Cooked in a special pot called a doufeu oven, this beef roast emerges succulent and fork-tender. The pot is designed to hold ice cubes in its recessed lid, which creates condensation within the pot. As the food simmers, it is gently basted by dripping moisture.
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 beef chuck roast, about 4 lb.
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 yellow onion, finely diced
1 celery stalk, finely diced
1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
1 bay leaf
1 fresh rosemary sprig
2 fresh thyme sprigs
1 cup dry red wine
Ice cubes as needed
1 lb. red-skinned potatoes, halved
In a large doufeu oven over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Season the roast with salt and pepper, transfer to the pot and brown on all sides, about 8 minutes total. Add the onion, celery, carrot, bay leaf, rosemary, thyme and wine. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Fill the lid with ice cubes and cook for 1 1⁄2 hours, adding water to the lid if needed so it does not go dry. Carefully remove the lid and add the potatoes. Cover the pot and cook until the meat is fork-tender, about 1 hour more.
Transfer the roast and potatoes to a platter. Skim the fat off the cooking liquid, remove the herb sprigs, and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the sauce to a sauceboat. Carve the roast into thin slices and pass the sauce alongside.