Recipe for chuck roast with root vegetables

Serves 8

The meat and a roasting pan of vegetables cook side-by-side in a low oven for three hours. The results make a glorified beef stew.

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CHUCK

1 chuck roast (5 pounds)
Olive oil (for sprinkling)
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup whole canned tomatoes, crushed in a bowl
3 cups water
3 sprigs fresh thyme

1. Set the oven at 325 degrees.

2. Remove the netting from the meat, if necessary. If the meat starts to fall into two or three pieces, cut along the natural lines to separate the pieces. Sprinkle the meat all over with oil, salt, and pepper.

3. In a flameproof casserole large enough to hold the meat comfortably, heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Set the meat in the pan and brown it for 3 minutes without disturbing it. Turn and brown the other sides for 3 minutes. Remove from the pan.

4. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the water and thyme sprigs. Return the meat to the pan, let the liquid come to a boil, and cover. Transfer to the oven and cook the meat for 3 hours, turning every hour, or until it falls back into the pot when picked up with a fork.

VEGETABLES

2 sweet potatoes, cut into thick slices
3 carrots, cut into 2-inch lengths
1 large red onion, cut into wedges
1 rutabaga or 2 turnips, cut into ½-inch pieces
8 small Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into wedges
1 pint Brussels sprouts (about 1 pound), halved
Olive oil (for sprinkling)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup water
¼ cup chopped fresh thyme

1. In a roasting pan, arrange the sweet potatoes, carrots, onion, rutabaga or turnips, potatoes, and Brussels sprouts, making several layers if necessary. Sprinkle with oil, salt, and pepper. Pour in the water at the sides and cover with foil.

2. Transfer to the oven and roast beside the meat for 2 hours, turning the vegetables several times. Remove the foil and continue roasting for 1 hour or until all the vegetables are tender. Arrange the meat on each of 8 plates, set vegetables around the sides, and sprinkle with thyme.  Sheryl Julian