The chuck cover (#7 Michaseh HaTzlah) is a less expensive piece of meat that is usually overlooked by Americans because no one knows what to do with it.
A chuck cover does just that; it covers the shoulder blade and the cuts of meat found under it, namely #4, #5 and #6, which are all cuts from the beef chuck.
The #7 is a muscle group that is constantly being used, so it’s a tough piece of meat that needs to be cooked for a long time. Unless you want to use it for a London Broil, in which case you just need to slice it thinner. It’s an excellent pot roast, or as I’ve prepared it, great for braising. One of the advantages of stovetop braising vs. oven cooking is that the direct moist heat method lets you cook the meat more quickly.
Enough chit chat. Let’s get to work.
The whole piece of meat is rather flat, which means it’s going to cook quickly. Unwrap the meat and lay it out as flat as possible.
The piece in this package had some odd-shaped pieces connected to it. I trimmed those away, as well as cleaned up the connective tissue on the underside. If you read my post on preparing a shoulder roast, you’ll know how it’s done. When I was done, I had three sizable pieces and scraps for stock.
I seasoned the meat with a little olive oil and salt and pepper, and put them aside to prepare the aromatics.
While I was chopping the onions and carrots, I toasted some coriander seed and juniper berries. Then into the pan went vegetable oil, olive oil, the onions and carrots, black pepper, red pepper (just a pinch), and a dollop of tomato paste. I let that cook for about 15 minutes, stirring every few, until the vegetables were soft. Then I took them out and set them aside, and let the pan heat up again.
I browned the meat in the pan. I couldn’t fit all of it in, so I did it in batches. Remember, f you crowd the pan, you won’t get a good brown sear on the outside.
Once the meat was browned, I deglazed the pan with red wine (Shiraz),
put the aromatics back into the pan, added all of the meat,
then filled the pan up with red wine until the meat was just barely sitting in the wine.
Okay here’s the part, dear readers, where most people will fail and ruin the food: I turned the fire as low as it would get. Then I covered the pan and let the magic happen. Low and slow. I flipped the meat every 20 minutes, cooking it for 90 minutes total.
Once cooked, I took the meat out, strained the broth, added a little stock and reduced the jus a little bit.
That’s it. I set timers so I wouldn’t forget, and the end result is meat that’s soft enough to chew, not stringy, and has a depth of flavor that, ahem, onion soup powder just doesn’t do. And it was done with enough time to write up the post before Shabbat.