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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.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 381kcal


  • 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 1/2 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 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour


  • 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 1/2 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 1/4 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.


  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.


Serving: 4ounces | Calories: 381kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 104mg | Sodium: 309mg | Potassium: 906mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 2646IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 4mg