pound roast that is well marbled; that will be a true test for flavor as it cooks. Dry the meat first with paper towels then rub it all over with a mixture of salt, coarse black pepper, dry red pepper flakes (optional). Brown the meat slowly all over in a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a stovetop to oven casserole. After browning, transfer meat to a plate and in the drippings in the pan, wilt down a large sliced onion and add a couple cloves of sliced garlic. Return the meat to the pan and and raise the heat to high and pour in 1/2 cup red wine and allow it to bubble a couple of minutes. Turn off heat; cover the roast and place in a preheated 325F oven to cook until fork tender, about l to 2 hours.

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