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Savory Oven-Baked Pot Roast Recipe

Vespa's recipes have appeared in "Midwest Living" and "Taste of Home." She belongs to Cook's Recipe Testers for "Cook's Illustrated."

Beef Pot Roast

Beef Pot Roast

Baked Beef Pot Roast

Pot roast has stubbornly remained the mainstay of Sunday dinners, thanks to the affordability of this inexpensive cut of beef and ease of preparation. Once you've seared the roast and placed it in the oven, you can pretty much forget about it until dinner time.

Cattle are usually grass-fed in Peru. Although the meat is leaner, it has intense beef flavor and more Omega-3 fatty acids than corn-fed beef. What transforms this tough cut of meat into a tender, succulent main course? Pot roast is actually braised, not roasted. The meat is partially submerged in liquid, covered and cooked at a low temperature. This melts the collagen and transforms tough meat into juicy, flavorful pot roast we all know and love.

You can't really overcook a pot roast. Allow plenty of cooking time so the roast literally falls apart. And if it finishes ahead of time, just reheat before serving. It's a foolproof dinner for your Sunday crowd!

How to Choose a Roast

Cook's Illustrated recommends chuck roast for flavor and tenderness. There are three types of chuck roast common in the United States. The seven-bone roast is marbled with fat and has an amazing beefy flavor. At only 2 inches thick, this roast requires less liquid and a shorter cooking time. Start checking for doneness after just 2 hours in the oven.

Top-blade roasts are also marbled with fat, which equals a juicy chunk of meat with lots of flavor. The chuck-eye roast, or chuck roast, is the fattiest and most common cut. The thickest roast, it requires the longest cooking time and yields a flavorful, tender piece of beef.


  • It's worth the time and effort to sear the roast. Searing seals in juices and guarantees a moist, tender pot roast.
  • We prefer a dark beer such as Guinness for this recipe, but a light beer will also work well. If you'd like to skip the beer, substitute 1 cup of chicken broth and 1 cup of beef broth.
  • For a gourmet-style roast, substitute 1 1/2 cup red wine for the beer.
  • The steak seasoning and cumin enhances beefy roast flavor while fresh rosemary and coriander adds brightness to the sauce.
  • This roast is delicious served with a side of creamy mashed potatoes.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

3 hours

3 hours 15 min

Serves 8

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Metric Conversion

1 teaspoon = 5 mL

1 Tablespoon = 15 mL


  • 4 lbs. (2 kilos) beef roast
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil, for searing
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons steak seasoning salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon each ground coriander and cumin
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 12 ounces (360 mL) beer (see tips for other options)
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 6 carrots, peeled
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch (for slurry)
  • 2 Tablespoons water (for slurry)


  1. Preheat oven to 300 Fahrenheit (149 Celsius). Rinse roast and pat it dry. Allow to return to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in a dutch oven or other ovenproof pot, over high heat until it's hot enough to "ripple". Carefully place beef in the pan.
  3. Sear beef thoroughly on all sides, 3-4 minutes, until a nice brown crust has formed.
  4. Remove beef to a plate and allow to rest. Add a little more oil to the pot, if necessary, and saute onion, garlic and celery several minutes or until translucent and soft. Pour beer into pot and deglaze, scraping up the bits that have stuck to the bottom.
  5. Place beef back in the pot with vegetables. Sprinkle seasoning salt and pepper over beef. Add other spices, carrots and tomatoes to the pot. Add enough water so it comes halfway up the roast.
  6. Cover pot with aluminum foil so steam can't escape then cover with lid.
  7. Place pot in preheated oven. Cook for 3-4 hours, turning roast halfway through cooking time. Roast is done when fork tender.
  8. Transfer roast to a plate and tent with foil. Skim fat from cooking liquid. Puree liquid in a blender, food processor or with an immersion blender. Measure and add water to equal 1 1/2 cups of liquid and return to pot. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  9. On high heat, bring liquid to a simmer. Blend cornstarch and water with a fork to make a slurry. Slowly drizzle into liquid, whisking all the time, until thickened.
  10. Cut or pull apart the meat. Serve on platter with sauce on the side. This roast is best served with mashed potatoes. Enjoy!


For a complete one-pot meal, add waxy potatoes such as Yukon Gold (peeled or unpeeled) or new potatoes. Parsnips are another delicious root vegetable that add pizzaz to this dish. Peel and drop them into the pot alongside the potatoes an hour before the pot roast is done.

Beef Pot Roast with Mashed Potatoes, Carrots & Cabbage

Beef Pot Roast with Mashed Potatoes, Carrots & Cabbage

What to Do With Leftovers?

You can stretch pot roast into several meals with the following ideas:

  • Toast thick slices of bread and spread with warmed mashed potatoes and shredded roast. Drizzle with sauce for a hearty open-faced sandwich.
  • Carmelize onion slices in a little olive oil and salt over low heat. Toast bread and serve beef sandwiches with carmelized onions and horseradish mayonnaise.
  • Make a batch of beef gravy. Add chunks of leftover pot roast and serve over noodles for a quick beef stroganoff.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over high heat. Add two cups of shredded pot roast and 2 teaspoons of taco seasoning. Fry until beef is heated through. Serve with taco shells, lettuce, tomato and homemade salsa for quick weekday tacos.
  • Chop pot roast into chunks and serve with beans and rice. Top with fresh pico de gallo for South-of-the-border flavor.
  • Simmer shredded pot roast in BBQ sauce. Serve on toasted onion buns with potato salad or coleslaw on the side.

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