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Italian Pot Roast Recipe

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I recently developed anemia so I need a lot of inexpensive beef recipes -- and if they have some acid in the cooking liquid, so much the better.

My mom used to make this.  Amazing how many memories are tied to food.

And when you eat the food again, you reconnect with those memories. 

I call this my "Improved By Mistake Italian Pot Roast"! Through laziness I made a bunch of errors but they ended up resulting in the best pot roast ever... so I want to write it down for posterity.

* I read an article about (Yankee) pot roast in Cook's Magazine which said you do not have to brown the meat -- my least favorite step -- if you cook for a long time in a very small amount of liquid. Less liquid is good for me because I like it concentrated.

* An extra hectic week taught me that the timing of this recipe works best if you do the aromatics first thing in the morning and let the SALTED meat rest all day in the fridge; then add the liquids at night; rest the meat and sauce separately overnight; and then defat the sauce and reheat everything the next day. Sounds like a lot, but basically you'll be doing like 5 minutes of work 4 times.

* Lightly brown 1 onion in 2 T of olive oil in a Dutch oven. Add a few cloves of garlic for about a minute. Take the Dutch oven off the heat and while still warm stir in 2 T Italian tomato paste (the kind in a tube), 2 sprigs fresh thyme, 1 T fresh or dried rosemary sprigs, 1 California bay leaf, and some Italian parsley.  Chop 2 carrots and 3 stalks celery into 1-inch pieces, and add those to the pot (which is off the heat at this point). They do not need to cook. Let the whole thing cool down.

* Nestle 2 chuck roasts, 2 - 3 lb each, on the resulting bed of aromatic veggies. Salt and pepper the meat liberally. Put the lid on the pot and rest in the fridge for the rest of the day.

* In the evening, take the pot out of the fridge and remove the lid to warm up for about an hour. Chop and add one large tomato or a few canned tomatoes, and about a cup of red wine.

* Heat the oven to 300 F, top the pot with a square of aluminum foil, cover with lid, and bake for about 4 hours. Move the meat to a container, and the sauce to a medium saucepan. When cool, refrigerate both.

* When you want to serve, defat the sauce and then warm it in the saucepan. If desired add the meat to the sauce, or for a nicer presentation warm the meat slightly in the microwave and then slice and top with the reheated sauce.

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