The best classic pot roast with vegetables is, dare I say it, better than mom used to make. It’s easy, comfort-food-goodness that’s simple enough to cook any night of the week!
It’s a Sunday dinner go-to, but I can never wait for the weekend. I’ve made the recipe so easy it’s become a great option for, let’s say…Wednesday?! Like the roast your mom used to make, this one has simple but robust flavors, it’s melt-in-your-mouth tender, and foolproof! Now, I don’t know your mom, or her pot roast, but this is a pretty killer recipe.
This dish certainly has made it’s mark on the weekend menu though. I’ve headed to New Hampshire most of the last few years to stay at a little lake house with some friends. My friend Paul has hosted this get together for almost 15 years and I love when I get the chance to go. I usually throw my Dutch ovens and slow-cookers in the trunk so we can make comfort food all weekend long. One of our favorites is my classic pot roast.
I add all the lovely veggies to the pot so they get flavorful as they cook with the roast. They don’t need any seasoning other than what’s in the Dutch oven or slow cooker. I use carrots, celery, onions and potatoes. At the lake house I usually leave the potatoes out and cook them separately so we can have mashed potatoes on the side. That’s my favorite variation! Then the pan sauces from the pot roast can become the gravy. So delicious!
The best classic pot roast has certainly made it’s mark on the weekend list of favorites – Think Sunday dinner! But it’s easy enough for a mid-week meal.
If you’re wondering how to make the most perfect and best classic pot roast, it all starts with the beef. The cut you choose determines the texture and even the flavor! For all the answers I go to the Beef Checkoff’s website Beef It’s What’s For Dinner. The checkoff chef Dave Zino used to come into our test kitchen at the magazine and talk to the editors about new cuts, how to use different cuts, steaks and roasts, and tell us anything new in the beef industry. It was great education! I still go to the website to check on cuts, the names, and remind myself of those I haven’t used in a while!
Knowing what to cook your delicious pot roast in is also key to a great meal. Slow-cookers are of course great–and here are some other options.
• If you use a roasting pan for a braised pot roast, make sure you cover it tightly with foil.
There are two ways to cook a roast!
Depending on the cut of beef you have, there are two great ways to make a pot roast. For more tender cuts like prime rib and sirloin, you use the Roasting method. These roasts don’t get covered. It’s a dry-heat cooking method. They don’t need the help of moisture and steam to tenderize.
For roasts from the chuck or round, that need slower, lower, longer cooking times to tenderize and become fall-apart-delicious, use the Braising method. This is where a slow cooker, dutch oven or covered casserole come in. They trap the moisture in the pan with the roast to help those tough bits break down and soften.
- 3 to 3½- lb chuck or round roast
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- Salt and pepper
- 6 small potatoes quartered
- 2 ribs celery cut
- 3 carrots cut
- 1 large onion diced
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- ½ cup beef broth
- Kitchen twine if needed
- Heat oven to 325°F. Tie roast with kitchen twine if it is boneless or not compact. Heat canola oil in a Dutch oven and sear beef on all sides until dark brown. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add potatoes, celery, carrots, onion, bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce and beef broth to the pan. Cover and roast in oven until beef is fork-tender, 3 to 3½ hr.
- For the slow cooker: Sear and brown the roast in a large pan then remove and place in a slow cooker crock. Season with salt and pepper. Follow Step 2, but slow cook on high for 5 to 6 hours until roast is very tender.
Whether to braise or to roast, the cut makes the difference. Check out my tips.
For more Sunday-best, or even easy weeknight meals, try these other great recipes from Tara Teaspoon.
Warm Salmon and Arugula Pasta Salad is my favorite way to eat pasta. Yes! As a salad. A fresh and delicious pasta salad with peppery arugula and seasoned salmon comes together in minutes.
Honey-Rosemary Chicken With Yukon Gold Potatoes is a slow-cooker favorite. A slightly sweet and savory meal the entire family will dig in to.
Recipe Tara Bench, Photographs Yunhee Kim, Food Styling William Smith, Prop Styling Paige Hicks, Originally published in LHJ Dec11/Jan12.