Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Chuck Roast in Foil

Apparently, recipes like this swept the country in the 1950's. Most often a chuck roast would be rubbed with dehydrated onion soup mix. wrapped tightly in foil, then cooked until tender. Chuck roast is a relatively inexpensive cut of meat that benefits from low, slow cooking. The folks at America's Test Kitchen gave this simple formula a try, but found it yielded a dry, greyish-looking meat, so they set about remedying that. After reading about their experiments, I decided to give their "new and improved" recipe a try. My only change was that I used a 3 pound roast (there are only 2 of us and we didn't want to eat this all week) and cut the cooking time by almost an hour.

Serves 6-8
3 tbs cornstarch
4 tsp onion powder
2 tsp light brown sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp instant espresso powder
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp celery seed

2 onions, quartered
1 lb small red potatoes, quartered
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
2 bay leaves
2 tbs soy sauce
1 (4 lb) boneless beef chuck-eye roast, pulled into 2 pieces at seams, trimmed, each piece tied at 1-inch intervals*

*as I noted, I used a 3 lb  boneless beef chuck roast; I trimmed it, but didn't need to tie it

Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Combine rub ingredients in bowl.

Fit two 30X18 inch sheets of heavy duty aluminum foil, perpendicular to each other, inside large roasting pan. Place onions, potatoes, carrots, and bay leaves in center; drizzle with soy sauce. Set roasts on top of vegetables. Rub roast all over with the rub. Fold opposite corners of foil toward each other; crimp edges tightly to seal. Transfer pan to oven; cook until meat is completely tender, about 4 1/2 hours.

Remove roasts from foil and place on carving board. Tent loosely with foil and let rest for 20 minutes. Discard  bay leaves and onions (I ate the onions and they were splendid!). Using slotted spoon, place carrots, potatoes, and onions, if you choose, on serving platter. Strain contents of roasting pan through fine-mesh strainer into fat separator. Let liquid settle for 5 minutes, the pour defatted pan juices into serving bowl.

Remove twine from roasts and slice meats thinly against grain. Transfer meat to platter with vegetables. Pour 1/2 cup pan juices over meat. Serve, passing remaining pan juices separately.
Over the course of a few days we ate every last bit of this delicious roast. If you've never eaten chuck roast, you should know that while it may be a bit "chewier" than higher-priced cuts, it has a truly beefy flavor and this preparation made it sing even louder. I would plead with you not to throw those onions away. DSO told me I should have doubled the amount. They were incredibly sweet. After 2 dinners and 1 lunch I still had some beef left, so I made DSO a quick beef fried rice, adding in the last of the pan juices. He loved it! I would definitely make this again.


  1. Oh man, that looks so delish and tasty. I could munch on it all week.

  2. my favorite way to eat this other than the Crockpot looks fabulous!

  3. I'm very pleased you put this recipe from the test kitchen up. <3 I was actually trying to view it and it wouldn't let me ... when I googled it I found yours and am eager to try it. I will use 3 onions and not tie as well. It looks delicious! Thanks a bunch!!!

  4. Thought this was okay. Didn't throw the onions away either and I think it's silly the recipe says to do so. If I make this again I will add more veggies and definitely more onions.

  5. what temperature do you cook it at?

  6. Sorry that info was buried in "For the Rub." Cook at 300 degrees--it's cooked low and slow.


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