pot roast

Dave and I don’t eat a lot of beef; in fact, this is only the fourth beef recipe on my site. To us, there are environmental factors to consider with eating beef, as well as humanitarian, health, and cost issues. Plus we just plain like vegetarian food. So when we had pot roast in some form or another for dinner three out of four days last week, Dave was starting to question me. I blamed Kevin, who not only made a delicious-looking pot roast recently, but then made sandwiches and soup out of the leftovers, both of which I wanted to try.


I got the pot roast recipe from Cooks Illustrated. I hadn’t made one of their recipes in a while, and I found that I missed pulling out their huge cookbook and turning the pictureless pages full of recipes that promise to teach me something as well as taste wonderful.


For their pot roast, they brown the meat in a very hot Dutch oven, then sauté some vegetables and use broth to deglaze the pan. Then everything is cooked in the oven for four hours. They mention in their discussion about the development of the recipe that they tried adding red wine with the broth and found that it was good, but it wasn’t really pot roast. True – it’s beef in Barolo (or it would be if you were to use Barolo, which I never would because it’s too expensive), which I happen to love. So I added some red wine with the broth. When the roast is so soft it’s falling apart, it’s removed from the pot and the remaining liquid is boiled down to a sauce.


Oh my gosh, it was so good. I served it with boiled new potatoes and glazed carrots, and it was a meal that I couldn’t get enough of. Two days later, I put the meat and some sauce on pain a l’ancienne with swiss cheese and horseradish to make great sandwiches. The day after that, I added it, along with the rest of the sauce and some diluted chicken broth, to a pan of sautéed onions and mushrooms for a really good pot roast soup.

Because we don’t eat beef often, when we do, we like it to be a treat. This certainly was.


One year ago: Salmon Pesto Pasta

Pot Roast (from Cooks Illustrated)

Serves 6-8

Cooks Illustrated recommends a chuck-eye roast, which is what I used. I’ve found that it can be difficult to find though.

I added about 1/4 cup red wine with the broths.

1 boneless chuck roast (about 3½ pounds)
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small carrot, chopped
1 small celery rib, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup canned low sodium beef broth
1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1 sprig fresh thyme
¼ cup dry red wine

1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 300F. Thoroughly pat the roast dry with paper towels; sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.

2. Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Brown roast thoroughly on all sides, reducing heat if fat begins to smoke, 8-10 minutes. Transfer the roast to a large plate; set aside.

3. Reduce the heat to medium; add onions, carrots, and celery to pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 6-8 minutes. Add the garlic and sugar; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken and beef broths and thyme, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen the browned bits. Return the roast and any accumulated juices to the pot; add enough water to come halfway up the sides of the roast. Bring the liquid to a simmer over medium heat, then cover tightly and transfer the pot to oven.

4. Cook, turning the roast every 30 minutes, until fully tender and a meat fork slips in and out of meat very easily (3½-4 hours). Transfer the roast to a carving board and tent with foil to keep warm.

5. Allow the liquid in the pot to settle about 5 minutes, then use a wide spoon to skim fat off the surface; discard thyme sprig. Boil over high heat until reduced to about 1½ cups, about 8 minutes. Add the red wine and reduce again to 1½ cups, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

6. Cut the meat into ½-inch slices, or pull apart in pieces; transfer the meat to a warmed serving platter and pour about ½ cup sauce over the meat. Serve, passing remaining sauce.



  1. I love that pot roast soup, but I dont get to make it often because I don’t have a tried and true pot roast recipe. This one looks delicious and I like that the cooking liquid isn’t 100% red wine. We did that last time and it was great but I didn’t feel like I could make the familiar gravy from it. This combination sounds great!

  2. This looks great, gonna have to try it.

  3. katie – Thanks for coming up with such an awesome recipe! I love when leftovers are as good as the original meal.

  4. This looks great! We also rarely eat beef, but I’ve been thinking about pot roast lately too. My mom used to make pot roast all the time when I was growing up. I will have to get to it soon!

  5. I really like CI’s pot roast recipe. I have a cranberry pot roast from a B&B cookbook, and the last few times I’ve made it, I used CI’s method and it turned out so melty melty. It was delicious. I am totally sold on the longer cooking time at the lower temp.

