onion, peeled and sliced root to tip into eighths
carrots, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
stalks celery, cut into 1" pieces
small red skinned potatoes, cut into quarters
1 1/4 cups
drinkable red wine
dried mushroom powder (optional) (see note)
sprigs of thyme and 3-4 sprigs fresh rosemary tied into a bundle with kitchen twine
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
In a large dutch oven, heat the oil over medium high heat.
Use a paper towel to dry all the moisture off the chuck roast. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sear the meat in the dutch oven for 3-4 minutes on each side, until it forms a nice crust. Transfer the meat to a platter and add the mushrooms with a sprinkle of salt. Stir and place the lid on the pan until the mushrooms start to give up their liquid. Cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. When most of the liquid has evaporated from the mushrooms, add the onions and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until crisp tender. Add the chuck roast and any accumulated drippings back to the dutch oven. Add the carrots, celery and potatoes, thyme bundle and bay leaves.
Stir together the broth, red wine and tomato paste and pour over the vegetables. Cover and heat to boiling. Transfer the covered pot to the oven and braise for 2 1/2-3 hours until meat is tender.
NOTE: Sometimes the dried mushrooms in my pantry go past the point of reconstituting in water and look more like a fossil from the cretaceous period than the aforementioned dried mushroom. I don't waste them, though. I make mushroom powder. To make mushroom powder, put dried mushrooms (like porcini) into a spice grinder and pulse until a fine powder forms. Store in an airtight container. Whenever I want to add more umami flavor to a braised dish, I add a tablespoon or two of mushroom powder. Delish!