Dutch Oven Pot Roast is is the perfect comfort food. Tender pieces of chuck roast are braised in the oven a rich savory broth with potatoes and carrots. This is one of the best dinner recipes! Alternate cooking methods using the Instant Pot or slow cooker are included with the recipe.
Why this recipe works:
If you love a good dinner recipe where you can slowly braise a tender chunk of meat in a rich broth with potatoes and carrots, you're going to love this recipe.
- Dutch oven cooking: The beauty of cooking with a cast iron Dutch oven is the ability to brown the meat over high heat on the stove and then to braise the meat in liquid in the oven. The result is a slow cooked, flavorful, melt-in-your-mouth meal.
- Cost effective: The ideal cut of beef for pot roast is a beef chuck roast. It is relatively less expensive cut because it requires braising, a long cooking time in liquid, in order for it to be tender. It is marbled with fat which completely renders during the braising process.
- Great for leftovers: Not only is Dutch oven pot roast excellent when served straight out of the oven, but the leftovers taste even better! This recipe makes a lot, so unless you're feeding a large family, you'll get to enjoy the leftovers throughout the week.
Exact quantities are listed in the recipe card below, but here is a summary.
- Chuck roast - I always recommend bone-in verses boneless when you're braising meat, however boneless chuck roasts are more common.
- Beef broth - Of course, half of what makes this meal so amazing is that it was made with slow roasted homemade beef stock. That stuff is like liquid gold and will transform any soup or stew into a meal that will never allow you to go back to store bought beef broth.
- Butter and all-purpose flour - used to make a roux to thicken the broth.
- Onion Dip Mix - Now, back when I originally made this I used Trader Joe's Onion Dip Mix and they have since discontinued. You can always use dried onion soup mix too.
- Red wine - The alcohol burns off during the cooking process but the flavor creates a delicious richness to the gravy.
- Carrots and potatoes - I like to use large carrots that are peeled and chopped rather than baby carrots. They taste better. I also like super small golden potatoes because the skin is thin and helps hold the potatoes together.
- Salt, pepper, thyme, bay leaves, oil, butter - usual pantry ingredients
- Whole grain mustard - This is considered a secret ingredient. I stir it in at the end for a bit of added flavor.
How to make this recipe:
Detailed step by step instructions are listed in the recipe card below, but here is a summary.
Step 1: Sear chuck roast
- Heat Dutch oven: Place cast iron Dutch oven on stove and heat over medium high heat. Add a bit of oil. When both the pan and oil are extremely hot, add seasoned chuck roast.
- Sear meat: Allow the chuck roast to sizzle in the hot Dutch oven for a good 10 minutes on each side. Each side will get a lovely browned crust. When done, transfer the meat to a separate plate and reduce the heat to medium.
- Make roux: Add butter and flour to Dutch oven and cook to make a roux. Stir in the onion dip mix.
- Mix gravy: Stir in the beef broth and red wine. This mixture will turn into a very thin gravy.
Braise pot roast with vegetables:
- Add roast to liquid: Place the seared roast back to the Dutch oven and add thyme and bay leaves.
- Braise meat in oven: Cover with lid and cook in oven for 2 ½ hours.
- Cook vegetables: At this point, you'll flip the roast over and then add the carrots and potatoes. Cover and cook until the veggies are tender.
- Shred meat: The final step is to shred the meat and discard any bones and fat. Add the tender bite-sized pieces back to the Dutch oven and it's ready to serve.
Cooking tips and recommendations:
- How to make pot roast tender: Ensure lid is on tight. You not only want the roast sitting in liquid, but you want the air trapped inside for the meat to be very moist. If possible, find a roast that is nicely marbled with fat; this will give you the most tender pot roast possible.
- Serving suggestions: This meal is so perfect with a crisp green salad and some hot crusty bread with a big pad of butter on the side.
- Storing and reheating: Store leftover pot roast in air tight container in the refrigerator. Best if eaten within 3-5 days. To reheat, add to pot and heat on stove over medium heat. Alternatively, leftover pot roast can be reheated in microwave in covered dish at 50% power in 1-minute increments, stirring after each minute.
- Freezing instructions: Because pot roast is in liquid, it freezes exceptionally well. Add chilled leftover pot roast to plastic quart-sized containers and freeze. Thaw in refrigerator before reheating.
