1 beef chuck roast, about 3-4 lbs
2-3 oz bacon
salt and pepper
1.5 cups carrots, celery and onion; minced
2 cloves garlic
about 1/2 bottle red wine
about 2 cups beef stock
1 sprig each of fresh rosemary, thyme and parsley
Have your butcher bone and cube your chuck roast, removing the heavy fat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper then dust in flour, shaking off the excess. In a heavy pot or Dutch oven, brown well with oil in batches - remove and reserve. Replenishing oil as needed.
Chop bacon and add to pan along with mirepoix (minced carrots, celery and onion), as well as garlic and pinches of salt. Saute over medium heat to dissolve fond (brown bits in pan). Cook until veggies are soft and beginning to brown. Splash with about 1 cup of red wine and cook until almost dry.
Add back meat and pour in equal amounts of wine and beef stock, enough to cover meat. Add a fresh bouquet garni (rosemary, thyme and parsley sprigs tied together with string). Cover and transfer to a 275-degree oven, braising until meat is tender, 2-3 hours. Stir and taste occasionally, adjust with salt and pepper, water, wine or stock as needed.
When meat begins to get tender, add pearl onions to taste (or chunked root vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, turnips, etc.). When onions are tender, add plenty of bite-sized mushrooms. Taste and adjust seasonings, then thicken with superfine flour as desired.
Serve over papardelle pasta, potatoes, polenta, rice or in a bread boulle. - Chef Mick Rosacci, Tony's Market.