Thai-Style Pot Roast with Fat Noodles


For caramelized potatoes, onions, and carrots with fork-tender beef - a traditional pot roast - you don’t need me. You need your grandmother, an aunt, or that dependable neighbor. They have it down and cloaked in memory. What I can offer is this chuck roast, freshened up with lemongrass, ginger, orange, and cilantro. It won’t replace what you already know, but it won’t disappoint either.

Serves 6 to 8

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 (3- to 3.5-pound) beef chuck roast

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 red onion, thinly sliced

6 carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks

1 lemongrass stalk, trimmed of tough outer leaves, pounded and thinly sliced

4 garlic cloves, smashed and thinly sliced

2 Thai chile peppers, thinly sliced with seeds

1 (1-inch) piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

1 cup dry red wine

Wide strips zest and juice of 1 orange

1 bunch fresh cilantro, divided

2 tablespoons tamari or low-sodium soy sauce

1 cinnamon stick

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1 pound wide egg noodles

Olive oil

1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.

2. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until sizzling hot. Season the beef generously all over with salt and pepper and sear until golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Remove the beef from the skillet and set aside.

3. Reduce the heat to medium. In the same skillet, add the onion, carrots, and lemongrass and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, chile peppers, and ginger and cook, stirring, until aromatic, about 1 minute more.

4. Add the wine, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the orange strips and juice, half the bunch of cilantro (including stems), soy sauce, and 2 cups water and bring to a low boil. Add the cinnamon stick and brown sugar and stir to combine.

5. Return the beef to the pot and add enough water to cover about two-thirds of the way up the side of the roast. Cover tightly and place in the oven to cook, undisturbed, until the meat is fork-tender and the sauce is slightly thickened, 2 hours 30 minutes to 3 hours. Remove from the oven and skim the fat from the top of the sauce. (The beef can be cooked up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated until ready to serve. Skim the fat off the top before reheating). Set aside.

6. Cook the noodles according to package directions, drain, and toss with a drizzle of olive oil. Chop half of the remaining cilantro (leaves only) and stir into the beef sauce. Pull the stems from the remaining cilantro and discard, reserving the leaves for garnish. Divide the noodles into individual serving bowls and spoon the beef, vegetables and sauce over the noodles. Top with cilantro leaves and toasted coconut and serve warm.