This recipe should be called “Winging a Pot Roast Tagliatelle” because that is exactly what I did. I am still pretty new to cooking with meat but thought I would have no trouble finding a chuck roast at my grocery store. Instead, they had eye of round roast. I asked my butcher what the difference was (one is from the shoulder, the other the leg) when it comes to cooking and he looked at me blankly. I asked about cooking time, tenderness, how to go about making it. He told me he was a terrible cook and had no idea. Great.
Thanks to some help from friends on Facebook I discovered the eye of round pot roast is much more tender. I did not want to fuss with the recipe that much but I did add more liquid and fat to the braising sauce to keep my roast protected, especially since it was a much smaller roast than was called for.
As a result, I will write up the recipe as it appears in the The Glorious Pasta of Italy for you but do not be afraid to play around with it if the same things happens to you! Man, butchers are getting more and more useless these days. We have to rely on ourselves and play around with things to get it right.
Homemade Tomato Sauce
This recipe makes five cups of sauce, I made half the recipe but will write it out in full for you.
Warm 2 cloves of lightly crushed garlic in 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large saucepan on medium heat. Swirl to infuse oil and when the garlic begins to sizzle (as photographed above) carefully pour in…
… 2 28-oz/800g of diced tomatoes with their juice. Stir to coat with the oil.
Add 1 tsp salt, raise heat to medium high, bring to a simmer.
When juices start bubbling, reduce heat and simmer uncovered, stirring from time to time for 30 minutes.
Add 5 torn large basil leaves.
The Pot Roast
Season 1 boneless 2 1/2 to 3 lbs chuck roast and sear in a hot pan (cast iron Dutch oven if you have it) in hot vegetable oil. Brown on all sides. Remove from pan.
Finely chop 1 large yellow onion, 2 peeled carrots, 2 celery ribs and lightly crush 2 cloves of garlic.
Reduce heat to medium and add the veggies. Saute for 10 minutes. (I also lightly seasoned them.)
Stir in 1 1/2 tsp of finely chopped fresh thyme.
Pour in 1 cup dry white wine and 1 cup of water.
Add 1 cup of your homemade tomato sauce. Season lightly. Bring sauce to a simmer.
Because I do not have a cast iron Dutch oven (yet!) I put my roast in a casserole dish.
Then I covered with the sauce. I put the lid on the dish and put in a preheated 325F oven for two hours, turning the meat every now and then.
Yay! Despite being a smaller and more tender roast, this turned out great.
You are supposed to make pappardelle for this dish but I could only get tagliatelle. Cook 1 lb/455 g dried pappardelle in salted boiling water.
I heated up some of the sauce and added some of the meat to dress the pasta.
I strained the pasta, added it back to the pot with some of the sauce and a nice handful of Parmesan.
I added more sauce to the top and Parmesan, of course, and then feasted.
I was worried because everything looked so dry and not very “saucy” that I would not like this dish but it was quite the opposite. I could tell everything was slow roasted, tender, deep and luscious. Even though the dish seemed simple, it was deceiving. Complex flavour was there and this was so comforting. An absolute treat. If a dish is worth it, I don’t mind working on it all day. Thankfully, this is one of those dishes.
With the temperature falling and rainy dark days finally discovering us on the east coast, it will be dinners like this that keep me sane throughout the winter.