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Chuck roast is located on the lower neck and upper shoulder of the cow. It’s a tougher cut with a ton of marbling so low and slow makes for a super tender cut of meat. Best used for roast or stews, chuck roast can be shredded or cubed.
Celery is great in roasts or stews. Celery is fibrous and full of earthy flavor. So not only does the celery season and flavor the beef it also completely breaks down and works as a thickener for the broth. If you like small chunks of celery in your pot roast add another stalk or two an hour before it’s finished cooking.
Onions are a must in any great stew. You can cut the onions in different sizes to do multiple things. Thinly sliced onions break down completely resulting in a richer thicker broth. Thicker onions don’t break down as much and add a nice bite to the dish. Use a variety of sizes in your dish.
Beef broth adds bone marrow richness to the dish. It’s generally beef bone and cartilage simmered with vegetables like onions, celery, and carrots and a few aromatics like bay leaf, thyme, and rosemary. A deep broth rounds out the flavor and accentuates the vegetables and beef.
Aromatics are subtle but important for slow roasting, the dried herbs permeate the dish and add subtle flavors like thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves. The smell hits you before even tying the dish so don’t skip them.
color is important in a stew to get that deep rich brown color I like to first sear my beef chunks in the hot dutch oven. not only does that start as a great place to build flavor once the beef is removed but it gives the meat direct contact with the pan.
chuck roast needs time. the connective tissue needs time to break down so that beef can be fall-apart tender. keep the beef low and slow so that the roast doesn’t dry out.
when it comes to the gravy the roast is simmered in you can thicken it up using multiple methods. adding in the flour with the vegetables not only adds nuttiness to the dish but thickens the gravy when it cooks over time. adding in more than one onion also thickens the dish when it breaks down in the heat. if you want it even thicker add a corn starch slurry at the end to tighten up anything loose.
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