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Chuck roast on sale, need inspiration.

I've been cooking for over 30 years and come from a family who knew how to cook really good basic food. I have also traveled quite a bit (both in the US, in Europe and Latin America) and added to my repertoire over the years. I have several go-to recipes or "formulas" for using chuck roast -, various stews, pot roasts, and braises, mostly traditional American or with German/Hungarian accents. Most of the "recipes" I use have never been written down, just things I know how to do or created from tastes I have experienced in my travels.

Right now I have a small (less than 2 lb) piece of chuck roast that I want to cook for two people, with leftovers for a few more meals. Does anybody have any inspiration? I'm just kind of bored with what I know and want to be creative.

Plan to cook it tomorrow or Monday.

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  1. For me, that's precisely the right amount for a big pot of chili. Alternatively, I don't know where you live, but here in Michigan my deck has thawed enough to melt the snow accumulated on it, which means I'm in a grilling mood. If I had a piece of chuck to use up, I'd toss it in what I grew up knowing as "teriyaki." 1/3c each of soy sauce, red wine vinegar, and water, a few crushed cloves of garlic, a few slices of ginger, and a scant spoonful of brown sugar. If you start it early in the day, omit the water. Let marinate, then grill to your desired doneness, rest, and slice thin. Leftovers are amazing on a big bowl of salad, or in a stir-fry with some snow peas.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Wahooty

      Two great ideas! I usually make chili with ground meat...but know that the best chili is made with a piece of meat, not ground. And...I also have a ton of venison to use. I might do a pot of beef and venison chili. Any suggestions of how to go about doing that? I admit my chili usually uses ground meats, so how do you go about making chili from a beef chuck roast and a piece of venison, both not ground? Ya'll have an opportunity to teach an old lady new tricks.

      On the other hand, the grilled (teriyaki) idea would also work. We live in North Carolina, and the weather went from 10 degrees a few days ago to 70 degrees today. The grill is certainly an option.

      We also have a smoker.

      1. re: Springhaze2

        I have a serious dislike for ground meat in chili - the texture is all wrong for me. Just slice it up into thin strips (or not so thin - I usually go with 1/2" x 1/2" x however thick the chuck is), brown (or don't) and then do what you do for chili. Mine is beans, tomatoes, onion, garlic, chiles, cumin, oregano, paprika, etc. I have absolutely no experience cooking with venison - despite my pleas, nobody has ever gifted me with any of their hunting spoils - so I can't help you there.

        The grilled "teriyaki" (must use quotes - the original source is Illinois extension, not remotely Japanese) is one of the oldest cheap tricks in the book. I regularly feed it to people when entertaining, because it's so easy and everyone loves it. It's still one of my favorite meat-and-potatoes standards.

        1. re: Wahooty

          I know the whole chili debate about ground meat vs sliced. I have had good and bad versions of both. Just never made it with anything other than ground, but I just might try it with this beef and some venison. I also use tomatoes, onion, garlic, chiles, cumin, oregano, etc, and add beans in my chili formula. Again I know that is controversial, but damn it tastes good.

          Same with the "teriyaki" grill, sometimes the "local" recipes no matter what they are called are the best. I have a collection of locally produced church/social organization cookbooks from the last 40 years.

          Again, thanks for the inspiration.

          Edit to add...If you are ever driving down Rt 95 in southern NC let me know. We have 5 deer in the freezer and there are only two of us living here.

          1. re: Springhaze2

            A creative use for the chili is the popular texas "frito pie"....! Saveur even posted a recipe for it:
            http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes...

        2. re: Springhaze2

          I prefer yummy morsels of meat in my chili instead of ground meat too. I usually cube it and then brown deeply on all sides in some of it's own fat before slow cooking in chili. It gets a delicious smokey flavor.

        1. re: fourunder

          Thanks fourunder, I already make that pot roast recipe. I am looking for some different things. Do you have any other ideas? I know you are creative!

          1. re: Springhaze2

            Well, the good thing about the low and slow roast, it it gives you some options..e.g., simple sliced beefsteak sandwiched, toppings for salads or an Asian Style noodle soup.

            How about using The Chuck as a substitution for more expensive Oxtail or Short Rib Recipes, where it is shredded or sliced over Polenta or served with pasta noodles like Tagliatelle or Fettuccine. You could use a tomato or brown demi-glace. Both would be excellent with the addition of mushrooms.

        2. Beef bourguignon? Pot roast?

          1. Mark Bittman's Japanese-style Beef Stew is a lovely, easy dish with butternut squash, lots of fresh ginger slices, garlic and lemon zest. The recipe was published in his old NYTimes column, "The Minimalist" & is online.

            6 Replies
            1. re: pocketviking

              Oh that sounds really good and different than what I usually make. I just bookmarked the recipe. What do you serve with it? Rice or maybe udon noodles?

              1. re: Springhaze2

                I've always served it with some sort of grain, but you've inspired me to try udon or soba! This broth would make a great noodle-soup base.

                1. re: pocketviking

                  It does sound like the broth would be great in a soup. Now, I just need to find some udon or soba in rural NC.

                  1. re: Springhaze2

                    Bet almost any thin noodle would be delicious. You've inspired me: next time I make this, first night will be with grain, and second with some sort of noodle, maybe with extra veggies (roasted, steamed or nuked & then added to the pot).

                    N.B.: the ginger slices and lemon peel have beautiful flavors so don't hesitate to add more if you have some on hand.

                    1. re: pocketviking

                      I managed to find soba noodles, much to my surprise. I also picked up a bottle of mirin, just to come home and discover that I already had a 1/2 bottle open and another unopened in the pantry. (So now I need to find recipes to use up mirin.)

                      What kind of grains do you usually serve? I have quinoa, barley, farro, bulgur, in addition to various kinds of white rice, brown rice and wild rice.

                      1. re: Springhaze2

                        Usually some kind of rice with barley. Barley seems to absorb more flavor than most grains & texture is great - and always have some kicking around.

                        Feel your pain on the extra-bottle-of-mirin front. Do believe that the reason I tried this recipe in the first place was to use up extra mirin!

            2. Chicago style Italian beef sandwiches. Many recipes on the internet.

              1 Reply
              1. re: flfoodie2

                Also something I have never made, do you have a recipe that you particularly like?