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Savory Pot Roast

    1 boneless chuck-eye roast (about 3 1/2 pounds)
    salt and ground pepper
    2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    1 medium onion, chopped medium
    1 small carrot, chopped medium
    1 small celery rib, chopped medium
    2 medium garlic cloves, minced
    2 teaspoons sugar
    2 cups beef broth
    1 sprig fresh thyme
    1/4 cup dry red wine

  Adjust oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to
 300F. Sprinkle the roast generously with salt and pepper. Heat the
 oil in a large ovenproof Dutch oven over medium-high until shimmering
 but not smoking. Brown the roast thoroughly on all sides, reducing
 the heat if the fat begins to smoke, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the
 roast to a large plate; set aside.

  Reduce the heat to medium; add the onion, carrot and celery to the
 pot and cook, stirring occasionally until beginning to brown, 6-8
 minutes. Add the garlic and sugar; cook until fragrant, about 30
 seconds. Add the beef broth and thyme, scraping the pan bottom with
 a wooden spoon to loosen the browned bits. Return the roast and any
 accumulated juices on the plate to the pot; add enough water to come
 halfway up the sides of the roast. Cover with a lid, bring the liquid
 to a simmer over medium heat, and transfer the pot to the oven. Cook,
 turning the roast every 45 minutes until fully tender and a meat fork
 or sharp knife slips easily in and out of the meat, 3 1/2 to 4 hours.

  Transfer the roast to a carving board; tent with foil to keep warm.
 Allow the liquid to settle about 5 minutes then use a wide spoon to
 skim off the fat from the surface and discard the thyme sprig. Boil
 over high heat until it is reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 8 minutes.
 Add the wine and reduce to 1 1/2 cups, about 2 minutes. Season with
 salt and pepper to taste. Cut up the meat and pour sauce over all.