- Yield: 6 to 8 Servings
- 1 (3- to 4-pound) boneless or bone-in chuck roast
- 1 tablespoon dried herbes de Provence (or your favorite combination of dried herbs)
- 1 teaspoon coarse kosher or sea salt
- ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive, peanut, or grapeseed oil, or more as needed
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- ¾ cup chopped celery
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 leafy celery tops (optional)
- ½ cup red wine (optional)
- 2 tablespoons cold butter (optional)
How to Make It
- Pat the roast dry with paper towels. In a small bowl, combine the herbes de Provence, salt, and pepper, then liberally apply the mixture to the roast—top, sides, and bottom—rubbing it in so it adheres. Preheat the oven to 200°.
- Heat a Lodge cast iron Dutch oven or skillet just big enough to fit the roast over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the oil, and swirl to coat the bottom. Place the roast in the pan to brown. The heat should be high enough that the roast gives off a peppy “sizzle,” but not so hot that the herb rub burns. Sear the roast until it has a rich brown crust on all sides, 5 to 8 minutes per side. Remove the roast to a platter.
- If necessary, add a little more oil, then add the onion, garlic, and celery. Cook, stirring a few times, until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Spread the vegetables evenly over the bottom of the pan, and set the chuck roast over them. Add the bay leaf and celery tops, if using. Place a tight-fitting lid over the pot (using parchment paper between the lid and pot, if desired, to prevent moisture from escaping), and braise in the oven until the roast is fork-tender, about 4 hours. The real test of doneness is that it tears apart easily with a fork. Transfer the roast to a serving platter, and cover with foil to keep it warm.
- The finished roast will yield a wonderfully rich au jus in its purest form since no additional liquid was added. The key is the oven temperature—200°—which allows the roast to produce its own juices during the slow braising process. You may serve the jus as is by pouring it back over the roast or serving it on the side with a ladle (discard the bay leaf and celery tops). Or you can reduce it over medium heat to strengthen the flavor; be sure to use a whisk to incorporate any tasty browned bits hanging onto the pan. Or you can make a red wine sauce from the jus—add the red wine, and boil over medium heat until reduced by about a third or more (taste test it for where you want it to be). Remove from the heat, and swirl in the cold butter (melting as you mix it), if using. Season with salt and/or pepper to taste.