In my opinion, wintery Sundays in December exist so we can cook large, tough cuts of meat for hours, until they give up their toughness to reach their soul-satisfying destiny. I believe every culture has their own version of a long-simmered stew, braised meat dish, pot roast, etc. One of my personal favorites is a Korean dish called galbi jjim, braised beef short ribs. The flavors of this dish are soy and sugar. The end result is hearty, familiar, and a crowd-pleaser. However, I was not able to acquire the necessary short ribs in a timely manner. Instead, I picked up the ever-dependable, always available, chuck roast. This is one of my favorite cuts of beef, so I was not really disappointed. When cooked properly, you will be rewarded with an extremely flavorful and tender piece of meat.
My initial thought was to cut up the roast into short rib-sized chunks and substitute it for the short ribs. This particular cut of beef is very popular for making pot roast, so, why not just make a pot roast, but with Asian flavors? One of the short-comings, in my opinion, of some Korean dishes, such as galbi jjim, is the lack of initial browning of the meat. The French always brown the meat before braising because it adds flavor. A lot of flavor. So I always take the time to brown the meat before stewing. It's worth it. So this recipe uses the familiar pot-roast cut of beef, along with the familiar pot roast cooking technique. However, the flavors are Asian.
After the roast is finished, let it rest on a plate and then strain the braising liquid. That sauce will be gold! I sliced my roast for presentation, but honestly, that's not necessary. It will fall apart. You can just pull it into pieces, pile it on top of some rice, and spoon the sauce over. It'll be a crowd-pleaser.
ASIAN POT ROAST
Ingredients: 3.5 lb chuck roast, 1 large sliced or roughly chopped onion, 2 roughly chopped carrots, 1 peeled, cored and sliced bosc pear, 6-8 peeled cloves of garlic, 2-inch piece of ginger, 1 lime, 1 cup white wine, 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/2 cup sugar, vegetable oil
- Preheat oven to 325°
- In a dutch over, large enough to accommodate your roast, heat 1 TB of vegetable oil until it begins to smoke.
- Place the chuck roast in the hot pan and brown on both sides until it forms a nice crust.
- Remove from pan and set aside on a plate.
- Pour off the oil from the pan and add in 1 TB of fresh vegetable oil
- Add the onions, carrots, pear, garlic, and ginger and saute until they begin to soften.
- Add the white wine and scrape up any brown bits that are stuck to the pan.
- Cook the wine for a couple of minutes.
- Squeeze in the juice of 1 lime and then go ahead and just throw in squeezed halves.
- Add the soy sauce and sugar and bring to a simmer.
- Add the roast as well as any accumulated juices and bring back to a simmer.
- The level of the liquid should almost come to the top of the roast. It doesn't need to be submerged. If there's not enough liquid, add a bit of water.
- Cover the pot and cook in the oven for 2.5-3 hours.
- Check on it every 30 minutes or so if you remember and baste with some of the braising liquid.
- Once the roast is finished and tender, remove it carefully onto a plate.
- Strain the braising liquid, pressing on the solids to get as much flavor as possible.
- Cut up or just pull apart the meat and spoon the sauce over it.