This is my go-to winter comfort food. I came up with the recipe last year and it really does blow all of my other pot roast attempts out of the water. The meat is tender and flavorful, but the reason I love this dish so much is because of the sauce it makes while it cooks. It thickens beautifully for gravy,but my absolutely favorite thing to do is make drop dumplings into the cooking liquid right before serving. For those of you who are not big beer fans, please try this anyway... the finished dish really tastes nothing like beer. The dark roasted malt of the porter (or stout) just adds a deep, earthy, savory note that I haven't been able to replicate any other way. The alcohol cooks out during the long braising process, so no need to worry about serving this to the kiddos.
2-3 Tbs olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
5 cloves of garlic
Fresh ground black pepper
1 lean beef roast, about 3 lbs
2 cups chicken stock
1 bottle of **dark beer (porter or stout)
In a large oven-safe roasting pan (I use my porcelain-coated cast iron dutch oven, and it's perfect for this), heat olive oil over medium high heat. Liberally pepper the roast, and brown well on all sides in the oil. Remove from pan. Add onions to oil, and stir/cook the onions until they, too, pick up some nice dark color. Add garlic and stir to brown slightly. Add roast back to pan. Pour chicken stock and beer over roast, cover tightly, and place in 350 degree oven. Cook for about 3 hours, or until roast is fork tender. If you can, try to turn and baste the roast every half hour or so. If not, it's really not a big deal.
Like I said, I typically like to make dumplings with this dish. If you don't use the sauce for dumplings, then strain it and serve alongside the roast. Last time I served it with oven-roasted cauliflower. Another option would be to thicken the sauce to make gravy and serve with mashed potatoes.
**Beer note: It's really REALLY important to use a dark beer for this recipe. A lighter beer just won't contribute much in this dish.