Classic Beef Pot Roast

Beef pot roast recipe

The Spruce Eats / Nita West

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 4 hrs 30 mins
Total: 5 hrs
Servings: 6 to 8 servings

Despite its name, pot roast isn't actually roasted, it's braised. Braising is a form of moist-heat cooking that breaks down connective tissues in tough cuts of meat, leaving them tender and succulent.

Braising by itself doesn't give meat the flavorful, brown outer crust that dry-heat cooking methods like roasting do, so we sear it on the stovetop first.

For this recipe, you'll need a large Dutch oven or brazier — one that's big enough to accommodate the meat and stock, and safe for both stovetop and oven. Make sure it has a tight-fitting lid, too.

You could also make this pot roast in a crockpot. Just brown the meat as described, then add the vegetables, meat, seasonings, and stock to the crockpot and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours or until the meat is tender. It helps to heat up the stock on the stovetop first.


  • 1/4 cup canola oil (or other vegetable oil)
  • 5 pounds beef chuck (or brisket, excess fat removed)
  • 1 large carrot (peeled and chopped)
  • 2 medium ribs celery (chopped)
  • 1 large onion (peeled and chopped)
  • 5 cloves garlic (peeled and slightly crushed)
  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes (including liquid)
  • 5 cups brown stock (i.e. beef stock)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt (to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for classic beef pot roast
    The Spruce Eats / Nita West
  2. Pre-heat oven to 300 F (150 C).

  3. In a heavy, cast-iron dutch oven or brazier, heat the oil over high heat, then add the meat and sear it thoroughly, using a pair of tongs to turn it. When a nice brown crust has developed on all sides of the meat, remove it from the pan and set it aside.

    Put roast in pot
    The Spruce Eats / Nita West
  4. Add the carrot, celery, onion, and garlic to the pot and cook for 5 minutes or so, or until the onion is slightly translucent.

    Add vegetables
    The Spruce Eats / Nita West
  5. Return the meat to the pot and add the tomatoes, stock, bay leaves, thyme, and peppercorns. Heat on the stovetop until the liquid comes to a boil.

    Return meat
    The Spruce Eats / Nita West
  6. Then cover with a tight-fitting lid and transfer the whole thing to the oven. Cook 4 to 5 hours or until the meat is tender.

    The Spruce Eats / Nita West
  7. Remove pot from the oven and leave the meat in the braising liquid while you make the sauce.

    The Spruce Eats / Nita West
  8. Ladle out around two cups of the braising liquid and pour it through a mesh strainer.

    Ladle out
    The Spruce Eats / Nita West
  9. Skim off any fat from the top.

    Skim fat
    The Spruce Eats / Nita West
  10. Heat the butter in a separate saucepan, then gradually stir in the flour until a paste forms.

    Stir butter
    The Spruce Eats / Nita West
  11. Heat for a few minutes, stirring, until the roux is a rich brown color.

    Roux turning brown
    The Spruce Eats / Nita West
  12. Whisk the hot liquid into the roux, a little at a time and simmer for about 15 minutes.

    The Spruce Eats / Nita West
  13. Then strain through a fine-mesh sieve and season to taste with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

    The Spruce Eats / Nita West
  14. Slice the meat across the grain, arrange slices on warm plates, sauce generously and serve while the sauce is hot.

    Slice the meat
    The Spruce Eats / Nita West
  15. Enjoy!

    Slice pot roast
    The Spruce Eats / Nita West