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1 (3 to 4 pound) piece beef chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1 cup water
2 red onions, halved
2 garlic cloves, chopped
8 carrots, sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 cup button mushrooms, stems removed
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
Season all sides of the beef with a fair amount of salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot that has a tight cover; heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over moderately high heat. Brown the meat on all sides, taking the time to get a nice crust on the outside.
Pour in the tomatoes and the water. Scatter the vegetables and herbs around the pot roast, season with salt and pepper; and drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of oil. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Braise for about 3 hours, basting every 30 minutes with the pan juices, until the beef is fork tender.
Slice the pot roast and arrange on platter surrounded by the vegetables. Serve with the pot juices.
by Rachel Robenolt