It seems that everyone has a go-to pot roast recipe. And I know that my go-to recipe has probably changed three or four times in my adult life. But since I received my first Le Creuset French oven and the cookbook Braises and Stews over three years ago, this recipe right here for Classic Pot Roast has been my family’s constant slow cooked beef request.
I first mentioned Braises and Stews back in May, when I shared the recipe for some awesome Carnitas, another family favorite. And this book has a number of other recipes that we’ve marked as “very good – make again”. It’s not a complicated cookbook, but still has a nice level of interesting and very tasty recipes. It was the perfect thing to get me started using my new Dutch oven.
There are three ingredients in this recipe that I give the bulk of the credit for this pot roast’s beautiful flavor…
3. tomato paste
Once those distinctly different, yet complimentary flavors are added to the pot, the dish starts to sing. And it’s a lovely, lovely tune. One that you get to happy dance to all afternoon, as that roast gets all luscious and tender in your oven.
Classic Pot Roast with Carrots and Onions
1 boneless chuck roast (3.5 to 4 lbs.)
freshly ground black pepper
2 large onions, chopped into 1″ pieces
4 large carrots, sliced into 1″ pieces
2 tsp. dried thyme
1 12-oz. bottle beer (I like a full bodied beer for this, but a light beer works just fine.)
1 c. low sodium beef broth
2 T. tomato paste
An hour before starting to cook, remove the roast from the refrigerator. Rinse it and pat it dry with paper towels. Place on a plate and sprinkle fairly generously all over with kosher salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature.
Preheat oven to 350°. Coat the bottom of a 5 to 7-quart French oven with a thin film of olive oil and set the pot over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering, put meat in the pot and let it cook, without moving it, until it is deeply browned on the bottom and lifts easily from the pot when turned. This should take about 8 minutes or so. Continue to brown all sides of the meat, turning as needed. Transfer meat to a plate and set aside.
Add the onions and carrots to the pot and cook, stirring, until softened. This should take about 5 minutes. Stir in the thyme. Then pour in the beer and broth. Stir to release browned bits on the pan bottom. Then stir in the tomato paste. Let mixture come to a boil, then return meat and any accumulated juices to pot. Cover pot and transfer to the oven. Cook, turning meat over once about halfway through cooking, until meat is tender and pulls apart easily when prodded with a fork, about 2-1/2 to 3 hours.
There are a couple of different ways you can finish up this beautiful pot roast:
- For a simple weeknight meal, I will simply break apart the meat with a wooden spoon while it sits in the juices in the pot. Some of it will have an almost shredded appearance, as it will be so tender. This is personally my favorite way to eat the roast, all loose and juicy and tender.
- To achieve the sliced look, like the roast in my pictures, I will remove the meat from the pot after it has been in the oven for about 2 hours. Then I slice it against the grain and return it to the pot, along with any accumulated juices, nestling it back into the veggies and juices. Return the pot to the oven and cook for another 30 to 60 minutes.
The cookbook suggests serving this with herbed wide noodles, which is very good. But we really prefer this dish alongside some creamy mashed potatoes.
Source: adapted from Braises and Stews by Tori Ritchie
Cheryl at TidyMom for I’m Lovin’ It!