Well, I finally managed to take my pot roast to the next level, I think. It was always tough before and this one turned out great, at least according to my family. I tell them to be honest with me and they've told me in the past when stuff doesn't turn out right. Here's what I did....as always, I welcome input, suggestions, critique, and improvements:
Meat: chuck roast.
Seasoned with kosher salt, pepper, thyme, marjoram and dusted with flour, let sit out for about 30 minutes
in a 5 qt dutch oven, rendered about 5 strips chopped up hardwood smoked thick cut bacon, left about 3 Tbsp fat in pan.
Seared meat about 2 minutes each side, set aside
Sauteed a mire poix: about 2 c each of diced celery and carrots, with about 3/4 c diced shallots, for about 10 minutes. Added 3 large cloves minced garlic with 2 minutes remaining.
Deglazed dutch oven with about 1/4 cup of merlot (red wine), placed chuck roast back in. Added approx 3 c beef stock, another 1/4 cup merlot, and 3 heaping spoons of tomato paste. In total, liquid rose about 3/4ths the way up the side of the chuck roast, and added 3 bay leaves to liquid.
Topped roast with 1/2" diced Idaho russet potatoes, approx 6 cups, and covered dutch oven. Braised at 275F for about 5 hours.
Took out the roast and strained veggies to collect sauce. Let sauce sit in gravy separator to extract the fat. Used fat and flour to make a roux, then added the remaining braising liquid to make a gravy....this is one area I had to reinforce that would not have tasted good on its own. I had to add beef stock, salt, pepper, and bay leaves when making the gravy. I had always thought you could just make it with the braising liquid after the roast was done.
At any rate, the taste was pretty good, although probably not as good as I'd say I've had out a restaurant that speclializes in this kind of dish. Welcome any comments.......