1 boneless beef chuck roast (about 3 1/2 pounds), tied
Coarse salt or sea salt and freshly-ground pepper
4 ounces pancetta, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 medium onions, medium chop
2 medium carrots, medium chop
2 medium celery stalks, medium chop (use a potato peeler to remove the strings from the celery)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 to 4 garlic cloves, diced
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 of a (750-milliliter) bottle Italian Barolo wine*
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
3 Hatch Chile Peppers, blistered, skin and seed pods removed, rough chopped**
1 sprig fresh thyme plus 1 teaspoon minced thyme leaves
1 small sprig fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons parsley leaves, rough chopped
* Cabernet Sauvignon wine may be substituted.
** Learn how to prepare and use Hatch Chile Peppers. Hatch Chiles are available fresh for a short time in well-stocked local markets from late August to early September. Check with your local store to find out their availability.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Pat beef dry with paper towels (this is important as surface moisture will interfere with browning). Using cotton kitchen twine, tie roast as show in the photo below. Sprinkle with salt and pepper on all sides.
Place pancetta into a Dutch oven and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp. When crisp, remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate; set aside.
Add the prepared chuck roast to the pot and cook until well browned on both sides. Transfer to a large plate; set aside.
Add the onions, carrots, celery, and tomato paste to the pot, sauteing and stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften and brown. Add the garlic, sugar, flour, and the crisp pancetta. Cook, stirring constantly until well combined and fragrant. Add wine, chile peppers, and tomatoes; stir with a wooden spoon to release the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the thyme sprig, thyme leaves, and rosemary sprig.
Return the browned chuck roast and any accumulated juices to the pot. Bring just to a boil and then remove from heat. Cover with a lid and place in the oven.
Using oven-safe glove and tongs, turn the meat every 45 minutes, and cook until the meat is fork tender and almost falling apart, approximately 3 hours.
After approximately 3 hours, check the internal temperature of the beef with your meat thermometer. When the internal temperature registers 180 degrees F. on your thermometer, remove from the oven.
This is the type of cooking and meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking. I get many readers asking what cooking/meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking and baking. I, personally, use the Thermapen Thermometer shown in the photo on the right. To learn more about this excellent thermometer and to also purchase one (if you desire), just click on the underlined: Thermapen Thermometer
When the meat is done cooking, remove from the oven, and transfer the meat to a cutting board. Cover with aluminum foil to keep warm and let the meat rest approximately 15 minutes for juices to settle and cool a little.
Using a wide shallow spoon, skim the fat off the surface of the cooking braising sauce. Stir in the fresh parsley leaves.
After resting, slice the roast and serve with the braising liquid and vegetables.
Do not waste the extra braising sauce - You will have lots of braising sauce left from this dish. Place the sauce into the refrigerator ernight and then remove the rest of the congealed fat the next day. This delicious sauce can be used as a soup base, pasta base, or used to cook chicken pieces in and then served over pasta. Karen likes to use the leftover braising sauce in her Tuscan Frittata with Two Cheeses.