Beef Roast Braised In Merlot


  • 1 (3 1/2 lb) chuck roast, boneless
  • 4 oz pancetta, 1/4-inch cubes
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 bottle wine
  • 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes, drain
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp thyme, minced
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 10 sprigs fresh parsley leaves


  • Cut the roast in two along a major seam and remove fat. Season the pieces on all sides with salt and pepper. Put the two halves back together and tie with kitchen twine. Pre-heat oven to 300°F. Cook pancetta in heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring until crisp. Transfer pancetta to paper towel-lined plate. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from the pan. Heat the pan until the fat begins to smoke. Add beef to pot and cook until well browned on all sides. Set beef aside.
  • Add onions, carrots, celery, and tomato paste to pot and cook for 6 minutes. Add garlic, sugar, flour, and pancetta; cook 30 seconds. Add wine, tomatoes, thyme sprig, rosemary, and parsley. Return roast and juices to pot and bring liquid to boil, then place large sheet of foil over pot and cover tightly with lid. Cook in the oven about 3 hours, turning beef every 45 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and transfer beef to cutting board. Allow braising liquid to settle, then skim fat off. Add minced thyme, bring liquid to boil over high heat, and cook, whisking vigorously to help vegetables break down, until mixture is thickened and reduced to about 3 1/2 cups, about 18 minutes. Strain liquid and reduce sauce further until you have 1 1/2 cups. Season to taste. Remove twine from meat. Cut meat against grain into 1/2-inch-thick slices and serve with sauce.
Merlot, Yountville, Napa Valley
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