A classic dutch oven pot roast is the ultimate comfort food. Made with simple ingredients, this fall-apart tender roast is braised with red wine, fresh herbs, and cooked alongside potatoes and carrots for a complete one-pot meal the whole family will love. This dinner is well-worth the wait.
Making a pot roast in the oven is a very simple process that requires a little patience. The braising takes a little time, but the result is a piece of meat that shreds into tender pieces that melt-in-your-mouth!
Choosing the best roasts for pot roast
Chuck roast is always the best cut of meat for making pot roast. It has less connective tissue than other cuts and will be tender and easy to shred.
When shopping for roast, look for a cut of boneless chuck roast that’s well-marbled. The better the marbling, the more tender the pot roast will be.
As the meat cooks, the fat and connective tissues will “melt” and tenderize the meat. Leaner cuts like sirloins, round roasts, or shoulders will toughen as they cook.
Tips for Slow Cooking Beef
Braising or slow cooking beef is an excellent way to transform a cut of meat into a tender, flavorful dinner. Braising and slow cooking doesn’t necessarily happen in a slow cooker.
Instead, cooking at a lower temperature for longer periods of time in the oven will soften the connective tissue that binds together the muscle fibers, helping the meat fall apart into shredded pieces.
A great tool for this process is a dutch oven or a heavy-bottomed pot. A dutch oven is a heavy, cast-iron pot (usually enamel-coated) with a lid that can be used on the stove or in the oven.
You can cook all kinds of dishes like soups, stews, large cuts of meat, etc. They also distribute their heat really well, resulting in an evenly-cooked dish.
Pot Roast Ingredients
Beef: This recipe calls for a boneless beef chuck roast. A rump roast may also be used in its place. Look for a nice fat marbling through out the cut when shopping. I account for 1/4 pound of beef per person.
Vegetables: Carrots, onions, and potatoes are used in this recipe for a whole one-pot dinner. Use baby carrots and potatoes to cut down the prep time. Alternatively, you can cook the pot roast alone and prepare the side dishes separately.
Red Wine: Red wine enhances the flavor and creates beautiful aromas. A dry red wine is recommended for this recipe, do not use sweet wine. Look for Cabernet, Merlot, or a red wine blend.
Seasoning: Sprigs of rosemary and sage are placed in the pot for cooking, just before the pot goes in the oven. Kosher salt and pepper is used to season the beef before searing. This creates a flavorful crust on the outside of the meat.
How to Cook a Pot Roast
Seasoning the Pot Roast
Before seasoning the chuck roast, allow the meat to rest at room temperature for about 1 hour. This allows the meat to relax and not “tense up” when the meat goes into the pot for searing.
To season the pot roast, pat both sides of the meat dry with paper towels. Then, generously season with kosher salt and ground black pepper. Do not use table salt or sea salt for this recipe.
Searing the Meat
Add to olive oil to the dutch oven and turn to medium-high heat. When the pot has heated, carefully add the meat, searing for 3-4 minutes per side until a nice, browned crust has formed.
When searing, the meat may “stick” to the bottom of the pot. Instead of pulling the meat, allow it to continue browning until it releases from the pan naturally. While the roast is searing, prepare the vegetables.
Deglaze the Pot
When the roast is seared, remove the meat from the pot and set aside. Reduce the heat to medium and pour in the wine.
Scrape the browned bits up from the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon.
Add Pot Roast Ingredients to the Pot
Stir in the garlic. Return the meat to the pot. Add the broth and arrange the carrots, celery, onion, and potatoes around the pot roast.
Place the herbs on top, cover, and transfer to the oven until the meat easily shreds with a fork.
Serve the roast with the vegetables from the pot and spoon on as much liquid as you’d like!
FAQ About Pot Roast
How long do you cook a roast at 350 degrees?
The best temperature for slow cooking meat is 350F degrees. For a 3-4 pound pot roast, cook with the lid on for about 3 hours or until the meat easily shreds.
Do you have to brown roast meat before cooking?
You don’t have to, but the color and flavor will change. Searing or browning meat creates a nice crust on the outside of the beef, holding in juices and flavors as it cooks.
What size dutch oven do you use?
For best results, use a 7 quart dutch oven for this recipe.
Do you cover a roast in the oven?
Yes. If you do not have a lid for your dutch oven, cover the pot tightly with aluminum foil.
How do you tell if a pot roast is done?
A pot roast is done when the meat is easily shredded with a fork.
Should a pot roast be submerged in liquid?
To avoid drying out a pot roast, the meat should be nearly covered or completely covered with liquid. The liquid will evaporate as it is cooked.
Dutch Oven Pot Roast Recipe
- 4 pound beef chuck roast (at room temperature)
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup dry red wine (red wine blend, cabernet, or merlot is recommended)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 3 cups beef broth
- 3 stalks celery (cut into 4-inch pieces)
- 2 yellow onions (peeled and quartered)
- 4 whole carrots (peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks)
- 1.5 pounds red new potatoes (skin-on, cut into bite-sized pieces)
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- Preheat the oven to 350° degrees F.
- Pat both sides of the meat dry with paper towels. Then, generously season with kosher salt and ground black pepper.
- Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven or heavy oven-proof pot (with a lid) over medium-high heat.
- Carefully add the meat to the pot, searing for 3-4 minutes per side until a nice, browned crust has formed.
- Remove the meat to a plate. Reduce the heat to medium and pour in the wine. Scrape the browned bits up from the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon.
- Stir in the garlic and stir.
- Return the meat to the pot. Add the broth and arrange the carrots, celery, onion, and potatoes around the pot roast.
- Place the herbs on top, cover, and transfer to the oven.
- Roast at 350° until the meat is fork-tender and easily shreds – about 3 to 4 hours.
- Serve the roast with the veggies from the pot and spoon on liquid if desired.
- Baby carrots can be used in place of whole carrots to save time during prep. (approx. 2 cups)
- Peel whole carrots with a potato peeler instead of purchasing another kitchen tool!
- Baby potatoes (quarter-sized potatoes) can added whole in place of red new potatoes.
- If you do not have a lid for your dutch oven, cover the pot tightly with aluminum foil.