Braised Chuck Roast with Miso, Red Wine & Alliums
I was inspired to create a braise that was A) easy and B) uber-delicious from a version I saw Michael Pollan and Samin Nosrat create together in his documentary, Cooked.
There are a few reasons for busy people to love braises:
- They work with cheap, tough cuts of meat – chuck roast (grass-fed!!) can regularly be found for around $5-6/lb.
- They may take several hours but are almost entirely hands-off, hurray! This makes them perfect for weekend afternoons.
- The long cook time infuses incredible flavor and juiciness into the recipe.
- It makes a really large portion which is perfect for either meal prep or having company over.
I sourced my grass-fed/pastured chuck roast from New Seasons where they had a Carman Ranch option. I love this company! Pastured beef is allowed to live and eat in its natural state – this makes it a happier animal with less stress hormones in its body, less likely to be sick or diseased, far leaner, and more similar in nutrient profile to wild game – including those anti-inflammatory Omega-3’s. Grain-fed cattle have their Omega-3’s destroyed, and are far higher in overall fat + pro-inflammatory Omega-6’s.
All of my alliums in this recipe (onions, shallots, garlic and leeks) were from our CSA at Stoneboat Farms here in the Portland area. Alliums are something that most farmer’s markets have year-round.
I threw in a parsnip and parsley root from my CSA also. I was out of carrots so I grabbed a couple organic ones from New Seasons while getting the meat. (I picked up fresh horseradish root also and grated it over the top – but that’s totally optional!)
I used a red wine from (no surprise here) Walla Walla – in this case since I was cooking with it, a less expensive Garnacha from College Cellars.
A few notes to help you get this recipe perfect, the very first time!
- Make sure to cut up the roast into large chunks and sear it on all sides first. This really helps amp up the umami flavor profile in the final roast.
- I recommend deglazing your pan with the red wine, not the veggie broth. The more acidic wine does a better job of unsticking those gorgeous brown bits – and also it helps evaporate the actual ethanol a little faster
- I have started making it a habit to use organic veggie broth over chicken or beef broth, except when its homemade. I’ve read some troubling research on the types and parts of animals used for broth so I just prefer to flavor my meat dishes with actual meat, that I know where it came from. Plus, you really can’t complain about more veggies in your life – even if its in the form of broth!
- I used 1/2 can of diced tomatoes in this recipe but next time I plan to experiment with 1/2 cup of fresh OJ. Feel free to interchange, as long as your recipe has *some* sort of acid!
I manually calculated the calories and macronutrients (protein, carbs and fat) for this recipe using the specific brands of ingredients listed in this recipe, and an app called My Net Diary.
This app has over 9M users and contains a food database with more than 940,000 food items, 680K of which have been professional verified (the rest have been contributed by other users). I LOVE this app because it allows you to create combined nutrition info for your own recipes. I use the “Pro” version but a free version is also available.
Although I’ve found this method to be far more accurate than using an automated Nutrition WordPress plugin, there is still the standard disclaimer that your mileage may (can and will) vary. This is for the following reasons:
- The brands of items you get may be different, and with animal products in particular, protein and fat content and vary wildly.
- Your portion sizes may be different than mine. You may decide you need 1.5 of these servings to fill you up
- Human bodies are not the same as machines or engines, and food is far more than just fuel. Regardless what we swallow, what we digest and absorb is going to vary wildly from person to person and even the same person, day to day. Things like sleep, stress, hydration, heat/cold, exercise, and gut biome all play a huge role in nutrient absorption and bio-availability.
My nutrition info is based on the roast by itself, with no base (no fettuccine as shown). It is also based on the root veggies I used, which are from the umbellifer family and are very low-starch. If you use potatoes, of course, your carbs will go up! Not that that is a bad thing. 🙂
Food As Medicine
This is an important component to each of my Recipe posts because food is SO much more than simple fuel. It is not just about calories in and calories out. It’s far more than even macronutrients, although those are certainly crucial to our health. Food has thousands of chemicals, hormones, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that our body also uses and needs.
What I love most about this recipe is that it is nourishing to the body AND to the soul. Comfort food has an emotional impact on us. It makes us FEEL full and satiated. It reminds us that we are humans, not machines. But unfortunately, a lot of comfort food is laden with fat and refined carbs (pasta carbonara anyone??)
Grass-fed meat braises, and bean braises, are two of my favorite comfort foods, because they are incredibly nourishing and ALSO taste incredibly decadent.
I mentioned about that pastured meat is 100% better for you than factory farmed meat. This recipe also has loads of alliums, which are the #1 anti-cancer vegetable family. I threw in some red miso as well, which has all the benefits you’d expect from a fermented food. (Great for your little friendly bacteria!)
Any kind of meat roast would work, though I prefer the “beefiness” of this recipe. You can substitute lamb or even pork shoulder if you like. I wouldn’t recommend it with chicken thighs because the cooking time will overwhelm them and dry them out.
If you’re adamantly opposed to red wine (even given that the ethanol will 100% evaporate out over 3 hours of cooking), you can simply increase that amount of veggie broth, and consider adding 1T of white or red vinegar.
Any sort of root veggies work well thrown into this braise during the last half hour. I used carrots, parnsips and parsley root (yes! parsley has a carrot-like root that you can eat!) That is what the nutrition info is based on. If you use potatoes or something starchier of course, the carb count will go up. 🙂
Also, this recipe is pictured over some fettuccine but you could easily have it in a bowl by itself, dunk some crusty bread in it, or have it over rice or polenta. The nutrition info is based on the recipe itself, without any pasta etc.
This roast will keep for about a week in the fridge as long as its in airtight containers and kept cold.
Since it contains no dairy, it will also freeze well (similar to a chili). You can freeze it also in airtight individual serving containers for up to 3 months.
Gear I Used
One one real piece of gear I recommend for this recipe and that is the shallow cast iron braiser I used. I LOVE it. It’s not nearly as expensive as a Staub or Le Creuset – those can run upwards of $150-200, this one is only around $50. It’s USA-made, the perfect cute little depth for both braising and serving, stove and oven proof, enameled cast iron for easier clean up, AND, the lid has a built-in braiser (these are little lumps on the underside of the lid where steam accumulates and drops back down on the meat – genius!)
You can get it here! Bruntmor Shallow Dutch Oven
I recommend you just finish the bottle of red that you used to cook with 🙂 But any sort of syrah, cab, or grenache/garnacha would work great! In this photo, I am showing an extra special wine by Saviah Cellars in Walla Walla, a “Stonespeak” Syrah. These grapes grow in very rocky soil and the fruit ends up very small and intensely flavored. It results in an equally intense wine, which expresses gorgeously with Syrah grapes! This is not the wine I used to braise with, but it would be a lovely pairing.
Braised Chuck Roast with Miso, Red Wine & Alliums
Nutrition Per Serving