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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:

        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?

              2. When I want to try and stretch a small chuck roast or find the small chuck ends in the mark-down section, I do Momocho Restaurant out of Cleveland, OH's
                machaca | coffee + chile ancho braised beef brisket


                It's a youtube video for full prep from Diner's Drive ins and dives, and the recipe is out there.
                Be careful and watch the video as the written recipe is slightly different.

                Dry rub of anchos, ground coffee and other spices on beef, quickly sear, add liquids and other things, then braise covered in oven.

                Pull meat after done and shread and then I reduce the broth on the stove top and I add honey to get sweet/salty/spicey balance.
                Return meat to sauce.


                Freezes well and i do tostadas, tacos or pan fried quesedillas with black beans, then the meat and cheese. Guac on the side.
                Salsa of choice.

                The cooked meat freezes well as well. I;ve got a pint frozen in my fridge as I type this. :)

                2 Replies
                1. re: jjjrfoodie

                  This is fun! I'm bookmarking all kinds of new recipes to try in the future. I've made other versions of machaca but this recipe sounds really good.

                  1. re: Springhaze2

                    This reminds me of Barbados. You could slow cook it as a Barbados for tacos. Slurp.

                2. I just last night made a bottom round from a recipe I found under cooking with bourbon. Supposed to be for brisket but I'm not one to follow the rules. I had to cook it over four hours but it came out nice and shreddy.

                  The main ingredients were lots of bourbon, stout and peach preserves; I had a big container of runny peach jam in the freezer from a batch I made but didn't bother to can this summer. I was thinking you could probably use any kind of jam though. It has lots more flavorings like cinnamon, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce etc and came out much better than I expected. I haven't written it out yet but if you want, I will.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: coll

                    That sounds good too. I just happen to have some extra peach preserves that I canned last summer. If you get a chance, yes, please write up the recipe. Since there are only two of us living here and I like to can, I always end up looking for ways to use up the jams and preserves.

                    1. re: Springhaze2

                      My whole top shelf is jams, both homemade and store bought. Always looking myself.

                      BRAISED BRISKET (or other roast) WITH BOURBON-PEACH GLAZE
                      (I’ve seen similar recipes for ribs too) Based on a 7 to 8 lb piece of meat

                      3 Tbsp kosher salt
                      2 Tbsp (or more to taste) black pepper
                      ½ tsp paprika (I used smoked)
                      ¼ tsp cinnamon

                      Mix above, rub on roast and let sit an hour or two.

                      Preheat oven to 350. Meanwhile in a Dutch oven sauté some chopped garlic and onion in a couple of Tbsps oil, on medium high.

                      Remove the onions and garlic and add the meat, browning on the fatty side for 5-6 minutes. Then replace onion mix, along with:

                      2 Carrots
                      3 Celery Stalks
                      3 Plum Tomatoes, roughly chopped (I used a can of Rotel, wanted a little spice)
                      Bottle of stout
                      1 cup bourbon
                      ¼ cup soy sauce or worcestshire
                      2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
                      ½ cup brown sugar
                      8 cups beef stock
                      Tbsp or so of thyme
                      1 10z jar of peach preserves

                      (I was also wondering if a dab of Dijon might be a nice touch?)

                      Bring all to a simmer over high heat, then cover and put in oven. Cook at least four hours, until shredding but not falling apart.

                      Strain liquid, discard solids. Reduce liquid over high heat 10-15 minutes.

                      At this point, I served it as pot roast with gravy, but you could also take some of the reduced liquid and glaze the meat under your broiler for 4 or 5 minutes, until brown but not burned.

                  2. one of our favorites is Kokkinisto.

                    It is really, really delicious!

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: Gastronomos

                      I make something similar, but we always just called it "meat and gravy". Do you have a favorite recipe?

                      1. re: Springhaze2

                        this tomato based gravy is best kept simple.
                        brown meat well in olive oil.
                        add garlic and onions, and a pinch or red pepper flakes. stir, add dry white or red wine, stir.
                        add whole canned (tinned) tomatoes that you crushed, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, salt and pepper, dried oregano and some water. stir.