Alternate cooking methods:
Although I think pot roast is best when made in a Dutch oven as outlined in the recipe, busy lives dictate the use of other cooking methods. If you aren't able to be in your kitchen all day, here are some alternatives:
Slow Cooker Pot Roast:
- Sear meat: You will still need to sear the chuck roast on both sides. Again, cast iron works great for this, but you can use a nice heavy bottom stainless steal pan as well.
- Make gravy: You will still need to make a nice roux on the stove top using that same pan. You will also need to add the liquid to that pan to create the gravy.
- Braise in slow cooker: Once all of that has been done, you can add the seared chuck roast along with all of the gravy to your slow cooker. Cook on low for at least 8 hours (preferred), or if you're pressed for time you can cook on high for 4 hours. Add potatoes and carrots half way through cooking time. Be sure the meat is super tender and easy to shred before you finish cooking.
Instant Pot Pot Roast:
Unlike a slow cooker, you can cook this entire pot roast recipe in your Instant Pot. The only restrictions you might run into would be capacity. If your roast and all of the remaining ingredients are too much for the Instant Pot to hold, you'll either have to make two batches or reduce the size of the recipe.
- Sear meat: Use the Instant Pot to sear the roast on both sides using Sauté mode.
- Make gravy: Remove the roast and make the roux while it is still on the sauté setting. Add the broth and wine to make the gravy, then put the seared roast back in.
- Braise meat: Secure the lid and cook on high pressure for 60 minutes. You can either quick or naturally release the pressure. Open the lid, flip over the roast, and add the potatoes and carrots.
- Cook vegetables: Close the lid and cook the vegetables for another 10 minutes or so. When it's done, you'll have to ensure both the meat and veggies are super tender. If not, secure the lid and continue cooking for another 10 minutes or more, depending on how much more time you think it needs.
Dutch Oven Pot Roast
- 3 pound chuck roast (Bone-in preferred, but boneless is fine)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (I used avocado oil)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 13 ounces onion dip mix (one packet, can also use dried onion soup mix)
- 4 cups beef stock (homemade is best)
- 2 tablespoons red wine (dry wine, not sweet)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 5 large carrots (peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces)
- 1 pound Dutch yellow baby potatoes (If they are not small, cut into bite sized pieces)
- 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- freshly ground pepper (to taste)
- Preheat the oven to 300° F.
- Sear meat: Place Dutch oven on cooktop over medium high heat. Pat dry the chuck roast, then cover both sides with the first teaspoon of kosher salt. Add the oil to the Dutch oven and when it gets nice and hot, sear both sides of the meat until deeply browned, about 10 minutes per side. Remove the browned meat from the Dutch oven and transfer to a plate.
- Make roux: Reduce heat to medium. Add the butter to the Dutch oven and melt. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any bits that may have stuck to the pot. Once melted, add the flour, stir, and allow to brown for a few minutes until fragrant.
- Make gravy: Add the onion dip mix to the roux and stir. Add the beef stock and the red wine. Allow mixture to come to a boil, stirring occasionally and scraping any bits that may have stuck to the bottom of the pan. Once the mixture comes to a boil, remove from heat.
- Braise meat in oven: Add the seared chuck roast along with any of the juices from the plate to the gravy mixture in the Dutch oven. Add thyme and bay leaves. Cover tightly with lid and cook in preheated oven for 2 ½ hours.
- Cook potatoes and carrots: After 2 ½ hours of cooking, turn the roast over in the Dutch oven and add the carrots and potatoes, pushing them down into the liquid as much as possible. Cover the Dutch oven and continue to cook, stirring the vegetables once, for an additional 1 to 1 ½ hours, until the vegetables are tender.
- Shred meat: Remove the roast from the Dutch oven and transfer it to a cutting board. Separate the chunks of meat into bite-sized pieces and discard any fat and bones. Return meat to the pot. Stir in the mustard. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Serve hot with warm crusty bread. Enjoy!
- For best results and most tender meat, ensure lid is on tight and meat is submerged under liquid.
- Continue cooking until vegetables are completely tender and meat shreds easily.
This recipe was originally published in December 2015 and has been updated with helpful information, ingredient and process photos, as well as recipe tips. Don't worry - the recipe hasn't changed!