Is this a holiday recipe? No. Are the holidays upon us? Yes! At this busy time of year we like to have intimate family dinners or simply invite another couple to share a meal around our table. This one pot meal is stress free, allows the hostess plenty of time for visiting, and pleases the palate. What a fabulous way to enhance your holiday spirit. No stress, fun with family or friends, and delicious food.
At this time of year I fear we often work on overload, have “to do” lists that are far too long, and well, simply have too much to do. Why is this? I mean, we know for 11 months that December will arrive, Christmas will fall on the 25th of the month and there will be many things to do. I always start thinking in June that I really should do something about some early Christmas shopping, baking, homemade gift making and such but somehow in the month of June in the blistering Texas heat I don’t seem to have that holiday spirit. I’m also pretty sure that if I tuned into Jingle Bells and White Christmas in June my adoring husband just might shoot me. How about you? Do you shop early, bake ahead, plan in the summer or fall for your Christmas dinner?
This year I’m ahead of the game with quite a bit of baking finished, gifts all bought and gaily wrapped under a beautifully decorated tree, and my Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners planned. I still have cards to sign and address, stamps to lick, (might need a little sip of brandy to get me through the licking part) one last trip to the grocery store for fresh ingredients, and those last-minute foods to prepare. I’m feeling pretty good about this. It’s allowing me to enjoy the lights on our tree, the sounds of the season, the smell of evergreen, the sweet treats served on a red and green platter, the crackle of a fire, and the comfort of time spent with family and friends.
Christmas is one week away. The day we celebrate the birth of Jesus. If you find a moment for a quiet family meal or one shared with dear friends put this in the oven, sit back and sip on some wine and relax. When dinner is served I promise you’ll shine as brightly as the lights on your tree. This roast is juicy, savory, and better than delicious. And, remember it’s super easy.
Red Wine Pot Roast
1 cup low-salt chicken broth or beef broth
1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 4-pound boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 celery stalks with some leaves, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tbsp. chopped fresh marjoram plus sprigs for garnish
1 28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, drained
1 cup dry red wine – plus extra for sipping
Preheat oven to 300*F. Bring broth to simmer in saucepan. Remove from heat; add mushrooms, cover, and let stand until soft, about 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer mushrooms to cutting board. Chop coarsely. Reserve mushrooms and broth separately.
Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper. Heat oil in heavy large ovenproof pot over medium high heat. Add beef and cook until brown on all sides, about 15 minutes total. Transfer beef to large plate. Pour off all but 1 tbsp. drippings from pot. Place pot over medium heat. Add onion and celery. sprinkle with salt and pepper and sauté until beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Add garlic, chopped marjoram, and reserved porcini mushrooms; sauté 1 minute. Using hands, crush tomatoes, 1 t a time, into pot. Cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently and scraping up browned bits from bottom of pot. Add wine, boil 5 minutes. Add reserved mushroom broth, leaving any sediment behind. Boil 5 minutes.
Return beef and any accumulated juices to pot. Cover; transfer to oven. Cook 1 1/2 hours. Turn beef and continue cooking until tender, about 1 1/2 hours longer. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cool slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cool. Cover and keep refrigerated.)
If serving right away, transfer beef to cutting board; tent with foil. Spoon fat from surface of juices in pot. Bring juices to boil; cook until liquid is reduced to 4 cups, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Cut beef into 1/2 thick slices. Transfer to platter. Spoon juices over, garnish with marjoram springs, and serve.