“There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” ~C.S. Lewis

Spicy Pot Roast with Oranges, Sweet Potatoes, and Calabrian Chile Gremolata


  • 1/2 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 (4-pound) boneless chuck roast, trimmed
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 2 oranges, divided
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups unsalted beef stock or water
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled San Marzano plum tomatoes, crushed
  • 3 whole Calabrian chilis in oil, divided
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1-pound celery root, turnips, or rutabagas, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup packed chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Crusty bread, for serving


Preheat oven to 300°F. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high. Season chuck roast with salt and pepper. Add chuck roast to Dutch oven, and sear, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a plate, and set aside.

Scrub 1 orange, and cut into 8 wedges; discard seeds and core, and set aside. Add onion to Dutch oven; cook over medium, stirring and scraping bottom of pan often with a wooden spoon, until onion is soft and translucent, about 8 minutes. (Add 1/4 cup water while cooking onion if too many browned bits accumulate.) Add beef stock, tomatoes, 1 Chile, and orange wedges; bring to a boil. Return chuck roast and any accumulated juices to pan; bring to a simmer over high.

Cover and transfer to preheated oven; braise 1 hour and 30 minutes. Uncover and stir in sweet potato and celery root. Return to oven, and braise, uncovered, until meat and vegetables are tender but not falling apart, 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes. Remove from oven, and let rest 15 minutes. Transfer chuck roast to a work surface; shred into large pieces. Skim off fat from Dutch oven, and discard. Return shredded beef to Dutch oven.

While meat rests, zest remaining orange to equal 1 tablespoon zest and squeeze to yield 3 tablespoons juice. Finely chop remaining 2 chilis to equal 1 tablespoon. Stir together parsley, orange zest and juice, chopped chilis, and remaining 1/4 cup oil; season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide roast mixture evenly among bowls; top with parsley mixture. Serve with crusty bread.

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