Pot Roast Nicoise

I LOVE the flavors of a good pot roast. The trick is to let the roast sit at roughly 210 for an hour or so. At this temperature the connective tissues (glycogen) transform into gelatin, coating the long protein strands of normally tough meat, and turning them into tender morsels of deliciousness.

This version calls on French methods to produce an outstanding overall meal.

3 lb pot roast, preferably “chuck” in nature, trimmed of outside fat, reserve the fat for popovers.
2 Tbs cooking oil
1 lb pearl onions
2 lbs peeled carrots, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 tsp Sea Salt
1/3 cup all purpose flour
8 oz crimini/baby bella mushrooms cut into 1/4ths
1 bottle dry red wine (Cabernet, Zin or Syrah) (use 3 extra cups chicken stock if you choose to omit wine)
1 cup low sodium chicken stock
1 cup water
Zest from 1/3 of an orange
3 Tbs anchovy paste
5 sprigs thyme
1/2 cup nicoise olives (kalamata will work too)
2 bay leaves

Preheat oven to 325. Add cooking oil to an enamel coated dutch oven and warm over medium high heat. Once the oil starts to shimmer (but before it starts to smoke) add the roast and brown on all sides. Remove the meat. Add the onions and carrots to the pot and cook until onions turn transluscent.

Sprinkle the flour over the onions/carrots, and stir to combine, making sure that no flour chunks form. Add the mushrooms, red wine, chicken stock and water. Bring to a strong simmer. Add orange zest, anchovy paste, olives, thyme and bay leaves.

Cover the dutch oven with a sheet of aluminum foil, and then place lid on dutch oven. Place in oven for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until meat is fork tender.

Remove the dutch oven from the oven, and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Remove bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Carve the pot roast, and plate with carrots and onions, and cover with the remaining pan gravy.

2 comments to Pot Roast Nicoise

  • G'pa and G'ma Woody

    I'm confused at the "sit at 210" comment at the first. Since you are cooking at 325. I'm sure there is a good explanation, but I'm not understanding it.

  • Cook with Tom

    Great question. Although the oven is at 325, the evaporation of the liquid causes the pot roast to maintain a steady temperature of approximately 210. As long as the pot roast stays mostly covered in liquid, the higher heat of the oven will be balanced by the liquid.

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