About this recipe:A hearty pot roast makes a luxurious meal at a fraction of the price of a prime roasting cut of beef. Any shoulder cut that's too tough for roasting will be juicy and tender when braised.
2 bacon rashers, rind removed
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1.5 kg boned, rolled and tied blade steak
8 large carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
2 onions, coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 x 400 g cans chopped tomatoes
1 cup red wine
1 cup beef stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 kg small new potatoes, scrubbed and halved
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons cornflour, mixed with 1½ tablespoons water
Preheat the oven to 160°C. Cook the bacon in a large flameproof casserole dish over a moderate heat for 5 minutes until crisp. Remove the bacon, drain on paper towels, then cut into pieces.
Add the oil to the dish, heat over a moderate heat, then add the beef, turning it until browned all over. Transfer to a plate.
Add the carrots, onions, and garlic to the dish and cook for about 8 minutes until lightly browned. Stir in the tomatoes, then return the meat to the dish and pour in the wine and stock. Season, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat. Cover with foil and then the lid to create a tight seal. Transfer to the oven and cook for 1 hour, turning the meat once.
Remove the casserole from the oven and add the potatoes and half the basil. Top up the liquid level if necessary with a little more stock or water. Return to the oven and cook for a further hour, or until the beef and vegetables are tender. Put the bacon on a heatproof plate in the oven for about 5 minutes to warm through.
Slice the beef, arrange it on a platter with the vegetables and keep warm. Put the dish on the stove over a moderate heat. Add the cornflour paste and bring to the boil. Stir for 1 minute until thickened. Ladle the sauce over the beef and vegetables and sprinkle with the bacon and remaining basil.