For pot roast, we recommend a chuck-eye roast. Most markets sell this roast with twine tied around the center. If necessary, do this yourself (see illustrations, "How To Tie A Top-Blade Roast," below). Seven-bone and top-blade roasts are also good choices for this recipe. Remember to add only enough water to come halfway up the sides of these thinner roasts, and begin checking for doneness after 2 hours. If using a top-blade roast, tie it before cooking to keep it from falling apart.
- 1 chuck-eye roast (about 3 1/2 pounds), boneless
- Table salt and ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion , chopped medium
- 1 small carrot , chopped medium
- 1 small rib celery , chopped medium
- 2 medium cloves garlic , minced
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup low-sodium beef broth
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/4 cup dry red wine
- 1 1/2 pounds carrots (about 8 medium carrots), sliced 1/2 inch thick (about 3 cups)
- 1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes , halved if larger than 1 1/2 inches in diameter (about 5 cups)
- 1 pound large parsnips (about 5), sliced 1/2 inch thick (about 3 cups)
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Thoroughly pat roast dry with paper towels; sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
2. Heat oil in large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Brown roast thoroughly on all sides, reducing heat if fat begins to smoke, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer roast to large plate; set aside. Reduce heat to medium; add onion, carrot, and celery to pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and sugar; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chicken and beef broths and thyme, scraping bottom of pan with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits. Return roast and any accumulated juices to pot; add enough water to come halfway up sides of roast. Bring liquid to simmer over medium heat, then place large piece of foil over pot and cover tightly with lid; transfer pot to oven. Cook, turning roast every 30 minutes, until roast is almost tender (sharp knife should meet little resistance), 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Add carrots, red potatoes, and parsnips to Dutch oven, submerging them in liquid. Continue to cook until vegetables are almost tender, 20 to 30 minutes.
3. Transfer roast to carving board; tent with foil to keep warm. Allow liquid in pot to settle about 5 minutes, then use wide spoon to skim fat off surface; discard thyme sprig. Add wine and salt and pepper to taste; boil over high heat until vegetables are fully tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer vegetables to warmed serving bowl or platter. Using chef’s or carving knife, cut meat into 1/2-inch-thick slices or pull apart into large pieces; transfer to bowl or platter with vegetables and pour about 1/2 cup sauce over meat and vegetables. Serve, passing remaining sauce separately.
Serves 6 to 8. From Cook's Illustrated; Published March 1, 2002.