Garlic Lovers' Pot Roast and Real-Deal Rice Pilaf
- 1 boneless beef chuck roast (about 3 pounds)
- 10 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in 1/2 lengthwise
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup peeled and chopped carrots
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 2/3 cup water
- Red wine, optional
- Rice Pilaf, recipe follows
Using the tip of a sharp paring knife, make 20 evenly spaced small slits about 1 1/2 inches deep all over the pot roast. Using your fingers, insert the garlic cloves as deep into the slits as possible.
Season the roast on all sides with the salt and pepper.
In a Dutch oven, heat the oil over high heat. Add the oil and carefully add the meat. Sear the meat on all sides until very well browned, 4 to 6 minutes per side. Add the vegetables, carefully add the water and cover the pot. Reduce the heat to low to medium-low and cook until the roast is very tender, 3 to 3 1/2 hours, turning 2 or 3 times during the entire cooking time, adding a little more water, and wine if desired, as needed so that a little liquid always is on the bottom of the pan.
Transfer the meat to a platter and let rest 10 minutes. Slice or pull the meat apart into serving pieces and drizzle the pan juices over the top.Rice Pilaf:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1 cup long grain white rice
1 cup water
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup frozen green peas, optional
2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions, optional
Position rack in center of oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until opaque and nutty in aroma, about 2 minutes. Add the water, chicken broth, and salt and bring to a boil. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid. Using oven mitts or potholders, transfer to the oven, and bake until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, 25 to 30 minutes.
Using oven mitts or potholders, remove the pan from the oven and add the peas and scallions, if desired. Toss gently to combine, then replace the cover and allow the rice to sit, undisturbed, for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve hot.
Yield: 5 cups, 6 servings