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1 boneless beef chuck roast (approximately 3 pounds)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
6 small potatoes (optional-see variations)
6 small onions
6 medium carrots
1-1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons flour and enough water to make a paste

Salt and pepper the roast. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat.
Add meat and brown on both sides. Add a little water to the bottom of the Dutch oven,
cover with lid, and reduce heat to medium setting. Braise for approximately 1
hour, checking often; turn roast as needed and adding additional water when
dry. (Lid may need to be slightly cocked for water to evaporate occasionally.
This allows the meat to continue browning without burning and adds moisture
to ensure a juicy, tender roast.) Meanwhile, prepare vegetables. Clean and
peel potatoes. (Peels can be left on if desired.) Remove skins from onions.
Leaving the skin at top intact to hold onion together. Cut an "X" at the root
end about 1/2-inch into onion. Peel the carrots and cut into halves. Add to
the roast after the first hour of cooking. Sprinkle the vegetables with
additional salt and pepper. Continue to braise for an additional hour or
until vegetables are tender. To make the gravy, remove vegetables and roast
from pan and keep warm. Turn heat to medium-high. Add 1-1/2 cups water to
pot. Bring to boil, scraping any brown bits from bottom. Reduce slightly.
While still boiling, add smooth flour paste to water gradually, stirring or
whisking vigorously after each addition to prevent lumps. Add enough paste to
reach desired thickness. Taste for seasoning. Slice the roast. Serve beef and
vegetables, passing the gravy separately. Note: The amount of time required
for cooking the vegetables depends on their size. Variations: Omit the whole
potatoes and serve with mashed potatoes. The gravy can be made with the
addition of red wine; add it to the pot after removing the roast to deglaze
the pan. Or braise the roast in red wine. Whole, peeled cloves of garlic
and/or mushrooms can be added with the vegetables. Gravy can be thickened by
any method you prefer, such as cornstarch or cream.



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