Turn to this easy pot roast recipe, when you want a hearty dinner of meltingly tender meat. Though it takes a few hours to make from start to finish, there’s little work involved, and it can be made a day or two ahead and reheated.
Though the dish is called pot roast, the method is really a hybrid of roasting and
braising, and the result is meat that is incredibly tender and flavorful. It's soul-satisfying comfort food at its best!
Beef chuck roast: Pot roast deliciously uses the low-and-slow method
of cooking meat, which means that large, tough cuts are ideal; their sinewy bits melt away into the pan juices during cooking, leaving perfectly tender results. Chuck roast is the ideal piece of meat for a pot roast, but a round roast can be used, although it tends to have less marbling lending to a firmer texture.
When buying a chuck roast, look for one with plenty of marbling. Marbling helps the meat stay juicy during long cooking. A 2 ½ pound roast will be enough for 4 people.
Beef broth: Use a good quality beef broth for this recipe, and opt for low-sodium. Even better if you have homemade broth, but not essential.
Red wine: Don't skip using the red wine in this recipe as it adds flavor to the juices. in this recipe, I used Pino Noir red wine, but other red varieties can be substituted. Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon would work fine.
Potatoes: Any variety of potato can be used in this recipe. I like Yukon gold, but russet, red-skin, and whole baby potatoes would all work here.
How to Make
1. In a 6- to 7-quart Dutch oven or other deep, heavy pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the roast and cook, adjusting the heat as necessary and flipping once about halfway through, until well browned on both sides, about 15 minutes total (A). Transfer the roast to a large plate and set aside.
2. Add the red wine to pan and cook, , scraping any bits from the bottom of the pan, until reduced by about half, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the roast back to pot, add the broth, bay leaves, and whole garlic cloves. Cover and roast in the oven for 2 ½ hours (B).
3. Remove pot from oven, add the carrots and ¼ teaspoon of salt, cover and return to oven, bake for another 30 minutes (C).
4. Add the potatoes to the pot, cover and bake another 30 minutes (D), or until the meat and vegetables are fork tender.
5. Remove the pot from oven, discard the bay leaves and garlic. Using tongs, transfer the roast to a platter, and using a slotted spoon, arrange the carrots and potatoes around the meat. Drizzle everything with the juices to keep the the food moist.
To yield a uniform roast that slices neatly, simply tie the meat with butcher’s twine to help it maintain a more even shape during cooking, making for better
slices. If you prefer a chunkier pot roast, skip the tying altogether and jump right in to browning the meat.
To serve, use tongs to carefully transfer the roast to a cutting board or large platter. Use a slotted spoon to arrange the carrots and potatoes around the roast.
Leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for up to 5 days. Reserve some of the cooking liquid to use while reheating leftovers to prevent roast from drying out.
Reheat in the microwave for 2-3 minutes, or until heated through. Reheat in the oven by placing in an oven safe dish, cover, and heat at 300 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until heated through.
If during baking, liquid cooks off, not surrounding the meat, add additional broth or water until level with roast.
To make a gravy from the cooking liquid: Measure 1 cup of the cooking liquid, skimming the fat from the surface if desired. Add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to 1 tablespoon of cold water, mix until corn starch is dissolved. Add broth and corn starch slurry to a small saucepan, bring to a boil stirring regularly. Gravy will thicken when brought to a boil. Makes 1 cup of gravy.
Other vegetable options to add along with the carrots:
- Root vegetables: parsnips, potatoes, rutabaga, turnips, or radishes, cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces
- Greens: endive, cabbage, bok choy, or fennel (best cut into wedges)
- Tomatillos: (quartered)
- Tomatoes: (fresh or canned), coarsely chopped
- Mushrooms: cremini, button, or shiitake (cut into bite-size pieces)
You can cook pot roast a day or two ahead and reheat it gently before serving. If you do that, there’s no need to skim that fat right away; let it cool and harden and then spoon it off with ease.
Either slice the roast against the grain for serving, or use a fork to pull apart
the meat into thick chunks, discarding any unwanted fat. Serve warm,
spooning the vegetables and braising liquid over the top.
To deglaze means to add liquid to a pot after you've browned meat to dissolve all those yummy brown bits on the bottom, which will give your sauce added flavor. Just about any liquid will do, including water, but red or white wine is most common.
Can I make pot roast in a slow-cooker?
Pot roast can be adapted to a slow cooker. Since not much liquid is used, the amount can stay the same. (You may have more juices at the end, however. ) Sear and deglaze on the stove as the recipe directs, then transfer everything to the slow cooker to finish braising. For these pot roasts, cooking times should be 4 to 6 hours on high or 6 to 8 hours on low.
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Easy Pot Roast Recipe
- 2 ½ to 3 lb beef chuck roast
- 2 Tbs. vegetable oil
- Kosher salt and fresh black pepper to taste
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 2 ½ cups beef broth
- 3 to 4 garlic cloves, peeled, whole
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 to 5 medium carrots
- 1 ½ lb Yukon Gold potatoes (4 medium)
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 325°F. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
- Pat the roast dry with paper towels. When the oil is hot, sear the roast in Dutch oven until browned on two sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side.
- Remove the roast from pot, season generously with salt and pepper. Add the wine to pan to deglaze by cooking and scraping any bits from the bottom of the pan until reduced by half, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add the roast back to pot, then add the broth, bay leaves, and whole garlic cloves. Cover and roast in the oven for 2 ½ hours.
- Peel and cut carrots into 1 ½ inch pieces. Remove the pot from oven, add the carrots and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Cover, return to oven, and bake for another 30 minutes.
- Peel the potatoes, and depending on size, halve or quarter them lengthwise. Add the potatoes to pot, cover and bake for another 30 minutes.
- Remove the pot from oven, discard the bay leaves. Serve from pot or transfer the potatoes, carrots and roast to a platter. Drizzle with juices to keep moist.