- 1 4-pound beef chuck roast, trimmed of fat
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 large onions, halved and thinly sliced (4 cups)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3/4 cup strong brewed coffee
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water
Preheat oven to 300°F.
Season beef with salt and pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. Add beef and cook, turning from time to time, until well browned on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the pot. Add onions, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until softened and golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and thyme; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in coffee and vinegar; bring to a simmer. Return the beef to the pot and spoon some onions over it. Cover and transfer to the oven.
Braise the beef in the oven until fork-tender but not falling apart, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Transfer beef to a cutting board, tent with foil and let rest for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, skim fat from the braising liquid; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the cornstarch mixture and cook, whisking, until the gravy thickens slightly, about 1 minute.
Season with pepper. Carve the beef and serve with gravy.
Makes 10 servings, about 3 ounces meat & 1/3 cup gravy each