The Ultimate Pot Roast
A low and slow braise is the best way to transform tough cuts of meat into fork-tender morsels. This version, made with a crosscut whole beef shank, is cooked in white wine and rich homemade beef bouillon layered with vegetables and aromatics for added complexity. Crunchy roasted radishes and a funky flaxseed, herb, and vinegar relish balance the pot roast’s richness with acidity and texture.
For the beef
- One 4 1/2-lb. bone-in beef shank
- 1⁄4 cup plus 3 Tbsp. canola oil
- 10 garlic cloves, peeled
- 8 large shallots, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick (3 1/2 cups)
- 1⁄2 lb. shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and quartered (3 1/2 cups)
- 3 dried ancho chiles, halved and seeded
- 2 dried guajillo chiles, halved and seeded
- 1 bottle (750-ml) dry sauvignon blanc
- 3 cups Rich Beef Bouillon
- 2⁄3 cup small taggiasca or niçoise olives, drained
- Seeds and pulp of 2 passion fruits (3 Tbsp., optional)
- Flaxseed relish, for serving (optional)
For the radishes
- 2 large bunches round red radishes (1 1/2 lb.), washed, dried, very large leaves trimmed
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Make the beef: Season the beef generously all over with salt. Use immediately or refrigerate for 1 hour, or up to overnight.
- In a large (6-quart) Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed, ovenproof pot, heat the 1⁄4 cup canola oil over high heat. Once very hot, carefully add the beef and cook, turning as needed, until deeply browned on all sides, about 20 minutes. Remove the meat to a plate and discard the fat from the pot.
- Set the pot over medium heat (do not clean it out). Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons canola oil over low heat. Add the garlic and shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned and softened, about 6 minutes. Add the mushrooms and dried chiles and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms soften, about 5 minutes. Remove the vegetables to a plate. Add about one-third of the wine and the beef shank to the pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook until the liquid is almost fully evaporated, about 20 minutes. Repeat this process two more times, adding one-third of the bottle of wine to the pot each time.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325°. Add the prepared vegetables, half of the olives, and the passion fruit pulp to the pot. Pour in the bouillon and bring to a simmer, then cover the pot and transfer to the oven. Cook, basting or flipping the meat and bone every 30 minutes, until the meat has pulled significantly away from the bone and shreds easily, about 3 hours. Remove the pot from the oven. Raise the heat to 350°.
- Remove the beef from the pot and transfer momentarily to a rimmed platter. Using a slotted spoon, remove all of the solids from the braising liquid to a bowl. Discard any large pieces of chile that are still tough. If the sauce in the pot is not well reduced, place the pot back over medium-high heat and simmer the sauce until it is rich and dark. Add the remaining vegetables back to the pot, and stir in the remaining olives. Carefully add the beef back to the pot and cover to keep warm.
- Make the radishes: On a large baking sheet, spread out the radishes and greens in a single layer. Drizzle with the olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper, tossing and rubbing to coat. Transfer to the oven and roast until the radishes are crisp-tender and the greens are frizzled, 10–12 minutes.
- Transfer the meat to a deep rimmed platter, and spoon some of the braising liquid on top. Spoon the rest of the liquid and the vegetables around the beef. Serve hot, sliced or shredded into portions, with the roasted radishes on the side and the relish for spooning atop the beef.