Tomato Stewed Beef Roast

Last summer when visiting my sister in Syracuse, she showed me Joey’s Italian cookbook, written by Joey DeDuffa, a restaurateur in Syracuse. I bought it on Kindle, but found it to be a PITA to read on my phone, and the lack of color on my Kindle detracted.

Recently I loaded it onto my wife’s pad and wow! I read through the entire book in a few days. Yes, I read cookbooks for recreation.

One recipe that struck me was Joey’s Mother’s Sunday Sauce. It’s a long cooked tomato sauce with pork butt, chuck roast, and sausage in it. It’s been on my mind and I’m going to make it once of these weekends.

This morning I got a top round roast out of the freezer and debated on how to cook it. Lot of times I pressure cook it, but wanted something different. Then I thought of Joey’s Mother’s sauce and reversed it — instead of making a sauce, how do I adapt the recipe to cook a piece of beef. This is what I did:

Tomato Stewed Beef Roast

2 Tbp olive oil
2 Tbp butter
3 lb top round road, cleaned of exterior fat
seasoned salt and ground black pepper
1 medium onion, minced
5 to 7 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup red wine
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp seasoned salt
2x 15 oz cans tomato sauce
1 cup water

Melt the butter and oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat until the butter bubbles. Brown the roast well on all sides, seasoning with salt and pepper. Remove to a plate.

Add onion and garlic and reduce heat to low. Sweat the vegetables, scraping up browned bits, until soft. Add red wine and increase heat to medium. Add oregano, basil, pepper flakes, and salt. Cook until wine is reduced by half, scraping the pan.

Add tomato sauces and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Add beef back the pot, flipping to coat.

On lowest heat, simmer the beef for 1-1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Half way through flip the beef and check seasonings.

Remove the beef from the sauce and slice very thinly against the grain, 1/16″ to 1/8″ slices, using a very sharp knife. Serve with sauce over pasta.

Cooking Notes:

Top round roast isn’t the best cut to use for this purpose as it is too lean. However, slicing it very thinly produced a tremendous change so it worked out quite well. The roast used was flat, like a very large steak, so browning was just top and bottom.

This was an impromptu experiment, I didn’t have any crushed tomatoes in the pantry, so I substituted sauce. Next time I will use a 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes or whole tomatoes (chopped).

This made a good amount of sauce to serve 4, and we used farfelle, which worked well with the thick sauce.

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