This easy pot roast recipe is tried and true. The slow cooked beef chuck is fall-apart tender and the vegetables are soft, soaked with rich beef stock, red wine, and fragrant rosemary, thyme, and bay. It’s a classic one pot recipe you’ll make over and over again! 575 calories or 11 WW points.
What is Pot Roast?
Pot roast isn’t a cut of meat itself. It’s a savory, braised beef dish made by browning the meat before cooking it “low and slow” in a covered casserole dish or Dutch oven. In most recipes, you will brown the roast on the stovetop first, then transfer it to the oven or a slow cooker.
To prevent the roast from drying out, you will add liquid (such as beef stock, broth, or water) to the bottom of the dish holding the roast. To this a complete complete meal, add chopped-up potatoes and vegetables to the dish, cooking it along with the roast.
Now, if this is your first time making a pot roast dinner, it can seem intimidating to cook but trust me, it’s relatively easy (see the step-by-step instructions below). Like other beef chuck recipes, this one doesn’t require you to be ultra-precise about timing. It will cook in anywhere from 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours and you’ll know it’s done when the meat is tender enough that it can be pulled apart with a fork (so if it’s not there yet, let it keep cooking).
Which is the Best Cut of Meat for Pot Roast?
Choosing a cut of meat for your pot roast can be kind of counter-intuitive , because the tougher the cut, the better the pot roast.
You may be used to choosing tender, juicy steaks from the meat counter, but with pot roast, it’s the opposite. Tougher cuts of meat have lots of tough connective tissue, so when you cook the roast at a low temperature for a long period of time, the tissues soften.
Don’t rush the process! Allowing the meat to simmer for hours results in the tender, melt-in-your-mouth roast you’re after!
A boneless chuck roast is my favorite pick for pot roast. It has outstanding marbling, making the roast tender and juicy when braised. Cut from the shoulder just above the short rib, it is a tougher, albeit more affordable cut than those from the front part of the animal, like the sirloin or short loin.
Other cuts that are either the same (under a different name) or come from the same area are the chuck eye, blade roast, shoulder roast, shoulder steak, arm steak, arm roast, cross-rib roast, or seven-bone roast. Some butchers also sell the chuck generically labeled as “pot roast.”
How to Make Pot Roast
In a Dutch oven, heat a tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat. Season your beef chuck roast all over with salt and pepper and add it to the pan, browning it on all sides (about 15 minutes).
Add 1 chopped onion and 5 minced cloves of garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
Add a cup of dry red wine (I like merlot or cabernet sauvignon). Bring to a simmer, scraping up the browned, crispy bits on the bottom of the pan, and cook until the liquid is reduced by half.
Add 3 cups of low-sodium beef stock; bring to a boil.
Return the beef to the pan. Add sprigs of fresh rosemary, thyme, and 2 dried bay leaves.
Add a pound of chopped Yukon Gold potatoes and 4 chopped carrots. Cover, transfer the dish to the oven, and roast at 325 degrees F for 3.5-4 hours, until the beef is fork tender.
What Goes with Pot Roast
Pot roast is an easy one pot meal, but if you are looking to serve t up with other side dishes, here are some great ideas:
- Mashed Potatoes
- Fluffy Dinner Rolls
- Roasted Green Beans
- Homemade Applesauce
- Creamed Spinach
- Cauliflower Cheese
- Roasted Asparagus
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 4 1/2 pound boneless beef chuck roast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 large sweet onion, chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup dry red wine (I use merlot or cabernet sauvignon)
- 3 cups beef broth low sodium
- 1 pound potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces Yukon Gold
- 4 large carrots, peeled and cut on the diagonal into 2-inch pieces
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 dried bay leaves
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. In a Dutch oven, heat the oil and butter over medium-high heat until the butter melts. Season the beef all over with the salt and pepper. Add to the pan; cook until browned on all sides, about 15 minutes. Remove the beef to a plate.
- Add the onions and garlic to pan and cook, stirring frequently, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a simmer, scraping up the crispy bits on the bottom of the pan as you go. Let the wine simmer until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the beef stock and bring to boil. Return the beef to pan. Add the potatoes, carrots, rosemary, thyme, and bay leaves. Cover and transfer the pan to the oven. Roast until the beef is so tender that you can pull it apart easily using 2 forks, 3 ½ to 4 hours (depending on the size of your pot roast). Transfer the beef to a bowl, the vegetables to a separate platter or bowl, and reserve the cooking liquid. Discard the rosemary and thyme sprigs and the bay leaves. Use 2 forks to shred the beef or pull it into chunks. Add some of the reserved cooking liquid to the beef to keep it moist and tender. Serve with the vegetables. Leftovers will keep, stored in a covered container in the refrigerator, for 5 days.