First sear the chuck roast on all sides in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat, using cooking fat of choice. I can\’t explain it, but searing the meat will give you more flavor and a moister roast. I\’ve gotten lazy and skipped this step before, but I always end up regretting it.
Set roast aside to cool. Preheat oven to 350F. Brown onions in fat of choice until just starting to soften, about 10 minutes. For the last minute, add in all of the spices. Mix well to coat and let spices brown and deepen in flavor. Then add tomato sauce, water, and fresh herbs. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes more.
Carefully add chuck roast back into dutch oven with onions and sauce. The liquid level should cover at least 3/4 of the roast, but it should not be submerged. Add more water if necessary. Return to a boil, cover with lid, and place in oven. Cook for 3 hours without disturbing the roast.
Once roast is done, remove the roast from the pot and let cool on a plate. At this point you have options for serving the roast. It is delicious simply sliced, or you can shred the meat. Either way, I recommend serving warm over the onions from the pot with the cooking liquid poured on top.
Note: You can also use a crockpot for this recipe. Simply sear the roast and cook the onions in a separate pan, and then combine in the crockpot with the spices, tomato sauce, and water. Let cook on low for at least 6 hours or up to 10 hours.