This classic American comfort food recipe is not as easy as throwing some meat in a pot. You can make bad pot roast. But you won't be disappointed with the flavors and tenderness of this dutch oven pot roast recipe.
Follow our instructions to create the most tender, fall apart in your mouth, pot roast your whole family will enjoy. If you have any leftovers we've got some suggestions for you!
Make it a Meal!
Turn this recipe into a whole meal! It pairs well with:
- Side Dish: – This classic side dish is the perfect complement to roast!
- Veggie Side: – If you've never eaten brussels sprouts this way you're missing out!
- Bread: Garlic French Bread – Crunchy and perfect with this roast!
- Drink: Red Wine Sangria – This is one of my all time favorite sangria recipes.
- Dessert: – This needs no introduction!
What is Pot Roast?
Pot roast is usually a tough beef cut (it's usually a cheap cut, perfect for slow cooking). Chuck roast and round roast are the most common cuts used for pot roast. You can also use brisket. It's then seared and cooked slow with veggies in broth.
The slow cooking transforms the tough cut of beef into a tender, fall apart in your mouth, pot roast.
How to Choose Your Cut of Meat
Not all meat is equal. In a pinch, any chuck roast, brisket or round roast will do. They all cook up a little differently so choose the one you prefer.
- Chuck Roast: This is a more tender meat. It falls apart and is easy to shred.
- Brisket: This has a lot of connective tissue which makes it a fattier cut that gets tender while cooking slow, but can still be sliced for serving. This is great if you're making sandwiches with leftovers.
- Top Round or Bottom Round: These a leaner cut and easy to slice for roast beef sandwiches.
Cook Pot Roast in a Slow Cooker Instead
Prefer to use a slow cooker instead of a dutch oven? No problem! The best pot roast recipes won't skip the searing step so make sure you still complete steps 1 through 7 on the stove. Then transfer everything to your slow cooker. Make sure you scrap the bottom of the pan for all the good stuff! Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
Cook Pot Roast in an Instant Pot Instead
I love using my instant pot for pot roast as well. You'll want to use the sauté function to start. Turn it on to sauté then wait for it to heat up. About 8 minutes. Complete steps 1 through 7.
After you've added everything to your instant pot for step 8 make sure your venting knob is in the in venting position. Close the lid and then turn venting knob to the sealing position. You'll pressure cook at high pressure for 45 minutes then allow the full natural release for about 25 minutes. Open the lid carefully. When budgeting time, remember that initial pressurizing will take time.
Ways to Use Pot Roast
- French dip: Slice your leftover pot roast. Place roast beef slices on toasted french rolls, melt a little provolone over your beef and dip in the leftover juice from the pot roast.
- Add to noodles: Use the beef in a beef and noodle dish.
- Shredded beef tacos: Grab some tortillas, cheese, fresh salsa and some cabbage and make a tasty taco.
- Burritos: Whip up some of these super easy burritos.
- Stock: Use homemade or store bought beef stock.
- Vegetables: Carrots and onions are classically paired with pot roast.
- Oil: Use a good olive oil or a vegetable oil.
- Flour: All purpose flour is the best for this purpose.
- Spices: Salt and pepper!
- Beef: We feel that the best cut of meat for pot roast recipes is the beef chuck roast. Often people like to make pot roast because you don't have to buy the best meat (or most expensive) and it still tastes wonderful.
Possible Pot Roast Variations
- Add bacon and garlic cloves: Before cooking your onions, cook up 4-5 pieces of bacon. Once it's cooked, remove from the dutch oven and set aside. Once your roast is browned, crumble the bacon and put it on top of the roast. Add the garlic when you are browning the vegetables.
- Give it some zing: Add a 6 oz jar of horseradish to the pot before cooking. Decrease the beef broth by that amount. You could also add some worcestershire sauce.
- A Mediterranean twist: Add olives, mushrooms and a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes to your pot under your pot roast. Sprinkle with oregano and rosemary.
