There is nothing like an Old Fashioned Pot Roast for a warm, comforting meal…it has Sunday dinner written all over it! This pot roast is melt-in-your-mouth delicious and can be prepared in both the oven or the slow cooker. Gone are the days of tough, sliced pot roast — this easy recipe will help you get it perfect every time!
A pot roast dinner just screams comfort food on a Sunday, doesn’t it??!! The delicious aroma of it cooking will fill your entire house!
Gone are the days of dry, sliced pot roast (UGH!). I think this is why pot roast has gotten a bad rap!
I’ve also included optional (SUPER EASY) gravy instructions, too!!!
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE
- Simple, easy to make, and such a warm, comforting meal.
- Can be made in the crockpot or in the oven.
- Uses a fairly inexpensive cut of beef.
- Makes your whole house smell absolutely AMAZINGGGGG!!!!
You’ll need the following ingredients to make this amazing old fashioned pot roast:
Chuck Roast: This is the BEST cut of meat for pot roast and it’s a cut easily found at the regular grocery store. It’s well marbled without being too fatty. Chuck roast has lots of connective tissue that will break down when cooking and make the meat super tender.
Carrots: Opt for “real” carrots here vs. baby carrots. They are sweeter and hold up so much better during the long cooking time.
Potatoes: Small, whole potatoes about 2″ across work best!
Wine: This doesn’t have to be a high dollar wine, but use a dry red wine that you would drink! Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Zinfandel are my favorite wines to use in this dish.
HOW TO MAKE OLD FASHIONED POT ROAST: STEP BY STEP
Here are some quick visual instructions. Remember that full instructions with exact ingredients will be in the recipe card below!
Step 1: Start by seasoning up your meat with a combination of spices including salt, pepper, smoked paprika, garlic powder and a touch of brown sugar!
Step 2: Sear your meat to lock in all those flavors!
Step 3: Add beef stock, wine, Worcestershire, thyme and your veggies.
Step 4: Cook low and slow! In the oven, cook at 275°F for 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours (depending on the size of your roast). In the slow cooker, cook on LOW 8-10 hours, Meat should be falling apart–that’s how you know it’s done!
RECIPE TIPS & TRICKS
- Trim any large pieces of fat on the chuck roast (or whatever meat you are using) before seasoning. Don’t worry about sacrificing flavor–there’s plenty of marbling in these cuts of meat!
- Don’t skip the searing!!! Not only does it seal the meat with all of those delicious spices, it also flavors the “gravy” at the end!!
- Try to find small potatoes (about 2 inches across). This way, you won’t have to cut them and they cook up beautifully without getting mushy! 🙂
- Regular carrots (not baby carrots) work best and hold up well through the long cooking time.
STORAGE & REHEATING
- Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container, separate from the juices/gravy. Leftovers are good up to 5 days.
- Reheating: Pour juices/gravy over pot roast and veggies and reheat on a microwave safe plate. You can also throw everything into a medium skillet and reheat that way as well.
ADDITIONS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
Beef: Brisket can be used in place of the chuck roast, however I feel the chuck roast cooks and shreds up so much better!
Wine: If you don’t want to use wine, just substitute with the same amount of beef stock.
Onions: This is a great addition for more veggies and flavor. Add in a sliced large or medium onion when you add in the potatoes and carrots.
Other Root Vegetables: Fennel, sweet potatoes and different varieties of carrots are delish with pot roast as well! Feel free to add!
Fresh Herbs: A large fresh rosemary or oregano sprig or a couple of bay leaves can also be added for additional aromatic flavor!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Typical pot roast liquid is a combination of beef stock and red wine. However, if you don’t want to use wine, beef stock, beef broth or beef bone broth will also provide flavorful juices!
Some of my favorite sides are simple: this simple green salad, an arugula salad or this perfect garlic bread to soak up all the juices! Need more ideas? Check out these 50 Perfect Sides for Pot Roast. You’re sure to find something you love!
While it might seem opposite of cooking most meat dishes, UNDERCOOKING is the biggest culprit of tough pot roast! Pot roast is made from a large, tougher cut of meat. If the meat is undercooked, it doesn’t allow the connective tissues to break down and tenderize the meat.
If your pot roast seems tough or doesn’t shred easily or fall apart, you need to stick it back in the oven (or slow cooker) and just patient. Pour yourself another glass of that leftover wine 🙂
The key here is LOW AND SLOW! While you may be tempted to jack the oven up to 350°F, be patient! 275°F is the perfect temperature without having to cook the pot roast alllllll day! Cooking at a lower temperature will allow the roast to get nice and tender, without drying out.
At 275°F, a 3-4 lb. roast will take about 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours for it to shred easily and fall apart.
Nope! Since the roast is being cooked in a good amount of liquid, there is no need to flip it. Try to keep the lid on as much as possible!
OTHER COMFORT FOOD RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
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Old Fashioned Pot Roast (Oven and Slow Cooker)
- 3-4 lb. chuck roast brisket or round roast work, too but chuck is best!
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp smoked or sweet paprika
- 2 cups beef stock beef broth or bone broth are also good
- 1 cup dry red wine See Note 1
- 4-5 sprigs of thyme
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 4-5 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2-3 inch pieces
- 1-1 1/2 lb. small potatoes (or about 10-12), washed, unpeeled See Note 2
- 3 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
- 4 tbsp cornstarch + 4 tbsp COLD water optional, to make thicker "gravy"
- Preheat oven to 275°F.
- Trim chuck roast in any super fatty areas on the outside of the roast.
- In a small bowl, combine spices: salt, pepper, garlic powder, brown sugar and paprika. Then, with your hands, rub roast all over with the spice blend.
- Heat 3 tbsp olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat.
- When oil is hot, add pot roast and sear for 3 minutes on each side. Outside of roast should be nice, brown and a little caramelized from the brown sugar. Remove roast from dutch oven, set on a plate and cover with foil.
- In the same dutch oven over medium heat, add the wine, scraping up all of the browned bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
- Cook wine for about 1 minute, then add beef stock, thyme sprigs and Worcestershire sauce. Cook 1 minute more.
- Add back in your beef roast (and any juices), making sure the liquid does NOT cover the top of the roast. You just need to have enough liquid to come about halfway up the meat. If you need more liquid, add more beef stock.
- Spread potatoes and carrots around the beef and COVER. Place in preheated oven and cook 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours (will depend on the exact size of your roast). You will know it's done when it shreds easily and practically falls apart when your pierce it with a fork!
Crock Pot or Slow Cooker Instructions
- Follow steps 1-7 above.
- Transfer all the liquid from the dutch oven to the slow cooker. Add in seared beef, potatoes and carrots.
- Cover and cook 8-10 hours until meat falls apart! (will depend on the exact size of your roast). You will know it's done when it shreds easily and practically falls apart when your pierce it with a fork!
Optional Gravy Instructions
- When fully cooked, remove roast and veggies from dutch oven or slow cooker.
- Place dutch oven on the stove over medium heat. If using a slow cooker, transfer all juices to a small sauce pan.
- Whisk together 4 tablespoons cornstarch (you can also use all purpose flour) and 4 tablespoons of COLD water. Add to the pan and bring to a boil. Cook 1-2 minutes until gravy reaches desired consistency. Serve alongside the roast and veggies!