1 (4 pound) boneless beef chuck roast
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 pounds onions (4 to 6 medium), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried, crumbled
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1/4 teaspoon dried, crumbled
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1 cup water
Accompaniment: 1/2 pound egg noodles, boiled until al dente
* Garnish: chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Pat beef dry and rub all over with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Heat oil in an ovenproof 5-quart wide heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and brown beef on all sides, about 15 minutes total. Transfer beef to a plate.