- Just plum good: Omit the beef broth and add 1 cup hoisin sauce and 3 halved and pitted plums.
- Potatoes, of course: Peel and quarter some potatoes or sweet potatoes and place them in the bottom of the slow cooker with the carrots before cooking.
How to Make Pot Roast Gluten Free
Pot roast can easily be made gluten free. I prefer to substitute the all purpose flour for an all purpose gluten free flour mix. Alternatively, you may omit the flour all together. Make sure your beef broth is gluten free.
How to Make Pot Roast Dairy Free
While not all roast beef recipes or pot roast recipes are dairy free, this dutch oven pot roast recipe is naturally dairy free.
Equipment Needed for Pot Roast
One of these is needed for this pot roast, not all.
- Dutch Oven: We love a good enamel covered cast iron dutch oven. They're heavy and heat evenly while not burning things to the bottom. You can use them on the stove top or in the oven.
- Stock Pot: You could also use any stock pot.
- Electric Pressure Cooker: If you have an electric pressure cooker like an Instant Pot you can use our instructions above to cook the roast in it instead of the dutch oven or stock pot.
- Slow Cooker: A Crock Pot and other slow cookers are a great way to start a meal in the morning and have it ready for you when you're done with work for the day.
How to Make Dutch Oven:
Preheat oven to 300°F. Pot roasts are cooked best low and slow.
Remove the beef chuck roast from its packaging, leaving any twine around the roast intact. Use a paper towel to pat dry.
Combine the flour, salt, and pepper on a sheet of parchment paper or large plate. Dip each side of the roast into the flour mixture to coat all sides.
Heat the oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
Add the flour-coated roast to the Dutch oven and sear to brown well on each side. Don't skip this step!
Remove the roast from the pot and reduce heat to medium. Add the carrots and onions. Add a bit more oil if needed.
Cook the vegetables over medium heat until onions just begin to brown. Remove from heat. Optional: Add a bay leaf or sprigs of thyme or other fresh herbs like parsley if you'd like.
Pour the beef broth and the browned roast into the pan over the vegetables. Deglaze by scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon or spatula to get those great flavors and brown bits into the liquid. Cover with a lid and place in the oven to cook for about 3 hours. The roast is done when it easily falls apart if you pull at it with a fork. Keep shredding until you have about 2-inch pieces.
Preserve the gravy if you love to pour it over your potatoes.
Frequently Asked Questions
A. Like most cooked beef, you can store leftover pot roast in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3-4 days. You can also wrap tightly in aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
A. You can freeze cooked pot roast in the freezer for up to 3 months. Store in a freezer safe airtight container. When you're ready to eat it, defrost in the refrigerator then throw it in the slow cooker on low for 8 hours to heat.
A. As long as you flour and sear your roast on the stove (follow steps 1-7) you should have good results using either method.
A. Generally the pot roast will continue to get more tender when you cook it on low heat for longer times. Make sure you have enough cooking liquid in the pot. Add more if much has boiled off.
Undercooked pot roast can be tough and chewy. Avoid this by making sure you have enough cooking liquid in your pot and you cook it as long as the recipe requires. Cooking longer at low temperatures is more ideal than shorter at higher temperatures.
- 2 pound chuck roast
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 4-5 medium carrots - peeled and cut into chunks
- 1 large yellow onion - cut into chunks
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat oven to 300°F.
- Remove the chuck roast from its packaging, leaving any twine around the roast intact.
- Combine the flour, salt, and pepper on a sheet of parchment paper or large plate. Dip each side of the roast into the flour mixture to coat all sides.
- Heat the oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
- Add the flour-coated roast to the Dutch oven and brown well on each side.
- Remove the roast from the pot and add the carrots and onions. Add a bit more oil if needed.
- Cook the vegetables over medium heat until onions just begin to brown. Remove from heat.
- Add the beef broth and the browned roast into the pan over the vegetables. Cover with a lid and place in the oven to cook for about 3 hours. The roast is done when it easily falls apart if you pull at it with a fork.