Winter has finally arrived in the Bay Area. Temperatures have dropped into the 40’s, the skies are gray and the streets wet with more or less constant rain. After a couple days of this I decided I’d had enough and was ready for warm and sunny again. As that’s not likely to happen for many weeks yet I had to make do by warming up the house with a good, long braise.
This is something I tossed together after wandering my local grocery store for a while looking for inspiration. The onions and beer make it fairly sweet so you’ll need a bit of extra salting to even out the flavors.
- Large Dutch oven (at least 5 quarts)
- 3-4 lb beef chuck roast
- 2 Tbl oil (I used lard because I have it on hand; any oil will do)
- 3 Tbl flour
- 3 large onions, cut into very thin wedges
- 1 head of garlic, cloves separated and peeled
- 1 large bottle (750ml) of Belgian Ale (Nothing too hoppy; I used Rince Cochon.)
- 3 bay leaves
- several sprigs of fresh thyme or 1.5 tsp dried
- Heat your oven to 325° F.
- Before preparing the onions and garlic, salt the roast on both sides and set aside.
- Heat the oil in the Dutch oven. Sprinkle half the flour on one side of the roast then add the roast flour-side-down to the Dutch oven. While that side is browning, sprinkle the other half of the flour on the exposed side of the roast. When the first side is browned, flip it over and brown the second side.
- Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme sprigs and beer to the Dutch oven. If the beer is not enough liquid to cover the roast and vegetables then add water to that level.
- Bring to a simmer then cover tightly and place into the oven. Allow it to braise for three or four hours.
- Carefully remove the roast from the Dutch oven to a deep serving platter. Tent with foil and set aside.
- Remove and discard the bay leaves and thyme stems.
- Place the Dutch oven on the stove and reduce the sauce until you get a nice nape. You will need to stir frequently to prevent the onions from sticking and burning.
- Taste the sauce for seasoning and add more salt if necessary.
- Cut the roast into large chunks. Pour the sauce over the roast. Serve.
I served this with boiled potatoes but I think it would be better over buttered egg noodles.
While this was excellent as-is with the beef I believe it would be even better if made with a pork shoulder.