To get that rich, dark sauce, it's best to brown the meat before braising. The process takes a little time, but it layers in the flavour. Adding cocoa powder enriches the dish, too.
- Prep time 45 minutes
- Total time 4 hours & 30 minutes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cross rib or blade pot roasts (each 1.5 to 1.7 kg)
- 6 cloves garlic , smashed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 red onion , quartered
- 2 carrots , halved crosswise
- 2 stalks celery , halved crosswise
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 1 1/2 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 5 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 pkg (14 g) dried wild mushrooms , coarsely torn
- 1 1/2 cup red wine
- 1 pkg (900 mL) sodium-reduced beef broth
- 1 can whole plum tomatoes , coarsely crushed
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
In large Dutch oven, heat 1 tbsp of the oil over medium-high heat; working in batches, cook beef, turning occasionally until browned all over, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to 16- x 12-inch (40 x 30 cm) roasting pan; set aside.
Reduce heat to medium. Add remaining oil to Dutch oven; cover and cook garlic, bay leaves, onion, carrots, celery and fennel seeds, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high; stir in cocoa powder, rosemary and mushrooms. Add wine; cook, scraping up any browned bits, for 5 minutes. Stir in broth and tomatoes (including juices); bring to boil. Carefully transfer tomato mixture to roasting pan. Cover with foil; braise in 325°F oven, turning beef twice, until fork-tender, about 3 1/2 hours.
Transfer beef to cutting board. Remove any twine; slice beef across grain, trimming excess fat. Keep warm.
Skim fat from surface of cooking liquid. Strain cooking liquid and vegetables through sieve into large saucepan. Using metal or wooden spoon, press down on vegetables to extract liquid; discard vegetables.
Place pan over medium-high heat; bring to boil. In small bowl, whisk cornstarch with 3 tbsp water; whisk into pan. Simmer, stirring often, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Serve with beef.
Tip from The Test Kitchen: Cook two or three smaller roasts so they all fit in the pan and save cooking time, too.
Makes 8 to 10 servings.
Nutritional facts Per each of 10 servings: about
- Fibre 1 g
- Sodium 267 mg
- Sugars 3 g
- Protein 31 g
- Calories 220
- Total fat 8 g
- Potassium 621 mg
- Cholesterol 67 mg
- Saturated fat 3 g
- Total carbohydrate 7 g
- Iron 26
- Folate 6
- Calcium 3
- Vitamin A 19
- Vitamin C 12