1 4-5 pound prime boneless beef chuck roast
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
All purpose flour
Good olive oil
2 cups (4 carrots) chopped carrots
2 cups (2 onions) chopped yellow onions
2 cups (4 stalks) chopped celery
2 cups (2-4 leeks) chopped leeks, white and light green parts
5 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 cups good red wine, such as Burgundy
2 tablespoons Cognac or brandy
1 can (28 ounces) whole plum tomatoes in puree
1 cup homemade chicken stock or canned chicken broth
1 chicken bouillon cube
3 branches thyme
2 branches rosemary
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
Preheat oven to 325º.
Pat the roast dry with paper towels. Season the roast all over with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper. Dredge the roast in flour, turning to coat all sides, including the ends. In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the roast and sear without moving for 4-5 minutes. Turn and sear the other side and then turn and sear the ends. This should take 4-5 minutes for each side. Remove the roast to a large plate.
Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the Dutch oven. Add the carrots, onions, celery, leeks, garlic 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper and cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender but not browned. Carefully add the wine and Cognac and bring to a boil. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, bouillon cube, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Tie the thyme and rosemary together with kitchen string and add to the pot. Put the roast back into the pot, bring to a boil and cover. Place in the oven for an hour. Turn the heat down to 250º F. to keep the sauce at a gentle simmer. Roast for a total of 2-1/2 hours, until the meat is fork-tender or about 160º internally.