1/4 cup peanut oil
1/2 stick sweet cream butter
6 lbs. boneless chuck roast, excess fat trimmed
2 tsp. Frank Davis Beef Seasoning
1/4 tsp. white pepper
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. red pepper
1 tsp. granulated garlic
1 tsp. granulated onion
4 Tbsp. gravy flour (Wonder brand recommended)
2 cups seasoning vegetable mixture
1 cup thinly sliced mushrooms
2/3 cup Chianti wine
1 can Swanson or Campbell’s Beef Broth
2 heads garlic, peeled but left in whole cloves
2 lbs. baby potatoes, boiled until tender then peeled
2 lbs. fresh green beans, washed and stems removed
1/2-plus stick sweet cream butter
1 tsp. Frank Davis Vegetable Seasoning
2 cups shredded baby Swiss cheese, loosely fluffed
1 cup sour cream for garnish
First, pre-heat for 2-3 minutes over a high flame a Dutch oven large enough to comfortably hold a 6-pound chuck roast. When the pot is up to heat, pour in the peanut oil and drop in the half-stick of butter.
In the meantime, while the oil and butter is blending together, place the chuck roast on a sheet of butcher paper on the countertop and begin evenly—but thoroughly—seasoning it with the beef seasoning, white pepper, black pepper, red pepper, granulated garlic, granulated onion, and the gravy flour. When all of the ingredients are on the roast, gently lower it into the Dutch oven and brown it on both sides until a light golden crust forms. At that point, remove it from the pot, allow the fat to drain off, and set it on a warming platter temporarily.
Next, add the seasoning vegetables and mushrooms to the pot and whisk them around over high heat until they wilt and soften. Then immediately pour in the Chianti and the beef broth, lower the fire, and with a spoon begin deglazing the bottom of the pot (note that some of the gravy flour and the spices that you sprinkled on the roast earlier will have stuck to the pot and should be scraped loose before continuing the recipe.)
While the pot is being deglazed, set your oven to 350 degrees.
Then when the resultant gravy that you made from the pot scrapings is smooth and fully blended, ease the roast back down into the pot (along with the whole garlic cloves), put the lid on top, slide the pot into the oven, and let the roast cook for about 2-1/2 to 3 hours. Technically you want to cook the meat for about 27 minutes to the pound, which means that a four-pound roast should be perfectly done in about 2 hours. You want it fall-apart tender? Cook it for 3!
One important note here: You are permitted to look into the pot only once to check on the meat! If you’ve done everything right, there should be a rich, brown gravy bathing the roast, which will eventually cause it to reach that “fall-apart tender” stage.
Now when you’re almost ready to eat, place a heavy-bottomed, 12-inch anodized or non-stick skillet on the stovetop over high heat and drop a couple of pats of butter in it. When the butter sizzles, add the potatoes a few at a time so that you have enough room to swirl them around in the pan. They’re done when a beautiful, toasty, golden crust forms on the outside of the potatoes. Repeat the process over and over until all the potatoes are toasted. (Keep them warm until service in the oven.)
This is also the time to steam the green beans until they become tender-crisp (that’s when they’re just tender to the tooth, but not all limpy and overcooked). When they’re just right, transfer them to a large bowl, sprinkle them generously with the vegetable seasoning, and scatter a layer of shredded Swiss cheese over them.
When the residual heat from the beans has melted the cheese, the beans are ready to serve, along with the buttered potatoes (which you might what to garnish with a dollop of sour cream or top with a ladle of rich beef gravy), and a couple of slices of that good, old fashioned chuck roast.
Uuuummmm! Now that’s Naturally N’Awlins!
If you plan to cook the roast on top of the stove instead of in the oven, be sure you put a heat dissipater between the pot and the stove grate to reduce the chances of having the meat scorch and burn on the bottom.
If you prefer a sweeter gravy with your roast, simply cut back on the granulated arlic by about half. If you’d like the gravy a tad thicker than what naturally occurs from the smothering roast, whisk in a little extra gravy flour as desired.
Depending upon your taste for spice, you may want to increase the seasonings after the gravy is made. Salt, pepper, and other ingredients can be adjusted after the meat has fully cooked. Remember that because the chuck cut is fatter than other types of roasts, it will give you slightly more fat in the gravy. To eliminate that problem, prepare the roast earlier in the day and refrigerate the gravy and pan drippings prior to service. This way, it’s only a matter of skimming off the fat once it has congealed on the surface. Not only that, the roast will slice much easier after it has cooled down a little.