Chuck is one of those cuts of beef that should be on your shopping list next time you visit your local market. It comes from the neck and is a large working muscle that is suitable for braising or slow roasting. Just like other hard working muscles like the shoulder, when you treat it with a little care and cook it low and slow, the result is a mouth watering meltingly tender creation. In this recipe I use balsamic vinegar and Worcestershire sauce which are great ingredients to use in slow cooking as they add a depth of flavour and a richness that is hard to beat and with the addition of barley this is a complete one pot wonder meal.
2kg Chuck on the bone
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 cup of pearl barley, washed
600g tin of crushed tomatoes
500ml chicken stock
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1 1/2 tsp salt
Preheat your oven to 160 degrees Celsius.
Heat a large casserole pot over a medium high heat on your stove and allow it to come to temperature for 3-4 minutes before beginning.
Add the olive oil to the pot and season the chuck with the salt and begin to brown the meat off in batches for 6-7 minutes a batch or until deeply browned. Once you have browned off all the chuck and before you add it back to the pot get the remaining ingredients in, starting with the stock and give it a good stir. Add the chuck to the pot and bring everything to a gentle simmer and give it another stir before putting the lid on and placing it into the oven. Cook for 3-3.5 hours or until the meat begins to fall of the bone, through the cooking process it is a good idea to stir a couple of times.
Once the chuck is tender and cooked take it out of the oven and adjust seasoning if needed with a little salt and freshly cracked pepper and serve immediately.