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
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
953 Calories
62g Fat
8g Carbs
86g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 953
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 62g 80%
Saturated Fat 23g 115%
Cholesterol 308mg 103%
Sodium 563mg 24%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 2g 5%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 86g
Vitamin C 6mg 31%
Calcium 86mg 7%
Iron 8mg 44%
Potassium 1089mg 23%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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 carrot, peeled and chopped

  • 2 stalks celery, chopped

  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped

  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and slightly crushed

  • 1 cup diced tomatoes, undrained

  • 5 cups beef stock

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 2 tablespoons 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