Classic Pot Roast – Chuck roast is slowly roasted in a jus made of beef broth, carrots, celery, and onions. Balsamic vinegar, thyme, and mustard are added to give that jus a kick of flavor.
Cold weather is in full-effect in most parts of the country now. Even Florida is getting chilly weather next week, with lows in the 40s! So comfort food needs to be on the menu, if it’s not already.
I’ve been making lots of soups over here but recently my husband wanted to try a good pot roast. I’ve made beef stews but not a full pot roast so I gave it a shot. I used a culmination of recipes to come up with the perfect one. It is made with traditional aromatics: carrots, celery, and onions and some other fun flavors like balsamic vinegar and Dijon mustard to set this roast apart.
I didn’t add potatoes to the roast because they get overcooked in the liquid and start to fall apart. Instead, I made a separate batch of herb potatoes to accompany this roast. I know mashed potatoes are probably the favorite but I was in the mood for some tender, chunky potatoes with herby flavor so I made those.
Before we go any further into the recipe, let’s take a look at the finished Classic Pot Roast:
Making this pot roast
This pot roast is slow cooked to get it nice and tender. But we can’t just throw all the things in the pot and let it do it’s thing; first we have to build the flavor and jump-start the cooking process.
First, the pot roast is seared to get the cooking process start and give it beautiful color on the outside. If it doesn’t get seared, the meat will look almost gray when cooked in the broth for a few hours.
Then the veggies are cooked to soften them up and bring out their aroma. Finally, the broth, vinegar, thyme, brown sugar, and mustard are added and mixed together. The roast is added back, along with a little more both to make sure half of the roast is sitting in liquid. This ensures the beef cooks without burning.
The liquid is brought to a slow boil in the Dutch oven, covered, and then placed in a preheated oven to finish cooking for about 3.5 hours, depending on the size of the roast. Mine was 3 pounds so it only took 3.5 hours, but those larger roasts will take about 4.5 hours to get perfectly tender.
Tips and Tricks
- A Dutch oven is necessarily for this recipe if you want to put in the oven because it retains heat very well. You can also use a slow cooker for this recipe – it will just take longer. Prepare everything the same way and then place the seared roast, broth, and veggies into a slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours or high for about 6 hours. I haven’t tried this myself so cook times are just an estimate based on other beef recipes I’ve done in the slow cooker.
- Make sure to cut the onions and carrots in larger chunks so that they stay intact during the cooking process and you can still find them when the roast is done.
Classic Pot Roast
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3-4 pounds chuck roast trimmed of extra fat
- 2 medium yellow onions cut into 2-inch chunks
- 5 whole carrots peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
- 3 stalks celery sliced
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 4 cups beef broth divided
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place Dutch oven over medium high heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Once hot, add chuck and sear until dark brown on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Once seared on all sides, remove and set aside until later.
- Add in onions, carrots, and celery and cook for 3 minutes or until soft. Add garlic and cook for 30 more seconds. Add 1 cup of beef broth and stir veggies to release pieces from the bottom of the pan. Add in balsamic vinegar, mustard, and brown sugar. Stir together to combine.
- Place roast back into Dutch oven, moving some veggies around to make room for the roast. Add more broth to ensure half of the roast is covered with liquid. Add in the sprigs. Bring mixture to a light boil. Turn heat off and cover with a lid. Place in preheated oven and cook for 3.5-4.5 hours or until beef is tender enough to pull with a fork. Slice and serve or pull apart with forks. Add salt and pepper, if needed.