1 Prepare the roast by cutting it in two along a
major seam. Use a knife to remove large pieces of fat from each piece,
leaving thin layer of fat on meat. Season the pieces on all sides with
salt and pepper. Put the two halves back together and tie with kitchen
twine to keep it from falling apart.
2 Adjust oven rack to middle position; pre-heat oven to
300°F. Pat beef dry with paper towels. Place pancetta in 8-quart
heavy-bottomed Dutch oven. Cook pancetta over medium heat, stirring
occasionally, until browned and crisp, about 8 minutes. Using slotted
spoon, transfer pancetta to paper towel-lined plate and reserve. Pour
off all but 2 tablespoons fat from the pan. Place pan over medium-high
heat. Heat until the fat begins to smoke. Add beef to pot and cook until
well browned on all sides, about 8 minutes total. Transfer beef to
large plate; set aside.
3 Reduce heat to medium; add onions, carrots, celery, and
tomato paste to pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables
begin to soften and brown, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, sugar, flour,
and reserved pancetta; cook, stirring constantly, until combined and
fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add wine and tomatoes, scraping bottom of
pan with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits; add thyme sprig, rosemary,
and parsley. Return roast and any accumulated juices to pot; increase
heat to high and bring liquid to boil, then place large sheet of foil
over pot and cover tightly with lid. Set pot in oven and cook, using
tongs to turn beef every 45 minutes, until a fork easily slips in and
out of meat, about 3 hours.
4 Remove from oven and transfer beef to cutting board; tent
with foil to keep warm. Allow braising liquid to settle about 5 minutes,
then, using wide shallow spoon, skim fat off surface. Add minced thyme,
bring liquid to boil over high heat, and cook, whisking vigorously to
help vegetables break down, until mixture is thickened and reduced to
about 3 1/2 cups, about 18 minutes. Strain liquid through large
fine-mesh strainer, pressing on solids with spatula to extract as much
liquid as possible; you should have a couple cups strained sauce. Reduce
sauce further until you have 1 1/2 cups. Discard solids in strainer.
Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.
5 Remove kitchen twine from meat and discard. Using chef's or
carving knife, cut meat against grain into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Divide
meat between warmed bowls or plates; pour about 1/4 cup sauce over and