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Old Fashioned Pot Roast

Pot roast is the ultimate in simple comfort foods. Here’s how to make old fashioned pot roast with vegetables, just like Granny’s!

pot roast with carrots and potatoes, text overlay "Old Fashioned Pot Roast"

Old Fashioned Pot Roast with Potatoes and Carrots

One of my favorite dinners growing up was an old-fashioned pot roast. This is a timeless Sunday dinner kind of meal that will have your mouth watering while it roasts in the oven for a few hours. It’s juicy, flavorful, and fork-tender!

Mom always served it with potatoes that roasted along with the beef and carrots that she cooked on the side. For the table she put the roast in the middle of a platter and surrounded it with the potatoes and carrots. The potatoes cook with the meat and soak up all those flavorful drippings. Seriously, the best potatoes ever!

Making a pot roast is easy but it does require time to prepare. Unlike cooking a steak, a pot roast cooks for hours. For this type of meat, there is no such thing as “rare” or “medium.” It is cooked for a long time, until it is tender and will practically melt in your mouth.

pulling apart tender pot roast with fork

What is the Best Cut of Meat for a Classic Pot Roast?

If you go to the grocery store, there isn’t a cut of meat called “pot roast.” However, there is a cut of meat that makes the perfect homey old-fashioned pot roasts you might remember.

A nice marbled, fatty chuck roast is what we’re using for this recipe, just like my mom (Granny) always used.

Pot roasts are cooked on a lower temperature for a longer period of time. Chuck roast usually has a nice amount of fat or marbling. The slow cooking breaks down the fat and connective tissues and this results in a ton of flavor and a tender roast.

Chuck roast will not have the texture or taste of steak. It’s definitely beef but it has a definite flavor and texture of its own. And you can’t cook it like a steak either!

If you try to cook it too hot or too fast; it will come out tough, chewy, and not tasty.

The magic happens with the long-cooking at a lower temperature.

Ingredients

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  • 3-4 pound boneless beef chuck roast (or more if you have a larger Dutch oven type pan)
  • Kosher Salt and black pepper
  • Celery
  • Onion
  • Russet potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Broth or water if needed

Kitchen Tools Used

  • Dutch Oven Pan — I made my pot roast in a medium sized Le Creuset Dutch oven. Any kind of sturdy Dutch oven should work fine.

serving platter with pork roast, potatoes, and carrots

How to Make Pot Roast in the Oven

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Meanwhile, heat the Dutch oven on medium heat until it is hot. Add a little oil of choice to the pot and stir to coat the bottom.

Sear both sides of your chuck roast, about five minutes on each side of the roast. Just enough to brown it. Remove the roast from the pan and set aside on a plate.

Add the chopped onion and celery to the oil and juices in the pan. Cook for a few minutes and be sure to stir as you cook to prevent sticking to the pan. These will mostly dissolve during the cooking of the roast but they add tons of flavor.

Add the roast back into the pan and add 1/2 cup of water or beef broth and cover.

Place the Dutch oven in the oven and cook for about two hours at 350 degrees.

step by step photo collage showing how to cook pot roast in Dutch oven pot

After two hours add peeled and quartered russet potatoes to the Dutch oven pot. The size of your pot will determine how many you can add, but I recommend adding about ½- 1 potato for each person.

Cook for another hour. Remove pan from oven and check for doneness in potatoes. They should be tender and cooked through.

Check that the roast is done. It should pull apart easily with a fork. If it needs to cook more, remove potatoes and return to the oven for another half an hour.

Or if the roast is done and the potatoes aren’t, remove the roast and cook the potatoes for more time.

When the roast and potatoes are both done cooking, let them rest in the pan until ready to serve to keep them warm.

Can You Cook Carrots in the Pan with Pot Roast?

While you could cook everything all together, Granny recommends cooking the carrots separately to retain their color and flavor. If you cook the carrots with the pot roast, you may end up with brown-looking carrots that are on the mushy side. It’s easy to prepare them separately and you’ll get much better results!

Here is a simple way to cook your carrots:

  1. Peel the carrots, and slice off tip and the stem. Cut in half, then cut each half into about four carrot sticks.
  2. Place carrots in saucepan with a small amount of water. Add a little salt and about a teaspoon of sugar.
  3. Cook until tender but not too soft, about 10 minutes.

Related: Try our sweet Honey Butter Glazed Carrots recipe too!

close up of tender roast

How to Serve

To serve your pot roast dinner, place the whole roast in the center of a serving platter and surround with the cooked potatoes and carrots. You can also place a couple sprigs of fresh rosemary or thyme on top of the roast for garnish. I just love the look of fresh herbs with roasted meat! However, this is totally optional, as the roast has plenty of flavor on its own!

Another trick we do to make the meat look extra juicy is to melt a small amount of butter on top. I learned this trick working at a steakhouse — it’s how fancy restaurants make their steaks look extra appetizing and it makes them taste even more delicious!

Old Fashioned Pot Roast Recipe (Printable Copy)

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pulling apart tender pot roast with fork

Old Fashioned Pot Roast

Sara Garska
Pot roast is the ultimate in simple comfort foods. Here’s how to make old fashioned pot roast with vegetables, just like Granny's!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 459 kcal

Equipment

  • Large Dutch Oven

Ingredients
  

  • 3-4 pound chuck roast
  • 2 Tablespoon oil
  • 2 stalks celery sliced
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • salt
  • pepper
  • potatoes peeled and quartered
  • 1/2 cup water or broth add more if roast starts to dry out too much

Instructions
 

Stovetop Before Roasting

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • Heat the Dutch oven on medium heat until it is hot. Add a little oil of choice and heat that too.
  • Sear both sides of your chuck roast, about five minutes on each side. Just brown it.
  • Remove the roast from the pan and set aside on a plate.
  • Add the chopped onion and celery to the oil and juices in the pan. Cook for a few minutes while stirring. These will mostly dissolve during the cooking of the roast but they add tons of flavor.
  • Add the roast back into the pan and add 1/2 cup of water or beef broth and cover.

Oven Roasting

  • Place the Dutch oven in the oven.
  • Cook for about two hours at 350 degrees.
  • After two hours add peeled and quartered russet potatoes. The size of your pot will determine how many you can add. But allow about ½- 1  potato for each person.
  • Cook for another hour. Remove pan from oven and check for doneness in potatoes. They should be tender and cooked through.
  • Check that the roast is done. It should pull apart easily with a fork. If it needs to cook more, remove potatoes and return to the oven for another half an hour.
  • Or if the roast is done and the potatoes aren’t, remove the roast and cook the potatoes for more time.
  • When the roast and potatoes are both done cooking, let them rest in the pan until ready to serve to keep them warm.

How to Cook the Carrots

  • Granny recommends cooking the carrots separately to retain their color and flavor. This is how to do it.
  • Peel the carrots, and slice off tip and the stem. Cut in half, then cut each half into about four carrot sticks.
  • Place carrots in saucepan with a small amount of water. Add a little salt and about a teaspoon of sugar. Cook until tender but not too soft, about 10 minutes.
  • To serve, place the pot roast in the center of a platter and surround with the potatoes and carrots.

Nutrition

Calories: 459kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 44gFat: 31gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 2gCholesterol: 156mgSodium: 195mgPotassium: 814mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 90IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 48mgIron: 5mg
Keyword beef, roast
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2 photos of cooked pot roast, text overlay "Old Fashioned Pot Roast"

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