I found this recipe written in pencil on a 3 x 5 card tucked inside my Grandmother Schwyhart's old, worn cookbook. The apples are particularly nice in this dish; they puff up as they cook, and they really soak up the other flavors.
Like most pot roasts, this one is even better if prepared in advance. To do so, follow the recipe through step 3, then cool to room temperature and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Bring the meat to room temperature before proceeding with step 4.
1 3- to 4-pound boneless beef chuck-eye roast, 7-blade roast, or other roast from the chuck
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons oil
2 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup fresh marjoram or 2 tablespoons dried
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 to 2-1/2 cups beef or chicken stock
3 Granny Smith or other tart apples such as Cortlands or Baldwins, quartered, cored, and peeled
1. Preheat oven to 300.
2. Dry the roast well with paper towels, sprinkle it very generously with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or other large, ovenproof pot over medium high heat until shimmering. Add the roast and brown well on all sides—this should take at least 10 or 12 minutes—then remove to a platter and set aside.
3. Add the onions to the pot and saute, stirring frequently, until translucent, 7 to 9 minutes. Put the meat back in the pot, add the bay leaves, caraway seeds, brown sugar, marjoram, vinegar, and enough stock so that the liquid comes just halfway up the sides of the meat. Bring just to a simmer then cover, put in the preheated oven, and cook for 2-1/2 hours, turning over once or twice during this time.
4. Add the apples to the pot and continue to cook until the apples are soft and puffed up and the meat is very tender, about 15 minutes. To check the meat for doneness: Plunge a fork straight down into the meat and try to pull the fork out; if the fork slides out easily, the meat is done; if the meat hangs on to the fork, give it more time.
5. Remove meat, cover it loosely with foil, and let it rest for at least 10 minutes. Skim the fat from the braising liquid and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cut the meat into thick slices and serve, accompanied by the braising liquid.
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