Chuck Roast-Cooked in Wine
Like many of us, I had to teach myself to cook.
As I transitioned from pre-packaged meals, and grew my confidence with whole food ingredients, I have made my share of blunders. But of all the mistakes, items I have burned, and recipes I totally flopped, few were quite as painful as ruining $20 worth of grass fed chuck roast...several times.
Roast beef conjures up all sorts of domestic ideals. It's a great dish for a dinner party, a new mother, any holiday, and every lazy Sunday lunch as far as I am concerned, so it was with much hope I would buy them, only to promptly turn them into leathery, dry chunks.
HERE ARE 5 THINGS I LEARNED THE HARD WAY SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO:
1. Grass-fed meats vs. Grain fed meat: Know the Difference
Grass fed meats are leaner, providing less marbling (fat) than grain fed meats. They requires less cooking time than a recipe that is not written specifically for grass fed steak, and often need additional fat to be added in the cooking process.
2. Tougher Cuts Cook Long, Tender Cuts Cook Short
Tough cuts such as chuck, round roast, brisket and stew meat contain sinewy connective tissue and small pockets of fat tucked deep within the muscle. When properly cooked, additional collagen turns to gelatin, providing the moist, fall-off-your-fork-ness of pot roast. It's also responsible for my pot-roast flops because I didn't know how to release it's goodness.
3. Apply Salt in Advance, or Marinade Meat
The application of salt in advance (1-24 hours prior to cooking) and the acid in a marinade transforms meat. It's more than just flavor, but it acts by breaking down the proteins which produces not only tenderness, but something that is easier to digest.
4. Sear the Meat on all Sides...Always
It's such an important step. Don't miss this. By searing all sides of your meat with a little hot oil, you create the mallard effect-a crisp caramelized outer case which locks in moisture and contributes a flavor layer that only sizzling-flour-coated-meat can create.
Avoid over crowding the pan and make sure meat has lots of room for steam to escape.
Avoid fussing with or flipping meat too soon. Allow anywhere from 8-15 minutes sitting undisturbed in order to create the richest flavor.
This cooking technique involves cooking meat in liquid on a low-heat setting for a long duration. During this low-temp "meat-bath," connective tissues melt into gelatin, fat pockets are released and able to baste the meat from within producing the glossy, rich, moist fall-off-your-fork texture a good pot roast is famous for.
So, pull out the salt, pop the cork off your red wine, master the sear and the braise, and never eat leathery dense meat ever again.
10lb chuck roast, cut into 4 or so large chunks
2 Tablespoons sprouted grain flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup ghee, bacon fat or avocado oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, mashed and diced
1 cup red wine plus a splash to de-glaze the pan with
3 cups beef stock
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
1 teaspoon pepper
24-hours prior to cooking, remove chuck roast from packaging and sprinkle with a tablespoon of kosher salt. Place the roast into a glass container (one that is a similar size) and pour 1 cup of wine over the roast so that it is submerged. Cover with plastic wrap to allow it to marinade overnight.
Remove roast from marinade (do not discard wine marinade), and place meat on paper towels. Pat dry and dredge in the flour, salt and pepper.
Heat oil in a large cast ironed skillet until very hot. Sear meat on all sides until golden brown. When searing, don't be tempted to move it around or overcrowd the pan, it may take 8-15 minutes per side to properly brown the meat. Meanwhile, chop your onions and garlic.
Remove meat from pan. If there are pieces of meat/flour left in the pan that are starting to burn, simply de-glaze the pan by adding a splash of wine, and with the flat edge of a wooden spatula, scrape the bottom of the pan until the brown bits come off.
Add chopped onions and saute for about 3 minutes.
Add garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
Add remaining wine from the marinade and cook for about 5 minutes to evaporate any alcohol.
Return meat to the pan and add beef stock and seasonings.
Cover the pan and roast in a 250 degree oven until meat is very tender, about 4-5 hours.