A Sunday Dinner classic! This Pot Roast and Potatoes is comforting, filling, and easy.
Dinner at Grandma’s
When I think of pot roast, I think of Sundays at my grandma’s house, where extended family would regularly gather to enjoy a meal together. This classic, hearty, and homey dish—the center of my grandmother’s table—is a perfect one-pot “meat and potatoes” meal. Growing up this dish was always the centerpiece of the big family meal. If I close my eyes, I can literally recreate the experience – I remember exactly what it tasted like alongside the buttered peas that she would always serve with the concord grape juice she used to can from straight from her backyard.
Low and Slow
The best part about braising is that all you really need is an inexpensive cut of meat, time and patience. Look for a heavily marbled piece of meat to maximize the flavor. Having plenty of fat keeps the meat juicy and adds tons of collagen that will break down into gelatin to give your dish a rich, silky texture. The low and slow braise creates both tender meat and vegetables rich with flavor. In addition to the buttered peas, I like serving this with a salad of simple greens dressed in a tangy vinaigrette. The freshness of the greens balances the deep colors and flavors in this dish. If we’re totally recreating my grandma’s meal, I’d also have to make a batch of homemade buttered dinner rolls.
Tools for tender success
Using the right tools for pot roast nearly ensure a tender result. You can use a Dutch Oven or a slow cooker or even and Instant Pot. Regardless, I think it’s important to sear the roast before you start the slow cook. If you’re using one of those other tools, simply sear the meat, and toss everything else in. I think you’re able to build a bit more flavor by slow roasting it in the oven, but you can’t beat the ease of a slow cooker or Instant Pot. I’ve done both and had great results!
After patiently waiting for the long cook, your reward will be succulent, tender meat that’s delicious piled on top of potatoes, polenta, or buttered noodles. Literally the best classic family meal for making memories around the dinner table.
1 (4-pound) boneless chuck roast Kosher salt and cracked black pepper 3 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 large yellow onion, chopped (about 1 1⁄2 cups) 1 1⁄2 pounds small red potatoes, halved 4 large carrots, chopped into 1-inch pieces (about 1 1/2 cups) 3 parsnips, chopped into 1-inch pieces (about 1 cup) 4 garlic cloves, minced 3 sprigs fresh thyme 1 cup dry red wine (can substitute for broth) 2 1/2 cups low-sodium beef broth 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350o F.
Using paper towels, pat the roast dry. Season liberally with salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven set over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the roast and brown on all sides, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to cutting board or a large plate.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan. Add the onion, potatoes, carts, parsnips, garlic, thyme, and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the vegetables start to brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Add 1⁄2 cup of the wine and cook, scraping the bits from the bottom of the pot, until reduced by half, 3 to 5 minutes. Return the roast to the pot and add the beef broth and Worcestershire sauce. Bring the liquid to a simmer, cover with a tight fitting lid, and put the pot in the oven.
Roast until fork tender, flipping it once halfway through, 3 1/2 hours. Transfer the roast to a large cutting board, tent it with foil, and let it rest. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a serving platter. Put the Dutch oven back on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 1/2 cup wine, bring to a simmer, and cook until reduced by half, 5 to 10 minutes.
Strain the sauce and season to taste with salt and pepper. Shred the pot roast into big chunks and transfer to the platter with the vegetables. Sprinkle the vegetables and roast with the parsley. Reserve 1 cup of sauce to pass when serving and pour the remainder over the vegetables and pot roast.
Looking for more simple weeknight recipes? Check out Recipe Club.