I really don’t know how to describe this recipe except that it is exceptionally delicious. The meat comes out tender, the ingredients are simple, and we usually wind up fighting over any leftover sauce. This is a good recipe for all beef roasts, but especially arm roasts or briskets that are flatter and can sit down to cook smothered in sauce.
1 beef roast, about 3 lbs
2 tablespoons oil of your choice
2 or 3 yellow onions
2 tablespoons brown or date sugar
6 minced or crushed garlic cloves
2 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup red wine
2 cups beef stock, or combination beef and chicken stock
4 bay leaves
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Preheat oven to 300 if using. Or leave your oven off and cook in your slow cooker later.
Salt and pepper the roast. Heat oil in a large dutch oven or other ovenproof pan (enameled cast iron is best due to the acid in the wine and vinegar). When the oil’s hot, sear the meat to get a good crust on sides. Remove roast from pan.
Reduce heat to medium, add onions and brown sugar and a bit of salt. Stir with a wooden spoon to scrape all the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Cook until the onions are softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and tomato paste and cook about 1 minute. Stir in flour until mixed in completely and let cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or so. Quickly stir in the wine to dissolve the flour, stirring, and cook until almost dry, about 1 minute. Stir in the broth, bay leaves, and spices. Add the roast, nestle it in the sauce, pouring some over and around the roast, and bring to a simmer.
Cover the pan and place in the oven. Or transfer to your slow cooker and set to low. After an hour or so flip the roast and rebaste with sauce. Cook until tender, or when a fork can easily break through the roast, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours or to the doneness of your choice, longer if left in your crock pot. Discard leaves and sprigs from sauce, adjust salt and pepper, and stir in the vinegar.
If you want ultra tender beef that can be “pulled”, cook longer, or you can serve it sliced with extra gravy.
It’s also wonderful to pop potatoes and other veggies around the roast as it gets closer to serving time to cook in the gravy.