Classic Pot Roast {my family’s favorite!}

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…

1.  thyme
2.  beer
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
(print recipe)

1 boneless chuck roast (3.5 to 4 lbs.)
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
olive oil
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.

Servings: 6

Source: adapted from Braises and Stews by Tori Ritchie

I’m linking up with:

Cheryl at TidyMom for I’m Lovin’ It!


55 Responses to “Classic Pot Roast {my family’s favorite!}”

  1. #
    Kristen — February 18, 2011 at 8:47 am

    First of all, I have never been able to take a pretty picture of a pot roast, but you nailed it!
    Secondly… beer? What a brilliant idea!

    • farmgirl replied on February 18th, 2011 at 8:53 pm

      Thanks, Kristen. The photo was inspired by one in that cookbook, which has lots of beautiful shots in it. And, yes, the beer makes this spectacular!

  2. #
    Wenderly — February 18, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    That looks dreamy! And Kristen is so right, those pictures are beautiful!

    I can just taste that mouthwatering roast right this minute.

    And wow does it taste amazing!

    • farmgirl replied on February 18th, 2011 at 8:54 pm

      So nice to share a meal with you, Wenderly! :)

  3. #
    Shaina — February 18, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    Love this, Brenda! There is something about a classic pot roast that feels so much like home.

    • farmgirl replied on February 18th, 2011 at 8:55 pm

      Thanks, Shaina!

  4. #
    Cookbook QUeen — February 18, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    This roast looks absolutely beautiful!!

    • farmgirl replied on February 18th, 2011 at 8:58 pm

      Thank you, Kristan!

  5. #
    Amy | She Wears Many Hats — February 18, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    This looks delish! Wish I would’ve seen it earlier today, because I just returned from the grocery store, and now I’m not really wanting what I have for this evenings meal. Yum!

    • farmgirl replied on February 18th, 2011 at 9:00 pm

      Ha! I know all too well how that goes, Amy. Like a couple weeks ago, when you posted that beautiful chicken pot pie!!

  6. #
    Tracy — February 18, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    I’ve never made pot roast before and yours looks absolutely gorgeous! I’ll definitely be trying it!

    • farmgirl replied on February 18th, 2011 at 9:01 pm

      This is just so easy & delicious…you’re gonna love it!

  7. #
    Mama Kelly aka Jia — February 18, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    This looks so wonderful and I can practically smell it from here.

    • farmgirl replied on February 18th, 2011 at 9:01 pm

      Thank you!

  8. #
    Aimee @ Simple Bites — February 18, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    Best looking pot roast I’ve ever seen. I’m adding this to my weekend links!

    • farmgirl replied on February 18th, 2011 at 9:02 pm

      Thank you so much, Aimee. Happy Weekend!

  9. #
    Nancy @SensitivePantry — February 18, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    Three really good ingredients. I only make pot roast about once or twice a year. Not sure why…it always makes the kitchen smell fabulous and the flavors are so rich. I know my husband and son would love this recipe.

    • farmgirl replied on February 18th, 2011 at 9:04 pm

      Great to hear from you, Nancy. Thanks!

  10. #
    Christina — February 18, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    This looks SO good. Love a good pot roast!

    • farmgirl replied on February 18th, 2011 at 9:05 pm

      Thank you, Christina!

  11. #
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen — February 18, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    Beer? Now that’s an interesting addition and a little twist on a classic dish.

  12. #
    Harriet — February 19, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    Wow this looks great! I’ll have to try and make it for me and my housemates at some point. One of them absolutley loves his beer so he’ll be really pleased that I’ll be using beer in cooking!

    • farmgirl replied on February 20th, 2011 at 6:29 pm

      Once I add the beer to the pot, everyone makes their way to the kitchen, wondering what the delicious smell is. The beer is wonderful in this. I would love to hear what you think, Harriet.

  13. #
    Amanda — February 19, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    I have NEVER seen a pot roast look that good… AMAZING shots girl!! And love your three main flavor ingredients… you are such a chef! :)

    • farmgirl replied on February 20th, 2011 at 6:29 pm

      Thanks, Amanda!

  14. #
    bridget {bake at 350} — February 20, 2011 at 11:42 am

    That looks oh-so-comforting….and BEER! We can’t go wrong with things cooked in BEER! Yum!

    • farmgirl replied on February 20th, 2011 at 6:30 pm

      You’ve got that right, Bridget! :)

  15. #
    Carolyn — February 20, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    I just found your blog quite by accident but WOW it is a fabulous blog. You have got it going on. I can’t wait to try that shrimp and pasta dish. Looks delicious.

