I get asked all the time about how to prepare pot roast. It’s really very simple, but you have to follow these 3 steps every time. Additionally, you can cook the potatoes alongside the roast, but I prefer them cooked separately.
1) Choose the right cut of beef. Expensive is not better, so save the tenderloin for another day. Chuck roast is the best cut for pot roast.
2) Brown the beef well. In a Dutch oven, brown the roast on both sides on the stove. Take a little extra time to ensure there is a good crust on the beef.
3) Cook the roast slowly and covered (and don’t use the slow cooker). I’m sorry to say that while I love my slow cooker, it just won’t give you the kind of roast you want. You need a dutch oven with a tight fitting lid.
2 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 pound chuck roast
1 yellow onion
2 cups beef stock
3 fresh rosemary sprigs (or if you let all your herbs die like I did you can use 1 tablespoon dried)
3 fresh thyme sprigs (use dried and then promise yourself you’ll water your herbs more often)
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 275. Sprinkle the roast well with salt and pepper. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Cut onion in half (you want to remove it later) and cut carrots into 2 inch hunks.
When the oil in the pot is very hot, add in the onions and carrots, browning them on one side and then the other. Remove the vegetables to a plate.
Place the meat in the pan and sear it for about a minute on all sides until it is nice and brown all over. Remove the roast to a plate.
With the burner still on high, use beef broth (about 1 cup) to deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon.
Place the roast back into the pan and add enough beef stock to cover the meat halfway. Add in the onion and the carrots back to the pot, as well as the rosemary and thyme. Put the lid on, then roast the beef at 275 for 3-4 hours. Serve with mashed potatoes.