I used a small chuck round roast. Be forewarned it will shrink a lot, ours turned out to be about a 5-ounce portion per person. We aren't eating as much meat as we used to, so it was perfect for us. If you need to up the size of the roast, do so, just realize the cooking time might vary a little. —thirschfeld
rolled chuck roast, salted on all sides and left on a cooling rack set over a tray and uncovered in the fridge
1 1/2 cups
fennel bulb, trimmed, core removed and julienned
1 /12 cups
yellow onion, peeled, trimmed, and julienned
1 1/2 tablespoons
fennel seeds, crushed
carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch rounds
2 1/2 cups
dry red wine
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
Heat the oven to 325?F. Place a 4-quart enameled cast iron pot over medium high heat. When it is hot, add a glug or two of oil. You want to just coat the bottom of the pot.
Pepper the roast and seat it till it is deep brown and delicious on all sides. Adjust the heat if necessary to keep from burning the oil. Remove the roast to the tray you had it on.
Add the fennel bulb and onion to the pan. Season the vegetables with a heavy pinch or two of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Sweat the veggies until they become soft. Add the fennel seed and the rosemary. Once the two herbs become fragrant, add the wine.
Bring the wine to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Snuggle the roast into the onions, fennel and wine. Then, surround the roast with the carrots. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cover the pot with the lid.
Slide the whole pot into the heated oven and let it bake for 1 /12 to 2 hours. You want to be able to slice the meat so don't cook it so far it shreds.
When the roast is done remove the roast from the pot and cover it with foil. Place the pot over medium high heat and bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce the liquid by half. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning.
If the roast is still warm, slice it and serve. If you want to warm it up a touch put it back into the pot before slicing.