Red pepper and cajun seasoning are added to the beloved family recipe for this beef shoulder roast with vegetables. With this recipe, you get a succulent, tender roast served with potatoes, carrots, celery, and onion in a delicious, creamy sauce. That and a lot of requests for seconds.
There’s a reason why pot roast is a beloved traditional family recipe. It’s delicious, will feed a family for a few days, and in my opinion, only gets better with time. Since I can remember, I’ve been making pot roast. It’s actually one of the very first dishes I ever learned to prepare. When I was a child, I used to assist my mother in making it for family dinners, so for me, this recipe combines deliciousness and nostalgia.
I’ll wager that you also have happy memories centered around pot roast. Since the dawn of time, almost every family has had it on their dinner table. Of course, there are various meat cuts that work well for pot roast. Chuck roast and shoulder roast are the two most frequently used types. I prefer shoulder roast, but both work well. Because it’s a little leaner than chuck roast but still cooks up nice and tender, I like shoulder roast.
What Makes the Best Pot Roast?
The tougher, more flavorful beef cuts, such as a chuck roast or shoulder roast, are typically used in pot roasts. The tough connective tissue between the muscle fibers is melted during slow cooking at low heat, resulting in tender meat that easily separates with a fork.
Fat is your friend when it comes to pot roasts and other slow-cooked tough meats because it not only imparts flavor but also prevents the meat from drying out during the lengthy slow cooking process. So look for cuts that are well marbled with fat.
Another suggestion is to allow the roast to sit (wrapped) for one to two hours outside of the refrigerator so that it can reach room temperature (between 65 and 70°F) more quickly before cooking. Otherwise, cooking at the low heat required by this recipe will take a lot longer.
How Much Liquid Do You Need?
Why does my mother’s tried-and-true pot roast recipe only call for adding a half cup of liquid to the pot?
Beef is about 60 to 70% water (the rest is protein and fat). So if you keep the heat very low and the pot tightly covered, the beef will release water as it cooks, and it will cook in its own juices.
The result? A deeper beef flavor for your pot roast. The important things are to keep the temperature low and to make sure the lid is tightly sealed. Otherwise, the pot will release too much vapor, resulting in a dry pot roast.
For the liquid, this recipe calls for 1/2 cup of red wine. Use whatever red wine you like to drink. If you don’t have wine on hand or would prefer to cook without it, you can replace the wine with water or broth. The wine will give the roast a richer flavor.
Can I Make This Pot Roast Other Ways?
Although you can make pot roast in the oven, a slow cooker, or a pressure cooker, my mother makes hers on the stovetop.
- Cook the meat and onions on the stovetop to a simmer before finishing the dish in the oven. After that, place the dish in the oven and preheat it to 350°F for 15 minutes, 250°F for the following hour, and then 225°F after that.
- Brown the meat and the onions if you’re using a slow cooker, then add them to the slow cooker. Cook the food according to the recipe’s instructions for 4 to 5 hours on high or 8 to 9 hours on low.
- If you’re using a pressure cooker, first brown the meat and onions (you can do this right in the Instant Pot), then cook at high pressure for 65 minutes, then wait 15 minutes for the pressure to naturally release. See the directions in our recipe for Balsamic and Rosemary Instant Pot Pot Roast.
Be aware that it may be challenging to lower the flame on a gas range. To add a little more space between the range and the pan, a Cooks Illustrated tip I read suggests tightly rolling up some aluminum foil, forming it into a donut, and placing that on top of the burner. Even this might not be sufficient if you have a high-BTU range, in which case I advise beginning the roast on the stovetop and finishing it in the oven.
Can I Add Potatoes to This Pot Roast?
The problem with the potatoes is that they might disintegrate due to the pot roast’s lengthy, slow cooking. If I wanted to add potatoes, I would use new potatoes that are firmer rather than russets because they will maintain their shape better. If they are larger than 1 1/2 inches in diameter, cut them in half and into quarters.
In order to prevent them from lowering the temperature inside the pot when you add them, I would first microwave or bake the potatoes on a baking sheet before adding them to the pot roast for the final hour of cooking.
Who Doesn’t Love a Good Pot Roast?
For the best results, choose a roast that is well marbled with fat.
Allow the roast to sit (wrapped) for one to two hours outside of the refrigerator so that it comes to room temperature (between 65 and 70°F) before cooking in order for this recipe to work properly. Otherwise, cooking at the low heat required by this recipe will take a lot longer.
Tip: Cover the pot with foil first, then tighten the lid on it if your pot’s lid doesn’t fit snugly.
- 3 1/2 pounds beef shoulder or boneless chuck roast
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning to taste
- 2 large yellow onions, thickly sliced lengthwise (about 4 cups)
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1 bay leaf
- Several carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch segments
- Use a thick-bottomed covered pot, such as a Dutch oven, just big enough to hold the roast and vegetables, and make sure it’s ovenproof if you plan to cook it in an oven. Brown the roast on all sides. 2 tablespoons of oil should be heated to a temperature that will allow the meat to be seared. Pat the roast dry with paper towels. Season the meat with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Cook the roast for several minutes on each side, browning it completely. The roast won’t brown properly if you move it while one side is browning. Elise Bauer Elise Bauer .
- When the roast is browned, remove it from the pan and place it on a plate after browning the onions, garlic, and carrots. The onions should be added to the pan and cooked for 5 to 10 minutes, until they start to brown. Place the carrots and garlic on top of the onions. Elise Bauer .
- Place the roast on top of the onions, garlic, and carrots and simmer Add 1/2 cup of red wine. Add the bay leaf and cover. We cook our roast on the warm setting of our electric range, so we adjust the heat down to the lowest setting to maintain a bare simmer when covered. Advice: If you use a gas range, you might have trouble keeping the flame at a bare simmer. To add a little more space between the range and the pan in this situation, tightly roll up some aluminum foil, shape it into a donut, and place it on top of the burner. You might prefer to cook the roast in the oven if you use a high-BTU range. (If using an oven, bring to a simmer on the stovetop first, then transfer to the oven; set the temperature for 15 minutes at 350°F, then lower it to 250°F for the following hour, and finally to 225°F after that.) ) Elise Bauer .
- Serve after cooking the meat for at least three and a half to four hours, or until it is fork-tender. The meat will release a lot of liquid after 3 1/2 hours as a result of the slow cooking at a very low temperature. Make sure the pan you are using has a tight-fitting lid and that you are cooking at the lowest heat possible to maintain the low simmer if your pot roast is too dry. Serve with green beans and potatoes. After cooking 3 1/2 hours. Note how much liquid has been released by the meat!. Elise Bauer .
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)
|Servings: 4 to 5
|Amount per serving
|% Daily Value*
|Total Fat 54g
|Saturated Fat 21g
|Total Carbohydrate 10g
|Dietary Fiber 2g
|Total Sugars 4g
|Vitamin C 5mg
|*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.
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