    Carolyn/A Southerners Notebook

    • farmgirl replied on February 20th, 2011 at 6:30 pm

      Thanks so much for your comment, Carolyn!

  16. #
    jasmine — February 20, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    oh my that looks delicious. i love how you sliced it up all pretty. i would love this with some rice and some turnip greens.

    • farmgirl replied on February 20th, 2011 at 6:31 pm

      Hi Jasmine – great to hear from you! And, thank you!

  17. #
    Nancy Hustel — February 21, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Hi Brenda, We tried your pot roast yesterday for our evening meal. It was great. Thanks for all the good recipes.

    • farmgirl replied on February 21st, 2011 at 9:59 pm

      Hi Nancy! I’m so glad you tried this and liked it!! Thank you for letting me know.

  18. #
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — February 22, 2011 at 10:12 am

    Yum! This looks delicious… My mom used to make pot roast a lot when I was younger, and this recipe definitely reminds me of her version.

    I host a monthly Kitchen Bootcamp challenge on my site, and this month’s challenge is stewing and braising meats. This pot roast recipe would be perfect. If you’re interested, you can submit the post on my site.

    • farmgirl replied on February 23rd, 2011 at 10:36 am

      Thanks, Jen! I’ve been enjoying getting to know you and your blog. I submitted this recipe and another braising favorite, Carnitas, to your Kitchen Bootcamp.

  19. #

    This sounds like the perfect comfort food for a cold winter’s night! I LOVE pot roast. Can’t wait to try your recipe. Have a super night!!!

    • farmgirl replied on February 23rd, 2011 at 10:11 pm

      So nice to hear from you, Kim! Enjoy this delicious pot roast!

  20. #
    naomi — February 25, 2011 at 12:58 am

    Beautiful picture. Beer and pot roast always go hand in hand in my home-and that’s in the pot and as the accompanying beverage!

  21. #
    Deb — March 15, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    I made your pot roast last night. Very very good. Jed curled his nose when I said pot roast was for dinner due to bad memories from childhood, but had 2 1/2 helpings. I added whole mushrooms and potatoes directly to the roast as well…only problem was space (almost overflowing), but otherwise delicious!

    • farmgirl replied on March 16th, 2011 at 8:44 am

      Thanks, Deb! I’m so glad this recipe has convinced Jed to give pot roast a second chance!!

  22. #
    Donna — March 15, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    Hi, Brenda! Just wanted to let you know that I tried this and it was wonderful, the meat just fell apart. So nice and tender and tasty. I had to call Ryan for the beer. Next time I’ll be sure to have some on hand!!! Can’t wait to try your other recipes. Keep the recipes coming.

    • farmgirl replied on March 16th, 2011 at 8:44 am

      Yay! I’m so glad you enjoyed this, Donna. Thanks for letting me know!

  23. #
    Pamela Vazquez — March 22, 2011 at 12:00 pm


    How fun is this!!??! I am so in awe! You go girl! I am going to make your german choc. cake and I will let you know how it is!!!!!


    • farmgirl replied on March 23rd, 2011 at 8:35 pm

      WONDERFUL to hear from you, Pam!!!! xoxo

  24. #
    Amanda — May 26, 2011 at 11:26 am

    This is so good! Someone pinned it on Pinterest, which lead me to the recipe. I have to say it is now my go-to recipe for pot roast. Now I am actually excited to make roast, and my family is excited to eat it! How do you think it would be with a pork roast? I might have to experiment.

  25. #
    Diann Allison — March 13, 2013 at 6:22 am

    Thanks! Ha!

  26. #
    Daniel Judge — June 2, 2013 at 10:15 am

    Made this roast and it was frickin amazing. I love to cook and this was actually my first roast. The only change I’m goings to make with it today is a little less thyme that little green plant is powerful!

    • Brenda replied on June 4th, 2013 at 7:51 am

      I’m so glad you liked it, Daniel. This is one of those recipes that my kids will request out of the blue, definitely memorable!

  27. #
    Joey — August 1, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    OH YEAH! I just made almost this exact recipe a few days ago and it was DELICIOUS!!! You have good tastes Brenda…


  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Classic Pot Roast {my family’s favorite!} --

  2. Pingback: Kitchen Bootcamp Roundup – Braising and Stewing | my kitchen addiction

  3. Pingback: Simple, Family-Friendly, Weeknight Meals « Simple Organized Living

  4. Pingback: Shandy Braised Chicken with Mushrooms and Green Olives

  5. Pingback: Weekend Links: Cooking for Others Edition | Simple Bites

  6. Pingback: Centex Local Box: It's Been A Chard Days Night |Greenling|Austin| San Antonio

Leave a Comment