This Classic Pot Roast is braised low and slow, just like mom used to make. Meltingly-tender beef, vegetables, and a rich gravy will have everyone asking for seconds.

Cooked pot roast in a Dutch oven.

This weekend, set the table and pour a glass of wine. Maybe even light a candle or two. Because when was the last time you had a truly relaxing, proper Sunday supper with all the trimmings?

Oven-baked pot roast might be the best menu ever for the job. It all comes together in one big pot and braises in the oven until fall-apart tender, and luckily you don’t have to do much to get it there.

Recipe ingredients:

Pot roast ingredients labeled and in bowls.

Ingredient notes:

  • Beef roast: Chuck roast is what I like the best. It’s also called shoulder steak or boneless chuck roast. Your butcher may also recommend brisket or round roast (another name: rump roast.) Every one of them excels at long, slow cooking. Choose a size that will fit in your Dutch oven. A 3.5-quart pot can hold a 3-pound roast well. If you’re sizing up to 6 quarts, choose up to a 4.5-pound roast.
  • Carrots: 3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped, may be substituted for the baby carrots.
  • Potatoes: Small red potatoes are low in starch and hold their shape well during the long cook time. Starchier potatoes, such as russets or even Yukon golds, will get mushy or may even dissolve.
  • Red wine: I use a lighter, dry red such as Pinot Noir, but it can be anything. Just make sure you like it because you’ll have extra. If you don’t want to use wine, use extra beef broth, or even chicken broth for deglazing the bottom of the pot.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Get the roast ready by patting it dry with a paper towel and sprinkling every surface with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil over high heat in the Dutch oven. Brown the seasoned beef on all sides. Take your time here and brown all the sides without moving or jostling, so it can develop a deep, dark crust.
    Cooked pot roast in a Dutch oven.
  2. After the meat is nice and brown, take it out and set it aside. In the same pot cook the carrots, onions, and potatoes until they begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Then add the garlic and stir until it smells delicious only about 30 seconds.
    Pot roast vegetables in a Dutch oven.
  3. Pour in the wine and scrape up the browned bits (the culinary term is fond) that is on the bottom of the pot and incorporate it into the liquid. Get every last bit. Then add the beef broth, tomato paste, thyme, and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper and bring the liquid to a simmer. Once the liquid is simmering, carefully return the roast back to the pot. Cover and place in the preheated oven and cook for 4 hours.
    Cooked pot roast in a Dutch oven.
  4. When finished, the pot roast should be fall-apart tender. Remove the roast and vegetables out of the pot and keep them warm in order to make the gravy. Pour the drippings in the Dutch oven into a bowl; after a few minutes the fat will rise to the top. With a flat spoon skim off as much of the fat as you can.
    Pot roast gravy in a saucepan.
  5. Keep ¼ cup of the fat for the gravy, and pour it into a saucepan. On the stove over low heat, whisk in the flour and cook, whisking, until the mixture becomes bubbly. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
    Pot roast gravy in a saucepan.
  6. Measure the remaining juices from the roast. You need 2 cups; if you don’t have enough, top off the measuring cup with water or broth to reach the mark. Pour the juices into the saucepan with the flour and fat, then return to medium-high heat and bring the gravy to a boil. Keep stirring so the gravy doesn’t scorch.
    Pot roast gravy in a saucepan.
  7. As the gravy cooks, it will thicken. It should be thick enough for serving after a minute or two. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with the sliced or shredded pot roast.
    A serving of pot roast on a plate.

Recipe tips and variations:

  • Yield: This recipe should feed 12, with each person eating 3-4 ounces of pot roast as a meal.
  • Storage: Refrigerate the leftovers, and eat them within the week.
  • Make ahead: Make a day or two beforehand, then let cool,  cover and refrigerate overnight. Reheat in the oven at 325 until hot, a slow cooker on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours, or in a pot on the stove for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Freezing: Leftover pot roast freezes beautifully for meal prep and last-minute lifesaving dinners. Freeze with the gravy, if you like, for up to 3 months. Thaw the roast overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat as you like.
  • Vegetables: Some cooks recommend adding any vegetables into the pot midway through the cooking so they stay firm. But I prefer the flavor they add to the roast and don’t mind them softer.
  • Larger cuts: For more flavor, cut larger (5-pound or more) roasts into two smaller cuts to fit into the pot. That allows more surface area for browning.
  • Slicing or shredding: If you love a shredded roast, use two forks to do the job. If a slice of meat is more your style, slice the roast against the grain to keep the roast intact.

