¼ cup all purpose flour
1 Tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons sea salt
1 ¼ teaspoons black pepper
4 pound beef chuck roast
2 Tablespoons shortening
1 cup water
8 small potatoes, pared and halved
8 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 3 inch chunks
8 small onions or 1 to 2 large onions quartered
1 to 2 bay leaves
Stir together flour, salt and pepper: rub mixture on meat thoroughly. Melt shortening in large Dutch oven or frying pan; brown meat over medium heat, about 15 minutes.
At this point you can either add water to Dutch oven; cover and simmer over low heat for 3-4 hours until meat is tender adding veggies one hour before end of cooking time, or, you can place meat, bay leaves, and water in a covered roasting pan and place in preheated 350 degree oven and roast for 3 to 4 hours, again adding veggies one hour before end of roasting time. If you roast the meat, check on level of water and add more if needed, but not too much or it will dilute the flavor of the juice which will be used for making gravy. At end of cooking time, remove meat and vegetables to a warm platter and prepare gravy as instructed below.
Pour dripping (fat and juices) into a 2 cup measuring cup. Let fat rise to surface and skim off ¼ cup fat. If there is not enough fat then add enough butter to equal ¼ cup. Melt fat in pan. Stir in ¼ flour until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Add 2 cups liquid and continue stirring until mixture thickens, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Add salt and pepper to taste if needed. Serve with meat and vegetables.
Note: if meat is roasted in oven, make sure to get all the browned bits from the sides of the roasting pan for the best flavor in your gravy.
This meal pairs well with Butter Dips.