This is one of my favorite preparations for pot roast. One of the reasons I like it is that I don’t have to brown the meat beforehand, which often creates a splattery mess on my stovetop and gives me stinging oil burns on my forearms. Another reason I like it is, simply, that it’s tastes great! The tomatoes and onions exude liquid during the marination, creating a sauce and pre-empting the need to add any liquid during the roasting. Chuck roast and brisket are great here, and I’ve made this with pork shoulder roasts as well. The meat needs to marinate some, and if you can allow the cooked meat to sit for a few hours, even up to 24 hours, the roast will taste awesome.
1 – 2 garlic cloves
1/2 t salt
1/2 t dried thyme
1/4 c vegetable oil
1 brisket or chuck roast, 3 lbs or so
2 c cored, chopped tomatoes
1 1/2 c sliced onions
1. Mince garlic as finely as you can, or use a garlic press. Put into a small bowl and add salt and thyme. Mash into a paste. Stir in oil.
2. Put roast in a Dutch oven or casserole. Slather garlic mixture all over. Layer tomatoes, then onions over the roast. Cover with foil, and put lid over the foil, if the cooking vessel has a lid. Allow to marinate, refrigerated for several hours or overnight.
3. Preheat oven to 300°F. Bring cooking vessel out of the fridge and bring to room temperature. Put into the preheated oven and braise for 3 to 4 hours. After a couple of hours, take out of the oven and baste with the pan juices. Do this a couple of more times, if you can, until the meat is tender–easily pierced with a fork or falling apart in chunks.
4. You can serve this now, but it would be better if you can let the roast cool in its juices, and then let it rest for a few hours, refrigerated.
5. To serve, take out of the oven and reheat gently on the stovetop. If you like, you can remove the roast to a platter and tent it to keep warm, and then separate out the fat from the juices as best as you can. Reduce the juices via boiling to a syrup-like consistency. Or you could make a gravy with cornstarch and some wine or broth. Or neither–just spoon some of the pan juice, fat and all, over the meat.