Every mom seems to have her own secret for how to transform a modest chuck roast into a scrumptiously tender pot roast supper. Some add lots of carrots, while others favor parsnips or sweet potatoes. In this recipe, thickly sliced onions and paprika boost the flavor. You’ll have lots of sauce, so you might want to make mashed potatoes for soaking it up.
Mom’s Home-Style Pot Roast
3 yellow onions
1 beef chuck roast, about 2 1/2 lb. (1.25 kg)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/4 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g) all-purpose flour
3 Tbs. rendered bacon fat or canola oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp. sweet paprika, preferably Hungarian or Spanish
1 1/2 cups (12 fl. oz./375 ml) beef stock
1 1/2 cups (8 oz./250 g) canned plum tomatoes, drained and chopped
2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
Halve the onions through the stem and cut the halves into half-moons 1/2 inch (12 mm) thick. Set aside. Season the chuck roast with 3/4 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Spread the flour on a plate. Coat the roast with the flour, shaking off the excess.
In a Dutch oven, heat 2 Tbs. of the bacon fat over medium-high heat. Add the roast and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.
Add the remaining 1 Tbs. bacon fat to the pot and heat over medium-high heat. Add the onions, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions soften, about 6 minutes. Stir in the garlic and paprika and cook until the garlic is fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the stock, tomatoes and 2 Tbs. parsley and stir. Return the beef to the pot, nestling it in the onions. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the beef is fork-tender, about 2 hours.
Transfer the pot roast to a deep serving platter. Season the onion mixture with salt and pepper. Skim off any fat from the surface. Spoon the onion mixture around the roast and sprinkle with more parsley. Serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.
Recipe adapted from Williams-Sonoma Comfort Food: Warm and Homey, Rich and Hearty, by Rick Rodgers