                        simmer till tender and serve over pasta.
                        sprinkle some kefalotiri / kefalograviera over the top and now you're eating Greek.

                        works well in a crock pot / slow cooker.

                        beef. lamb, chicken, all work very well.

                        1. re: Gastronomos

                          Thank you! The recipe we make is similar, but without the cinnamon stick. There is no way I am going to find kefalotiri in rural NC. I'll be lucky to even find a sheep's milk Pecorino Romano.

                          1. re: Springhaze2

                            How about this?http://www.mensjournal.com/food-drink...
                            I've made it a few times and it's always a hit.
                            Just watch that the 'chuck' isn't over cooked.

                            1. re: Springhaze2

                              use whatever cheese works for you. parmesan, pecorino, whatever you have on hand. the meat and gravy need no cheese. it's mostly for the pasta, which is equally good, if not better, substituted with home cut fries. ;-)

                              edit: grits work very well here.
                              and the cinnamon stick is what makes it really Greek. some use cloves, I don't. enjoy!

                              1. re: Gastronomos

                                Yeah, your picture with the home cut fries looks really delicious! I always served our "meat and gravy" over noodles, the fries are a great variation.

                                My husband does not like cloves, so cinnamon works for us. I actually just got back from the supermarket and picked up another piece of chuck (still on sale) to try even more of these recipes.

                      2. Try this one:

                        ONION MUSHROOM GRAVY CHUCK ROAST
                        4 lb beef chuck roast (other cuts of beef do not work as well)
                        1 pkg (1 envelope) lipton dry onion soup mix
                        1 can(s) campbell's cream of mushroom soup
                        2 Tbsp a-1 steak sauce (or your favorite steak sauce)
                        Line a 9X13 pan with enough heavy duty aluminum foil to cover the bottom and wrap completely around the roast. Place the roast in the center of the foil and spread steak sauce over the top.

                        Sprinkle dry onion soup mix over top of roast and pour the can of mushroom soup over it.

                        Wrap the foil over entire roast and seal tightly. place in preheated 350 degree oven for 4 hours (don't peek).
                        Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before opening and be careful of escaping steam.
                        This recipe can be increased to serve more people and you can experiment with Beefy dry onion soup, Beefy mushroom soup, etc.

                        Never any leftovers when we make it.

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: mucho gordo

                          I prefer to include onion, carrot, and chunked potatoes inside the packet for that one. The vegetables absorb some of the high amount of salt in the soups.

                          1. re: greygarious

                            I've had a problem with the potato still not cooked thoroughly after 4 hours. Either I'm using the wrong kind of potato or my chunks are too big. Scored potatoes go well with this dish.

                          2. re: mucho gordo

                            Interesting, I am curious about the technique of wrapping in foil before baking. I imagine that would intensify the flavors vs a more traditional way of making a pot roast.

                            I'm not a fan of any canned "cream of" soup. Just tastes metallic to me. However, my mother's pot roast, always had the Lipton's dry onion soup mix and I still make it that way, when I'm craving a taste of home.

                            I just might experiment with the idea of wrapping it in foil. Maybe make a mushroom sauce or gravy, by sauteing some mushrooms in butter, adding flour to make a roux, adding beef broth and a touch of cream to make a fairly thick sauce and using that to coat the roast in addition to the dry onion soup mix. I don't ever buy steak sauce, but maybe a little soy and Worcestershire sauce, a bit of honey, etc would work.

                            I love sources of inspiration ... Thanks!

                            1. re: Springhaze2

                              Your plan sounds great. Let me know how it turns out as I'm not a lover of steak sauce either but when cooked, all the flavors work well together.

                              1. re: Springhaze2

                                Alton brown has a recipe where he does the double aluminum foil sheet folded over a brisket and sealed into a pouch with a can of crushed tomatoes......Meat and sauce all ready in about 3.5 hours.

                                You place the pouch in an appropriate roasting pan to hold it . When finished, you cut off a corner and pour out the liquid and finish/season to taste. Transfer the meat to a board to slice, or shred int he roasting pan.

