Braised Beef Sandwiches
1 Chuck Roast (4-5 lbs., at least 3 inches thick)
1 large onion, peeled and sliced thin
2 carrots, peeled and sliced thin
4 sprigs fresh thyme, or 1 ½ tsp. dried thyme
4 bay leaves
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
1 tsp. black pepper
10 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
2 cups red wine
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups unsalted beef stock
2 tsp. kosher salt
10-12 slices provolone, swiss, mozzarella or pepper jack cheese
10-12 crusty rolls or buns
In a large pot or bowl, place chuck roast, onion, carrots, thyme, bay leaves, fennel seed, pepper, garlic, red pepper flakes, red wine and red wine vinegar. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours.
Next day, remove meat and set aside. Strain marinade (reserving vegetables and herbs) into a pot. Bring to a boil for 1 minute and then strain again through a triple thickness of cheesecloth.
Preheat oven to 300-degrees F. Place an ovenproof pot large enough to hold beef over medium-high heat. When hot, add olive oil. When oil is hot, add beef and brown lightly on all sides. Remove beef, add strained vegetables and herbs and sauté 4 minutes. Add beef back to pot, then add marinade, beef stock and the 2 teaspoons salt. Cover the beef with a piece of parchment paper cut to the circumference of the pot and place in a preheated oven for 5 hours, or until beef is completely fork-tender but not falling apart.
Remove beef, strain broth into another pot. Pour over beef and let cool in refrigerator until ready to serve (several hours of cooling will help with slicing the chuck roast so it won’t shred).
When ready to serve, slice beef against the grain to your desired thickness (about ¼-inch thickness will do). Heat broth and place meat in broth just until reheated. Place in crusty rolls or buns, top with cheese, and place under broiler (hi heat), just until cheese begins to bubble and turn golden brown slightly. Serve with an additional side of broth if desired, for dipping.