Chuck roast is one of those beef roasts that cook best slow and low. While it could be considered a pedestrian meal as a less expensive cut of meat, chuck roast slides into the gourmet category when slowly simmered. The trick to tenderness is keeping the roast moist as it cooks. Rolled chuck roast is cylindrical and sometimes comes tied with butcher twine to hold its shape.
Marinate the Meat
Combine a liquid that contains acid with a selection of herbs and spices. Combine equal parts fruit juice and apple cider vinegar or use full-strength wine, tomato juice or beer. Add basil, oregano and fennel seeds for an Italian twist or tarragon, chervil and garlic for a French-flavored roast. Throw in some chopped onions, if you like.
Use enough liquid to completely cover the roast when you place it a zippered plastic storage bag.
Put in the refrigerator and let the roast enjoy its marinade overnight.
Into the Oven
Take the roast out of the marinade, but don't throw the marinade away. Pat the roast dry.
Put enough oil in a Dutch oven to cover the bottom and put it on high heat. When the oil starts to shimmer, but not smoke, place the rolled roast in the oil. Turn until all sides are a rich brown. Turn down the heat to medium.
Add the marinade and enough additional liquid -- it doesn't have to be acidic -- to come halfway up the sides of the roast. Don't drown it by covering it completely with the liquid. Bring the liquid to a boil.
Put the lid on the Dutch oven and place in a preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook two to three hours until the meat is fork tender; about two hours for a 3 to 4 pound roast. Check the internal temperature of the roast with a digital read thermometer; it should reach a minimum of 140 F.
Remove the roast from the pot. Take a tablespoon of the remaining liquid, put it in a small bowl and swirl to cool it quickly. Taste it; if the flavor isn't strong enough to use as a sauce, reduce the liquid over medium heat on the stove.