Classic, versatile, and perfectly satisfying, pot roast is one of my absolute favorite main dishes to sit down to with the family on a cold winter night. Requiring just a few minutes of prep time, this slow-cooked beef with savory vegetables is filling enough for even the most hungry eaters and makes delicious leftovers when you just can’t eat another bite.
Learn the basics for how to cook pot roast, including a breakdown of the many different pot roast cooking methods, plus get tips on what to serve with this mouthwatering dish!
What Is Pot Roast?
This recipe always makes me feel nostalgic — I can’t remember a time I sat down to eat this classic comfort food without being surrounded by my family or friends. As a kid, I remember always having a delicious roast at my grandparents’ house with all of the aunts and uncles, and cousins. So naturally, when I decided to put together this how-to guide, I was left with so many happy emotions!
In its simplest form, pot roast is a cut of beef simmering in a Dutch oven with a savory broth and chopped vegetables. Requiring less than 30 minutes of active prep and cooking time, your delectable roast works its magic simply by sitting and cooking for 4-8 hours.
One of the best parts of cooking roast is that it’s actually a pretty inexpensive recipe! The chuck roast cut of beef is much less expensive than other cuts of beef, and the vegetables are staples that you likely already have in your pantry. Serve your roast with noodles, mashed potatoes, or mashed cauliflower for a complete family dinner everyone will love!
Ingredients for Most Pot Roast Recipes:
Aromatics: Garlic, onion, shallot, herbs
Veggies: Carrot, celery, potato, onion (low carb, no potato)
Liquids: Mix of broth and wine
Beef to use: Beef chuck roast
Dutch oven: Heavy-bottomed cast iron or ceramic pot
How to Make a Dutch Oven Pot Roast:
1. Prep your vegetables
I like to use onions, celery, carrots, and potatoes when I cook any roast. I start by halving or quartering my potatoes, depending on the size, then I chop the onions, celery, and carrots in large chunks.
When it comes to chopping up vegetables, I love using my Messermeister knife set. The knives are extremely versatile and super strong, even after re-sharpening.
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2. Gather spices and liquids.
Make sure you have all of your spices, herbs, and broth liquids ready to pour into the Dutch oven.
3. Sear meat.
It’s important to remember to sear the meat on all sides to keep the juices inside while it cooks. You can sear using any method, but you want charred edges on the sides of the beef.
4. Begin cooking.
Put your meat and broth mixture into a Dutch oven then cook for 4-8 hours. Make sure to add your veggies to the Dutch oven about halfway through cooking.
5. Serve and enjoy.
Garnish your roast with fresh herbs and serve alongside your favorite sides for an easy and delicious family dinner.
Different Methods for Cooking Pot Roast
There are many different ways to cook pot roast, and much of the time, the method chosen depends on how much time you have to allow your roast to cook.
Here are some of the common methods and a quick note about time and temp:
Multi-Cooker: Generally, you can cook roast for 20 minutes per pound in a multi-cooker with a pressure setting. You can add a few minutes if you like extra tender meat.
Slow Cooker: When I make a roast in my slow cooker, I let it cook for about 8 hours on low.
Stovetop: Some prefer to allow the roast to cook on the stovetop by leaving the Dutch oven on a burner for several hours. I would recommend against this method, as it doesn’t cook the roast as evenly.
Oven: Cook for about 3 hours at 350 degrees F. This method in my Le Creuset Dutch oven is my go-to! It’s perfect for making on a cold winter day and I find that it cooks most evenly for a super flavorful pot roast.
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Don’t forget the gravy!
Don’t toss your mouthwatering wine and broth roast liquid. It’s the perfect base for a delicious gravy you can drizzle over the pot roast before serving.
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To turn the juices and drippings into gravy, you will likely need to thicken it. You can do this by pouring your liquids into a saucepan and cooking over medium-high heat to reduce the liquids or stir in some cornstarch. If the gravy gets too thick, you can always add a little more wine, broth, or water. Simmer the gravy in the saucepan until you have reached your preferred flavor and consistency.
Pot Roast 101
- 3 heads garlic, tops cut off
- 2 onions, peeled then quartered or halved (depending on size)
- 1 shallot, peeled and chopped into large pieces
- 1 bunch celery, chopped into large pieces
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 3 carrots, peeled and chopped into large pieces
- 8 baby red potatoes, quartered or halved (depending on size)
- 1 cups red wine
- 3 cups broth
- 1 3-5 pound beef chuck roast
- salt & pepper, to taste
- Prep your vegetables. I like to use onions, celery, carrots, and potatoes when I cook any roast. I start by halving or quartering my potatoes, depending on the size, then I chope the onions, celery, and carrots into large chunks
- Gather spices and liquids. Make sure you have all your spices, herbs and broth liquids ready to pour into the Dutch oven.
- Sear meat. It’s important to remember to sear the meat on all sides to keep the juices inside it while it cooks. You can sear using any method, but you want charred edges on all sides of the beef.
- Begin cooking. Put your meat and broth mixture into a Dutch oven and then cook for 4-8 hours. make sure to add your veggies to the Dutch oven about halfway through cooking.
- Serve and enjoy. Make sure to be careful of the large pieces of garlic and herbs while serving.
- Note: If using another method, see article above for instructions!