Food writer Leah Keonig writes that Rome’s Jews prefer a pot roast braised with “richly flavored red wine,” and this comforting, saucy main course, called “stracotto di manzo,” with slow-cooked carrots and potatoes, makes for a satisfying and flavorful one-pot dish. Even better, the active cooking time is mere minutes, but the reward is tender meat and saucy vegetables, perfect for your holiday table. Ask your butcher to tie the roast for you. To make the pot roast in a slow cooker, see NOTE.
Storage: The pot roast can be refrigerated for up to 5 days, or frozen, tightly wrapped for up to 2 months.
Make ahead: The pot roast is best if made at least a day before you plan to serve it. To serve, reheat in a 300-degree oven until desired temperature is reached.
3- to 4-pound boneless beef chuck roast, preferably tied
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
Freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large yellow onions, halved through the root and thinly sliced
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons onion powder
One (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
1 cup beef stock
3/4 cup dry red wine
1 pound new potatoes, halved if large
2 large carrots, halved lengthwise if thick, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees; position the rack in the middle.
Thoroughly pat the roast dry and season generously all over with salt and pepper. In a Dutch oven or other large ovenproof pot with a lid, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the roast and sear, turning until browned on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side.
Transfer the seared roast to a cutting board. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the pan, followed by the onions, garlic and bay leaves and cook, stirring often, until the onions soften and start to caramelize, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the onion powder and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add the tomatoes with their juice, stock, wine and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Gently break up the tomatoes with the back of a spoon and bring the mixture to a boil. Nestle the seared meat into the sauce, spooning sauce on top.
Cover the pot with a piece of parchment paper, followed by the lid, and transfer to the oven. Cook for 2 hours; then remove from the oven, uncover and carefully flip the meat over. Add the potatoes and carrots, tucking them into the sauce. Re-cover with the parchment and the lid, and continue to cook until the vegetables are soft and the meat is fork-tender, about 2 hours.
Transfer the meat to a carving board, drape loosely with foil, and let rest 10 to 15 minutes before slicing. Arrange the sliced meat on a serving platter and surround it with the potatoes, carrots and any large pieces of tomato. Discard the bay leaves. Set the pan over medium-high heat and boil, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is reduced by one-third, about 10 minutes. Spoon the sauce over the meat and vegetables and serve warm.
NOTE: To make the meat in a slow cooker, follow the searing instructions for the meat and vegetables, then transfer them to a slow cooker, add the remaining ingredients, and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.
Adapted from “The Jewish Cookbook” by Leah Koenig (Phaidon, 2019).
Tested by Olga Massov; email questions to email@example.com.
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Calories: 480; Total Fat: 27 g; Saturated Fat: 10 g; Cholesterol: 115 mg; Sodium: 300 mg; Carbohydrates: 20 g; Dietary Fiber: 3 g; Sugars: 5 g; Protein: 36 g.