Serves 6 to 8. Published March 1, 2002.
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. 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 (see illustrations, "How To Tie A Top-Blade Roast," below) to keep it from falling apart. Mashed or boiled potatoes are good accompaniments to pot roast.
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
10 ounces white button mushrooms , cleaned and quartered
2 medium cloves garlic , minced
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup low-sodium beef broth
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes , with juice
1 1/2 cups water
1 sprig fresh rosemary
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, celery, and mushrooms 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, dry red wine, thyme, and diced tomatoes, with juice, 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 fully tender and meat fork or sharp knife easily slips in and out of meat, 3 1/2 to 4 hours.
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. Add sprig of fresh rosemary and boil liquid over high heat until reduced to 1 1/2 cups; discard rosemary and thyme sprigs. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
4. Using chef’s or carving knife, cut meat into 1/2-inch-thick slices, or pull apart into large pieces; transfer meat to warmed serving platter or bowl, pour sauce and vegetables over meat, and serve.
from Cook's Illustrated e-mail