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Wine-Braised Chuck Roast with Onions

['4 pounds 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°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.
Add onions to pot and sauté over moderately high heat, stirring frequently, until pale golden, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, tomato paste, thyme, rosemary, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add wine and water and bring to a boil. Return beef to pot, then cover tightly and braise in oven, turning once after 1 hour, until beef is very tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours total.
Let beef stand, uncovered, in onion sauce about 30 minutes.
If reserving some meat for beef salad , cut off one third of roast, and, when cool enough to handle, shred and toss with 3/4 cup onion sauce. Cool completely, uncovered, then chill in an airtight container.
While shredded beef cools, preheat oven to 350°F and transfer remaining beef to a cutting board and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Season with salt and pepper and return beef to sauce. Reheat, covered, 20 minutes.

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