                                1. re: Springhaze2

                                  That technique is used in BBQ and referred to as the Texas crutch. It is used on cuts that are cooked for along time to higher temperatures. When meat is cooked to a certain temperature, around 140F, all the moisture is squeezed out of the myosin molecules. The meat is dry. This is irreversible. In order to melt the connective tissues, which starts at 160F, and make a tough piece tender, it must reach at least 180F or more. The only thing that will make a cut seem juicy is to have the strands of meat bathed in the collagens and juices. If you cook it in extra fluids, you will dilute the meat taste. It is wrapped in foil to keep the melted collagen and juices around the meat fibers.

                                  1. re: Jerseygirl111

                                    Good question. I don't see why you can't but I don't know for sure. Would you still wrap completely in foil or seal it in a slow-cook bag? Maybe someone else here can answer this.

                                2. Italian beef sandwiches. Rub it all over with your favored italian herbs (we use oregano basil thyme rosemary) and some powdered garlic plus salt and pepper. Braise in beef stock until nice and tender. Some people like to slice it for sandwiches, I sometimes am lazy and shred it. Serve with pickled peppers, provolone on a nice bun (soft with a bit of a crust). Some jus for dipping doesn't hurt either.

                                  1. How about a New Mexican green chile stew?

                                    I know it isn't fancy, but I often cook it in the crockpot with BBQ sauce for hours, make coleslaw, and make sandwiches with it ( coleslaw on the sandwich.) My daughter loves that. Simple, but tasty.

                                    1. Grill it! My favorite cut for grilling. I beat on it with my meat hammer, coffee rub, dejon, etc.. it really is better than tri-tip on the grill,


                                      1. Cut into cubes and make Teriyaki Beef
                                        In small roaster, sprayed with PAM layer

                                        2 large onion, quartered and sliced
                                        2 pounds. beef stew meat/cubed chuck roast
                                        3 - 6 pieces sugared/dried ginger, finely chopped, about 6 T

                                        Pour Sauce over (mix & heat sauce first):
                                        2/3 C. soy sauce
                                        4 T. honey
                                        4 T. cider vinegar
                                        4T. Chinese Shoshxing rice wine (salted for cooking) or sherry
                                        1/2 C. warm water

                                        Heat sauce about 1 minute in microwave, stirring twice during heating to dissolve honey, then pour over beef.

                                        Bake, covered, in 350 degree oven 1.5 hours.

                                        Serve over hot cooked rice.

                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                          Large pieces of chuck about 2"x2". Remove extra exterior fatty bits. Just a sprinkle of coarse salt. (You need to have everything else you are serving ready for this BTW).
                                          Room temp. chuck. No nothing added like herbs.
                                          Into an inch of hot oil in a Wok or large enough pan so the meat won't bring the temp down too much. Turn the pieces as they brown.
                                          )Plan to serve with aioli as a topping and chunks of baguette. (You've made individual beds of whatever salad you think would go best.)
                                          As soon as each piece has just browned remove and rest. It should only take a couple of minutes. The oil doesn't need to be screaming hot.
                                          Let the meat rest for a couple of minutes then slice it very thin against the grain. You will be rewarded by some of the very best beef flavor/texture possible! The meat should be 'medium rare if you haven't left it in the pan too long.
                                          Melt in your mouth texture and the best of the best beef flavor.

                                          1. re: Puffin3

                                            Very cool. I would have never thought to use chuck this way....

                                            1. re: Puffin3

                                              Beef chunks cooked in oil is kind of reminiscent of fondue bourguignonne. And with beds of salad!

                                              1. re: LorenzoGA

                                                That's right! I never thought of that but it's what we used to do back in the seventies. Vague memory says those fondues were lots of fun and sort of an 'intro' to 'fancy' food.
                                                Love the quick fried chuck slices.
                                                My wife will kill me but I think I'll start looking for an old fondue set at the thrift stores and buy some really horrible wine and see if I can find some bell-bottoms'. LOL!
                                                No point. They'd never fit now.

                                                1. re: Puffin3

                                                  Fondue is back. Get with the program ;-)

                                          2. That chuck roast is probably gone now, but beef and barley stew would be nice in many parts of the country about now (US, that is).

                                            1. This is super simple, but we love it simmered
                                              in the crockpot with BBQ sauce, then served on buns with coleslaw on top. We will eat on that for a few days.