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3 to 3-1/2 lb. Lepp’s boneless beef chuck roast
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive or grapeseed oil
8 oz. medium-sized whole mushrooms, halved
2 large onions, chopped
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1” to 2” pieces
A small handful of fresh thyme sprigs, woody stems removed before serving
1 bottle hard cider, about 475 mls, found in the liquor store: Strongbow is perfect
2 cups Lepp’s beef broth
1 bay leaf
Allow roast to come to room temperature for about an hour before starting to cook and pat dry. Sprinkle roast generously all over with salt and pepper and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Coat the bottom of a 5 to 7-quart French oven with a thin film of olive or grapeseed oil and set the pot over medium-high heat, making sure turn your exhaust fan on! When the oil is shimmering, put meat in the pot and let it cook, without moving it, until it is deeply browned on the bottom and lifts easily from the pot when turned, about 8-10 minutes and continue to brown all sides of the meat, turning as needed. Don’t rush this step as the deeply browned meat is what creates the rich brown gravy you’re rewarded with at serving time. Transfer meat to a plate and set aside.
Add mushrooms, onions, and carrots to the pot and cook, stirring, until softened, about about 5-7 minutes and then pour in hard cider and beef broth. Stir to release browned bits on the pan bottom. Add bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Let mixture come to a boil, then return meat and any accumulated juices to pot, nestling the meat as deep into the liquid as possible. Cover pot and transfer to the oven. Cook, turning meat over once about halfway through cooking, until meat is tender and pulls apart easily when prodded with a fork, about 2-1/2 to 3 hours. Remove bay leaf and thyme sprigs, stripping off any leaves that remain on the stems and returning those to the pot.
To serve, simply break apart the meat into big chunks with a wooden spoon, and serve over buttered egg noodles or creamy mashed potatoes.