Classic Better-Than-Mom's Pot Roast

A few key ingredients and tricks help turn this roast into a special dish: Red wine vinegar heightens flavor, tomato paste is browned to concentrate and enrich it and only a small amount of broth is added so the beef’s inherent umami taste comes through.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 large onion, cut into 1-inch wedges
3 medium carrots, diagonally sliced (2 1/2 inches)
1 rib celery, diagonally sliced (1 1/2 inches)
1 (3-lb.) boneless beef chuck roast, patted dry
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper
3 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup lower-sodium beef broth
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 (6-inch) sprig fresh rosemary
1 (6-inch) sprig fresh thyme

1. Heat oven to 325ºF. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in large nonreactive Dutch oven over medium-high heat until hot. Cook onion 3 to 4 minutes or until browned, stirring frequently; remove. Add carrots and celery to Dutch oven; cook over medium heat 3 to 4 minutes or until slightly softened, stirring frequently. Remove.

2. Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to Dutch oven; heat over medium-high heat until hot. Brown beef 5 to 6 minutes, turning to brown all sides; remove. Reduce heat to low. Add garlic and tomato paste to Dutch oven; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in broth and vinegar; bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to scrape up any browned bits from bottom of pan. Stir in vegetables and allspice; return beef and any accumulated juices to Dutch oven. Submerge rosemary and thyme in liquid. Place round of parchment paper directly on beef and vegetables. Cover; bring to a boil.

3. Bake 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until beef is tender. Remove beef; cover loosely with foil. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing. Meanwhile, skim off and discard any fat that rises to the top of the cooking liquid. Discard rosemary and thyme stems (leaves will have fallen off into sauce). To thicken pan juices, bring to a boil over high heat. Boil 3 to 5 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Serve beef with vegetables and pan juices.

6 servings

PER SERVING: 465 calories, 28.5 g total fat (10 g saturated fat), 43 g protein, 7 g carbohydrate, 145 mg cholesterol, 505 mg sodium, 1.5 g fiber

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