What is Pot Roast?

Perfect Pot Roast

Get ready to indulge in a mouthwatering pot roast that is tender, flavorful, and cooked to perfection all in one pot. This classic comfort food is a must-have for every home cook, with its hearty combination of beef, carrots, potatoes, and rich brown gravy. Even beginners can achieve amazing results with this easy recipe that never disappoints. All you need is some inexpensive chuck roast, a handful of veggies, and a savory blend of herbs to create the ultimate meal.

Pot roast is a timeless recipe that never goes out of style for a reason! It starts with a tougher cut of beef that becomes incredibly tender and delicious when cooked at a low temperature for a long period of time. As the roast slowly cooks, the tough connective tissues break down, resulting in succulent beef and a flavorful gravy. The meat is seared to perfection, surrounded by carrots, onions, and a tantalizing mix of herbs and spices, and then baked or oven-roasted until it practically melts in your mouth. This recipe stands out from others because it doesn’t rely on overly salty ingredients like onion soup packets or canned soups.

For the most tender and flavorful pot roast, it’s essential to choose the right cut of beef. Look for cuts with marbling throughout and opt for slow and low cooking. Here are a few ideal choices for pot roast:

  • Boneless beef chuck roast (my personal favorite)
  • Round roast
  • Rump roast

While pot roast can also be made in a slow cooker or instant pot, this recipe focuses on the oven method, which never fails to deliver excellent results. However, if you’re short on time, don’t hesitate to try the instant pot option.
Follow these steps to make a delectable pot roast:
Sear the Beef: Heat some oil in a pan and sear the chuck roast on all sides until browned. If you have bacon grease, even better!
Add the Broth: Place the onions around the roast and add wine, broth, rosemary, and thyme. Bring it to a simmer and then transfer everything to the oven for two hours.
Add the Veggies: Throw in the potatoes and carrots, and continue baking until the potatoes are tender, approximately two more hours. Remove the bay leaf.
Serve: Slice the roast into smaller pieces or shred it with two forks before serving.
Pot roast is an instant favorite for a reason! Not only is it incredibly simple to make, but it also makes for delicious leftovers, whether you want to enjoy pot roast sandwiches with gravy or a French dip. Serve this comforting dish over creamy mashed potatoes, and don’t forget a side of homemade garlic bread.

This recipe is based on a typical 4-pound chuck roast. To ensure a melt-in-your-mouth texture, pot roast needs to be cooked at a low temperature for an extended period of time to break down any tough tissue.

  • A 3-pound roast should be cooked for 3-3.5 hours.
  • A 4-pound roast should be cooked for 3.5-4 hours.
  • A 5-pound roast should be cooked for 4.5-5 hours.
    Cooking times may vary depending on the type of roast, so check the roast with a fork. If it’s still tough, it needs more time. Simply cover it back up and let it continue to cook until it reaches the desired tenderness.

Turn the pan juices into a scrumptious pot roast gravy with just three simple steps:

  • Whisk two tablespoons of cornstarch with cold water until smooth (this is called a slurry).

  • Remove the beef and veggies, and bring the broth to a simmer. If needed, add more beef broth to get two cups of liquid.

  • Whisk the cornstarch slurry into the simmering broth until it thickens to your desired consistency.

  • Choose a roast with plenty of marbling to enhance flavor and make the gravy absolutely mouth-watering.

  • Opt for baby potatoes as they don’t require peeling and hold their shape well (russet potatoes tend to fall apart, though they still taste great).

  • Cut the carrots and celery into slightly bigger pieces to prevent them from becoming overcooked.

  • After searing the meat, add a bit of broth to the pan and scrape up any browned bits, as they add a lot of flavor.

  • Fresh herbs are the best, but you can also use dried herbs sparingly. Keep in mind that dried herbs have a more concentrated flavor than fresh ones.

  • Feel free to add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste to the broth for an extra burst of flavor.

Did you make this Pot Roast? We’d love to hear your thoughts and see your rating! Don’t forget to leave a comment below.


  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 3-4 pounds of chuck roast or rump roast
  • 1 large onion, chopped (or two small onions)
  • 4 carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 stalks of celery, cut into 1.5-inch pieces
  • 1 pound of baby potatoes
  • 2 cups of beef broth (or more if needed)
  • 1 cup of red wine
  • 4 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon of rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf


  • Preheat the oven to 300°F.
  • Season the roast with salt and pepper.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sear the roast on each side until browned (approximately 4 minutes per side). Add more oil if necessary.
  • Arrange the onions around the roast. Combine the broth, wine, garlic, rosemary, and thyme, then pour over the roast. Add the bay leaf.
  • Bring the mixture to a simmer on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Once it’s simmering, cover the Dutch oven and place it in the oven to bake for 2 hours.
  • Add the potatoes, carrots, and celery, and bake for an additional 2 hours (for a 4-pound roast) or until the roast and potatoes are fork-tender.
  • Discard the bay leaf. Gently pull the beef into large pieces with a fork or slice it into thick pieces. Serve with the juices (or follow the gravy recipe below if desired).


To Make Gravy:

  • Combine 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold water until smooth.
  • Remove the beef and vegetables from the pot and set them on a plate to rest.
  • Bring the broth to a boil and whisk in the cornstarch mixture little by little until it thickens. Add more broth if needed.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Nutrition Information

The nutrition information provided is an estimate and may vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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