A serving of pot roast on a plate.

More hearty winter recipes:

Pot roast in a dutch oven.

Classic Pot Roast

This Classic Pot Roast is braised low and slow, just like mom used to make. Meltingly-tender beef, vegetables, and a rich gravy will have everyone asking for seconds.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs 15 mins
Total Time 4 hrs 30 mins
Servings 12 servings
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 381

Ingredients 

  • 1 (3 to 4 pound) boneless beef chuck roast (see note 1)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 8 ounces baby carrots about 1 ½ cups (see note 2)
  • 2 large onions thinly sliced, about 2 cups
  • 1 1/2 pounds red potatoes cut into 1-inch pieces (see note 3)
  • 1 cup red wine (I used a Pinot Noir, see note 4)
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Pat chuck roast dry and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper all over.
  • In a Dutch oven over high heat, heat oil until shimmering. Brown beef on all sides until a deep brown crust develops, about 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer beef to cutting board or platter.
  • To the Dutch oven, add carrots, onions, and potatoes and cook stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in red wine, deglaze the pan by scraping up brown bits.
  • Add beef broth, tomato paste, thyme, bay leaf, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper and bring to a simmer. Return beef to pot. Cover and bake until meat is tender, about 4 hours. Remove the beef and vegetables (discard bay leaf) and keep warm while making the gravy.
  • To make the gravy, pour drippings into a bowl. Allow the fat to rise to the top. Skim off fat and reserve ¼ cup. In a large saucepan over low heat, add reserved fat. Whisk in flour and stir until the mixture is bubbly. Set aside to cool.
  • Measure remaining meat juices and add water until it reaches 2 cups of liquid. Add mixture to saucepan, return to medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil until mixture thickens, about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve pot roast with vegetables and top with gravy.

Notes

  1. Beef roast: Chuck roast is what I like the best. It’s also called shoulder steak or boneless chuck roast. Your butcher may also recommend brisket or round roast (another name: rump roast.) Every one of them excels at long, slow cooking. Choose a size that will fit in your Dutch oven. A 3.5-quart pot can hold a 3-pound roast well. If you’re sizing up to 6 quarts, choose up to a 4.5-pound roast.
  2. Carrots: 3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped, may be substituted for the baby carrots.
  3. Potatoes: Small red potatoes are low in starch and hold their shape well during the long cook time. Starchier potatoes, such as russets or even Yukon golds, will get mushy or may even dissolve.
  4. Red wine: I use a lighter, dry red such as Pinot Noir, but it can be anything. Just make sure you like it because you'll have extra. If you don't want to use wine, use extra beef broth, or even chicken broth for deglazing the bottom of the pot.
  5. Yield: This recipe should feed 12, with each person eating 3-4 ounces of pot roast as a meal.
  6. Storage: Refrigerate the leftovers, and eat them within the week.
  7. Make ahead: Pot roast always tastes better the next day, so plan on making it ahead if you have time. Cool, cover, and refrigerate. Reheat in the oven at 325 degrees until hot, a slow cooker on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours, or in a pot on the stove for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
  8. Freezing: Leftover pot roast freezes beautifully for meal prep and last-minute lifesaving dinners. Freeze with the gravy, if you like, for up to 3 months. Thaw the roast overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat as you like.
  9. Vegetables: Some cooks recommend adding any vegetables into the pot midway through the cooking so they stay firm. But I prefer the flavor they add to the roast and don't mind them softer.
  10. Larger cuts: For more flavor, cut larger (5-pound or more) roasts into two smaller cuts to fit into the pot. That allows more surface area for browning.
  11. Slicing or shredding: If you love a shredded roast, use two forks to do the job. If a slice of meat is more your style, slice the roast against the grain to keep the roast intact.

Nutrition

Serving: 4ouncesCalories: 381kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 31gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 104mgSodium: 309mgPotassium: 906mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 2646IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 49mgIron: 4mg
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Comments

    1. Hi Rosy! A roasting pan with a lid will work just as well! (It’s how my mom made it when I was growing up.) Since that type of pan is thinner and lighter than a Dutch oven, I’m thinking your cooking time may be faster. – Meggan