  6. YUM I love love love pot roast but I’m also too afraid to make it at home ahha.

  7. Amazing… You’ve managed to make pot roast photogenic!

  8. Love the photos!! nice camera work!

  9. My husband would love your meal. I don’t cook beef but he craves it sometimes.

  10. I don’t eat beef that often either, or most meat for that matter. In fact, the last time I bought it (the boyfriend *needs* his protein…), I was floored by how expensive meat was! Silly me 🙂 That looks wonderful though – might have to make it sometime (for the boyfriend 🙂 ).

  11. Do you think it could be cooked in the crockpot? I hate leaving the house with the oven on – I have a fear of burning the house down while I’m gone.

  12. Sara – I can’t think of a reason why it wouldn’t work. (Although I know you have more experience converting recipes for the crockpot than I do.) The only difference that I would expect to see is to have more liquid left at the end of cooking in the crockpot compared to the oven. Since the liquid is boiled down at the end anyway, I don’t think that would matter very much. And if I tried it once and found that there was a lot of excess liquid in the crockpot, I would just reduce the broth next time.

    And of course you could add potatoes and more carrots right to the crockpot with the meat to make a complete meal. Cooks Illustrated had a variation that included other vegetables, but I haven’t tried it.

  13. wow i’m impressed by the photos! i’ve been trying to get decent photos of pot roast for a year now! haha. I have yet to actually post my pot roast recipe cause the photos are just awful! great job! it looks delicious!

  14. Impressive – Anything that includes wine in the recipe is a winner!!

  15. This looks delicious!! Love the pics too!

  16. I can not believe how wonderful you made this look. Delectable. It made me want to try this right away. I am printing this one out. AWESOME!! Sandwich too!

  17. Your pot roast, sandwich and soup all look so good!

  18. Lauren says:

    Thank you so much! If it weren’t for your best-of post, we wouldn’t be having a cozy New Year’s Eve of pot roast and Law and Order — it turned out beautifully!

  19. Trish says:

    I just finished making this dish for a family of friends. Pulling the 3 roasts out of the oven the last time was a revelation. They must be the most perfect roasts I’ve ever been privy to.

    Thank you for this excellent recipe. The only thing I changed was to add some extra water (for the extra meat) and replace the beef broth and wine with a large can of crushed tomatoes. I think it would have been perfect either way.

    Thanks again!

  20. Thanks for sharing this recipe information. Even though I disagree with the timing for introducing the vegetables to the mix (I prefer to add those toward the end of the cooking time to maintain a tender/crisp texture) it’s a very good approach to the traditional pot roast.

  21. Cathie in Ireland says:

    Please help.
    Oven broke on Christmas Eve and now have only 4 gas rings and a gas broiler working – won’t get a repairman until well into the New Year.
    Have 3.220 kilo (about 7 pounds) Angus Rib Roast (bones removed and vaccum packed by butcher) for dinner party for 12 adults.

    Looking for recipes that I can use on the stove top for this cut of beef.
    Living in Ireland, so not sure what this cut would be called in the USA.

    Would really appreciate advice, suggestions as to how to cook the beef.

    Kind regards,
    Cathie in Ireland

  22. bridget says:

    Cathie – I don’t supposed you have a slow-cooker (i.e., a crockpot)?

    Sounds like you other best option is to braise it!

  23. Cathie in Ireland says:

    Thanks Bridget.
    The after Christmas sales have startd today and I may invest in a slow cooker- have never used one.
    But, hear that people who do find them very good.


  24. Cathie in Ireland says:

    Thanks again Bridget.
    One positive about having no oven was that I discovered this site!
    The recipes & comments are great and I will be loging on again and again.

    A knight in shining armour has come to my resuce- and has volunteered to prepare the Angus Rib Roast for our New Year’s Celebration and will bring the roast to the table.

    The goodness of people is a very powerful force.

    Happy New year to you and all on the site,
    Cathie in Ireland

  25. angel says:

    this pot roast recipe is so delicious..I hope I can make this soon..it is super tender and juicy just like the the chhuck roast recipes I found at http://www.gourmandia.com


  1. […] Pot Roast: (boneless chuck) Carrot, celery, sugar, canned low sodium broth and chicken stock, fresh thyme and dry red wine. Serve with boiled new potatoes and glazed carrots. From The Way The Cookie Crumbles. […]