Combine slow cooking and a wet-heat cooking technique to help your boneless chuck roast practically fall apart on the tip of your fork and in your mouth. Beef chuck comes from the neck or shoulder, where the meat is fairly tough and fatty without being nicely marbled. It's relatively cheap and loaded with flavor. Braising is the go-to method for converting a tough chuck roast into a tasty, tender meal, and red wine is an ideal braising liquid, providing acid to help break down the meat and imparting plenty of flavor.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Braising involves simmering food at a moderate temperature after searing it.
Put a casserole pot on the stove top over medium-high heat. Use a Dutch oven or similar vessel that's safe for use on a burner and in the oven. Add a thick coating of canola or other cooking oil and let it heat enough to develop a watery consistency.
Season the boneless chuck roast with salt and pepper. Sear each side for about 2 minutes, giving the full exterior of the roast a nice browning. Take the roast out of the pot and set it aside.
Pour red wine into the pot, which should still be on medium-high heat. The amount of wine needed depends on the size of the roast and the pot; add enough that it comes roughly halfway up the sides of the roast when you return it to the vessel.
Deglaze the pot by chiseling off the bits cooked on the bottom from searing the chuck meat using a cooking spoon or spatula. The caramelized remnants add flavor.
Drop any aromatics, herbs or spices you'd like to use into the casserole pot. Typically, mirepoix -- an aromatics trio of chopped celery, onion and carrot -- is used with braised dishes; add garlic, shallot, leeks or scallions if you like. Use thyme, tarragon, basil and rosemary, if desired, or any combination of these or other herbs. Include lemon or orange zest for a citrus flavor; add some soy sauce, tamari or teriyaki sauce for a saltier preparation with an Asian twist. Include beans, peas, string beans, chopped potato or sweet potato, zucchini slices or other veggies to make a hearty, one-pot, stew-like meal.
Place the chuck roast back into the vessel. Bring the red wine to a boil, then turn off the stove. Cover the pot with its lid and put it into the oven. The lid holds in the steam as the red wine evaporates, more efficiently and thoroughly cooking and softening the beef.
Cook the meat for about 1 hour, then turn it over and stir all the ingredients to help ensure that all the ingredients cook evenly. Put the lid back on the pot and cook for about another 45 to 60 minutes. The meat is done when it easily falls apart when you pull at it with a fork. Use an instant-read thermometer to check that the beef cooked to an internal temperature of at least 145 F.
Items you will need
- Casserole pot with lid
- Cooking oil
- Salt and pepper
- Red wine
- Cooking spoon or spatula
- Aromatics, herbs and spices
- Instant-read thermometer
It's easier to read the internal temperature on a boneless cut of meat, but don't let the stem pass through a section of fat. If it's a bone-in cut, the stem of the thermometer shouldn't touch the bone or the fat.
Don't leave a chuck roast out at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Store it below 40 F and use or freeze it within no more than 5 days after purchase.