The College Housewife » Recipes » Pot Roast 101

Pot Roast 101

Classic, versatile, and perfectly satisfying, pot roast is one of my absolute favorite main dishes to sit down to with the family on a cold winter night. Requiring just a few minutes of prep time, this slow cooked beef with savory vegetables is filling enough for even the most hungry eaters and makes delicious leftovers when you just can’t eat another bite. Learn the basics for how to cook pot roast, including a breakdown of the many different pot roast cooking methods, plus get tips on what to serve with this mouthwatering dish!

top shot of roast beef and mashed potatoes on white plate with a rose gold fork and knife

What is pot roast?

This recipe always makes me feel nostalgic — I can’t remember a time I sat down to eat this classic comfort food without being surrounded by my family or friends. As a kid, I remember always having a delicious roast at my grandparents’ house with all of the aunts, and uncles, and cousins. So naturally, when I decided to put together this how-to guide, I was left with so many happy emotions! There’s no reason cooking can’t be self-care, too, right?

In its simplest form, pot roast is a cut of beef simmering in a Dutch oven with a savory broth and chopped vegetables. Requiring less than 30 minutes of active prep and cooking time, your delectable roast works its magic simply by sitting and cooking for 4-8 hours.

One of the best parts of cooking roast is that it’s actually a pretty inexpensive recipe! The chuck roast cut of beef is much less expensive than other cuts of beef, and the vegetables are staples that you likely already have in your pantry. Serve your roast with noodles, mashed potatoes, or mashed caulifower for a complete family dinner everyone will love!

top shot of pot roast and vegetables in dutch oven pot with blue handles

Ingredients for most pot roast recipes

  • Aromatics: Garlic, onion, shallot, herbs
  • Veggies: Carrots, celery, potato, onion (low carb-no potato)
  • Liquids: Mix of broth and wine
  • Beef to use: Beef chuck roast
  • Dutch oven: Heavy-bottomed cast iron or ceramic pot

top shot of pot roast ingredients and cooking knives on white countertop

How to make a Dutch oven pot roast

  1. Prep your vegetables. I like to use onions, celery, carrots, and potatoes when I cook any roast. I start by halving or quartering my potatoes, depending on the size, then I chop the onions, celery, and carrots in large chunks.
  2. Gather spices and liquids. Make sure you have all your spices, herbs, and broth liquids ready to pour into the Dutch oven.
  3. Sear meat. It’s important to remember to sear the meat on all sides to keep the juices inside while it cooks. You can sear using any method, but you want charred edges on all sides of the beef.
  4. Begin cooking. Put your meat and broth mixture into a Dutch oven then cook for 4-8 hours. Make sure to add your veggies to the Dutch oven about halfway through cooking.
  5. Serve and enjoy. Garnish your roast with fresh herbs and serve alongside your favorite sides for an easy and delicious family dinner.

top shot of hand opening blue top to show pot roast and vegetables in light blue dutch oven

Different methods for cooking pot roast

There are many different ways to cook pot roast, and much of the time, the method chosen depends on how much time you have to allow your roast to cook. Here are some of the most common methods and a quick note about time and temp:

  • Instant Pot: Generally, you cook roast for 20 minutes per pound in the Instant Pot. You can add a few minutes if you like extra tender meat.
  • Slow Cooker: When I make a Crockpot roast, I let is cook for about 8 hours on low.
  • Oven: Cook for about 3 hours at 350 degrees F.
  • Stovetop: Some prefer to allow the roast to cook on the stovetop by leaving the Dutch oven on a burner for several hours. I would recommend against this method, as it doesn’t cook the roast as evenly.

top shot of pot roast and vegetables in dutch oven pot with blue handles

Don’t forget the gravy!

Don’t toss out your mouthwatering wine and broth roast liquid. It’s the perfect base for a delicious gravy you can drizzle over the pot roast before serving.

To turn the juices and drippings into gravy, you will likely need to thicken it. You can do this by pouring your liquids into a sauce pan and cooking over medium-high heat to reduce the liquid or stir in some cornstarch. If the gravy gets too thick, you can always add a little more wine, broth, or water. Simmer the gravy in the saucepan until you have reached your preferred flavor and consistency.

top shot of pot roast and mashed potatoes on white plate next to bowl of gravy

Looking for more savory main dishes? Give these a try!

Other beef recipes to try:

Print
clock clock icon cutlery cutlery icon flag flag icon folder folder icon instagram instagram icon pinterest pinterest icon facebook facebook icon print print icon squares squares icon heart heart icon heart solid heart solid icon

Pot Roast 101

  • Author: Elizabeth Van Lierde
  • Prep Time: 20-30 mintues
  • Cook Time: 4-6 hours
  • Total Time: 31 minute
  • Yield: Serves 5-8
  • Category: Savory
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Learn the basics for how to cook pot roast, including a breakdown of the many different pot roast cooking methods, plus get tips on what to serve with this mouthwatering dish.


Ingredients

  • Aromatics: Garlic, onion, shallot, herbs
  • Veggies: Carrots, celery, potato, onion (low carb-no potato)
  • Liquids: Mix of broth and wine
  • Beef to use: Beef chuck roast
  • Dutch oven: Heavy-bottomed cast iron or ceramic pot

Instructions

  1. Prep your vegetables. I like to use onions, celery, carrots, and potatoes when I cook any roast. I start by halving or quartering my potatoes, depending on the size, then I chop the onions, celery, and carrots in large chunks.
  2. Gather spices and liquids. Make sure you have all your spices, herbs, and broth liquids ready to pour into the Dutch oven.
  3. Sear meat. It’s important to remember to sear the meat on all sides to keep the juices inside while it cooks. You can sear using any method, but you want charred edges on all sides of the beef.
  4. Begin cooking. Put your meat and broth mixture into a Dutch oven then cook for 4-8 hours. Make sure to add your veggies to the Dutch oven about halfway through cooking.
  5. Serve and enjoy. Garnish your roast with fresh herbs and serve alongside your favorite sides for an easy and delicious family dinner.

Notes

There are many different ways to cook pot roast, and much of the time, the method chosen depends on how much time you have to allow your roast to cook. Here are some of the most common methods and a quick note about time and temp:

  • Instant Pot: Generally, you cook roast for 20 minutes per pound in the Instant Pot. You can add a few minutes if you like extra tender meat.
  • Slow Cooker: When I make a Crockpot roast, I let is cook for about 8 hours on low.
  • Oven: Cook for about 3 hours at 350 degrees F.
  • Stovetop: Some prefer to allow the roast to cook on the stovetop by leaving the Dutch oven on a burner for several hours. I would recommend against this method, as it doesn’t cook the roast as evenly.

Keywords: pot roast, roast, how to make pot roast, dutch oven pot roast, instant pot pot roast, slow cooker pot roast

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating