A pot roast is quite the classic. It's a great way to feed a crowd and impress at the same time. Honestly, I have more memories of kimbap, kimchi jjigae, and bibimbap from my childhood, but I understand the nostalgia.
This recipe is actually near and dear to me for a different reason than most people have. It's because of a wonderful woman named Ree. We've never met, but everyone knows her as the Pioneer Woman. Years ago, I stumbled on one of her recipes. This was the same time I was in a bit of a rut creatively and professionally. When I saw her pot roast post I felt like I was in her kitchen and I was hooked. The more I got to know her through her stories, the more I remembered how important sharing food was to me. She is a huge influence on why Northwest Workshop was created, and I am forever grateful.
Enough sentimental talk, let's get cooking!
So this is my version of a pot roast. The large piece of beef is the star. It'll shine more if you see a lot of marbleizing like this chuck eye roast, because well .. fat equals flavor! For the rest of the dish you'll need onions, carrots, potatoes, a lemon, garlic, rosemary, thyme, chicken stock, vegetable oil and salt & pepper.
Rough chop the carrots into about 2 inch pieces. For all the veggies, the bigger the piece the better since it's going to be in a sauna for 4 hours.
This is why we only quarter the onions, they'll be recognizable after it's done roasting. When cutting them, try to leave as much of the middle core, so that the piece somewhat stays intact. It's totally fine if you chopped it off, just handle the onions a bit carefully.
I like to leave the skins on whenever possible with potatoes, just making sure that I really get all of the dirt off. Cut these into large cubes, about 1 inch pieces.
You can prep these next couple steps while you're browning the vegetables if you're in a hurry, but getting all of your ingredients ready before you turn on the stove will give you some piece of mind (just in case anything accidentally burns because you're not paying attention. It happens to all of us).
So! Zest and juice the lemon. I love this ingredient, including the peel, because it will brighten any dish up. Sometimes it's nice to have some zing cut through the deeper flavors like this roast.
Rough chop all 5 garlic cloves and strip off the leaves from the thyme stems. You could just put the whole thyme sprig into the pot, but fishing around for these stems is a little difficult (unlike the rosemary sprigs).
Let's turn on the heat! Get your dutch oven or large pot to a medium high heat. Add a Tablespoon of vegetable oil. Since we're doing this to start developing flavor and add some color, you'll want to use an oil that has a high smoke point, since we're working with high heat. This means that your kitchen will be less smokey.
Next, brown the carrots about 3-5 minutes each side. If you really want to get these to a nice color, you want to give them room so all the pieces touch the bottom of the pot. Otherwise, they'll just steam.
I'd like to note that the dutch oven lid is a great place to hold pieces of your dish while you're getting something else ready :)
So real talk: you don't necessarily need to brown the potatoes, but I do so that I can prep something else and not have to turn the stove off.
Pat the roast dry with a paper towel. Doing this is going to help get a wonderful golden crust.
Generously season all sides of the chuck eye with salt and pepper. There is a lot of meat in this 5 pound roast, so I wouldn't worry about feeling like you're over seasoning. You'll want to use a little more than a teaspoon of each.
Now let's brown the meat! Sear all of the sides for about 3-5 minutes on each turn. Enjoy the heavenly sizzle sound.
After the browning is done, set aside the roast so that we can work on the cooking liquid. Turn off the stove at this point and if you haven't already, turn your oven to 300ºF.
You might have noticed the bottom of the pan getting dark. That's good! (And if you want to get fancy, it's called fond. It's french.) It's going to help add another layer of flavor to your roast. We're going to deglaze the bottom with the lemon juice. I've also used red wine vinegar, or straight up red wine here and both work great too. Just make sure the wine is something that you would drink by itself if you're going to add that instead.
Carefully add about a cup of the chicken stock to the lemon juice. These liquids will boil up so be careful! This is why we turned the stove off.
The steam will quickly die down. Finish deglazing by scrapping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. The goal is the get as much of the fond off the bottom as possible.
Add the roast back to the pot.
Nestle in the carrots, onions and potatoes. I like to jam pack the veggies so there's a lot to serve, so I use tongs to gently push them down into all the little spaces.
Season the vegetables with some more salt & pepper.
Sprinkle the garlic and thyme all over the vegetables.
Add the rest of the chicken stock, almost submerging the vegetables. You might be wondering why I'm not using beef stock. It's just a preference thing. Water, vegetable, chicken, or beef stock will all work wonderfully. I just figure the chicken stock is somewhere in the middle haha.
Take the rosemary sprigs and add them around the pot by submerging them into the liquid. Like Ree says, that's how they work their magic!
There are a lot of steps to get to this point, but you're done! All you have to do is cover and pop this into the oven and wait for a tasty present in 4 hours. Slow cooking is worth it because it will make this roast into fall apart deliciousness.
4 hours later ...
I mean. I can't even. Just. Yes.
All of the love in the oven created super flavorful juices that is an added bonus to serve with. You can totally add a little bit of rice flour to thicken it up and make a bonafide gravy, after you've taken it out of the pot. I didn't just because I had to devour into this asap.
And here it is. A wonderful way to spend a Sunday, especially with some family and friends. Add some little bits of parsley for some pops of fresh color. A Cabernet Sauvignon would be splendid to share with this meal. Eat up my friends!
Follow me on Instagram so I can show you a few ways to make the leftovers stretch into more glorious meals. See you there!
Slow Cooked Pot Roast | About 8 -10 servings
Lovingly adapted from the Pioneer Woman
3-5 pounds beef roast
2 White onions, quartered
5 Carrots, 2 inch pieces
3 Potatoes, 1 inch cubes
5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 Lemon, juiced and zested
4 cups chicken or beef stock
3 Rosemary sprigs
5-10 Thyme sprigs
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
- Chop the carrots and potatoes into large chunks. Quarter cut the onions, leaving as much of the core as possible to keep it intact.
- Prepare the aromatics by zesting and juicing the lemon, rough chopping the garlic, and removing the leaves from the thyme sprigs.
- With a paper towel, pat the piece of meat dry. Season generously with salt and pepper.
- Heat a dutch oven or large pot to medium high heat and turn the oven to 300ºF.
- Brown the onions, carrots and potatoes in batches adding a Tablespoon of vegetable oil between batches.
- Sear the roast 3-5 minutes on each side, until there is a golden crust allover.
- Turn off the stove and remove the meat and set aside. Add lemon juice and zest with 1 cup of chicken stock to the pot, to deglaze the bottom and loosen the brown bits.
- Return the roast to the pot with the liquid on the bottom. Add the vegetables and season with salt and pepper.
- Sprinkle the garlic and thyme over the vegetables. Add the rest of the chicken stock, so that it almost covers the vegetables. Submerge the rosemary into the liquid and vegetables.
- Cover the dutch oven and put into the 300ºF for 4 hours.
- Serve the roast with the vegetables and gravy made from the cooking juices.