Classic Beef Pot Roast Recipe

Pot roast with vegetables and potatoes on table
Spencer Jones/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images
  • 5 hrs
  • Prep: 30 mins,
  • Cook: 4 hrs 30 mins
  • Yield: Serves 6-8
Ratings (30)

Despite its name, pot roast isn't actually roasted, it's braised. Braising is a form of moist-heat cooking that breaks down connective tissues in tough cuts of meat, leaving them tender and succulent.

Braising by itself doesn't give meat the flavorful, brown outer crust that dry-heat cooking methods like roasting do, so we sear it on the stovetop first.

For this recipe, you'll need a large Dutch oven or brazier — one that's big enough to accommodate the meat and stock, and safe for both stovetop and oven. Make sure it has a tight-fitting lid, too.

You could also make this pot roast in a crockpot. Just brown the meat as described, then add the vegetables, meat, seasonings, and stock to the crockpot and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours or until the meat is tender. It helps to heat up the stock on the stovetop first.

One of the best cuts of meat to use for making this pot roast is a classic 7-bone chuck roast.​

Also see: How to Braise Meat.

What You'll Need

  • 5 lbs beef chuck or brisket, excess fat removed
  • ¼ cup canola oil (or other vegetable oil)
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 medium ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and slightly crushed
  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes (including liquid)
  • 5 cups brown stock (i.e. beef stock)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. whole black peppercorns
  • 2  tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter

How to Make It

Pre-heat oven to 300°F (150°C).

  1. In a heavy, cast-iron dutch oven or brazier, heat the oil over high heat, then add the meat and sear it thoroughly, using a pair of tongs to turn it. When a nice brown crust has developed on all sides of the meat, remove it from the pan and set it aside.

    TIP: To enhance the browning of the meat, pat off excess moisture with clean paper towels before searing it.
  2. Add the carrots, celery, onions and garlic to pot and cook for 5 minutes or so, or until the onion is slightly translucent.
  1. Now return the meat to the pot and add the tomatoes, stock, bay leaves, thyme, and peppercorns. Heat on the stovetop until the liquid comes to a boil, then cover with a tight-fitting lid and transfer the whole thing to the oven.
  2. Cook 4-5 hours or until the meat is tender.
  3. Remove pot from the oven and leave the meat in the braising liquid while you make the sauce.
  4. Ladle out around two cups of the braising liquid and pour it through a mesh strainer. Skim off any fat from the top.
  5. Heat the butter in a separate saucepan, then gradually stir in the flour until a paste forms. Heat for a few minutes, stirring, until the roux is a rich brown color.
  6. Now whisk the hot liquid into the roux, a little at a time. Simmer for about 15 minutes, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve and season to taste with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  7. Slice the meat across the grain, arrange slices on warm plates, sauce generously and serve while the sauce is hot.

Also check out this Pork Pot Roast Recipe.