Fork-Tender Pot Roast Recipes

Pot roast recipes have become a long-established part of the North American meal. Slow-roasted roast beef, caramelized on its own is fabulous, but this versatile dish can be cooked with vegetables too, absorbing flavor and juices and creating tender, succulent, and hearty dishes.

A good pot roast recipe can take these big, tougher cuts of beef and turn it into the meat so tender a single poke with a fork will have it falling apart. If you are out of ideas this week for meal plans or looking for something that can be cooked in the oven, the slow cooker, or even the instant pot, we have a few pot roast recipes you are bound to love.

Tips for a tender pot roast:

  • Always sear your roast first. The flavor you will get after searing meat first is an incredible addition. Fat will render and juices will also become sealed, and although it seems like extra steps and dishes—it is well worth it. While slow cooking, regardless of where it is cooked, the meat will release incredible flavor into juices or gravy that can be used with the pot roast meal or set aside for later.
  • Add vegetables. Think of them as two bonus flavor benefits: a side dish in one pot or pan and aromatics for the beef, much like the aromatics we use to flavor turkeys. White or yellow onions tend to add the best flavor, as shallots are a gentler onion flavor.
  • Slow cooking is the best way to go for the most tender pot roast.

Balsamic Pot Roast in the Oven

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 pounds chuck or blade roast, boneless and trimmed of excess fat
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 8 cloves of garlic smashed with the back of a spoon (or 2 tablespoons minced)
  • 1 pound baby potatoes, white or Yukon gold, halved if too large
  • 4 large carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 stalks of celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons crushed bouillon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour (optional for if you want gravy)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 175 degrees Celsius. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-based oven-proof pot over medium-high heat. Season the roast generously with salt and pepper. Sear the roast in the pan on all sides until browned (about 5-6 minutes on each side.) Transfer the roast to a plate.
  2. Sauté the garlic for 30 seconds until fragrant, then add the stock and balsamic vinegar to deglaze the pan, scraping up as much brown bits as possible. Whisk in the flour and let cook for 4 minutes, without worrying about any lumps.
  3. Add onions, garlic, potatoes, carrots, celery, mustard, brown sugar, thyme, and bouillon, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Bring to a simmer, cover with a lid (or foil), and then transfer to the oven. Roast for 3-4 hours until meat is tender and falling apart. (Check roast after 1 ½ hour, if the liquid has been absorbed, add 2 more cups broth and continue cooking).
  5. Transfer roast and vegetables to a warm plate, with a spoon, skim the fat off the surface of cooking liquid. Cut the roast and serve with the vegetables. Pass pan juices separately.

Pot Roast in the Crock-Pot

When it is too hot to have the oven running, or if life has got you on your feet and running all day—nothing is easier than cooking a hearty, comforting meal in a crockpot.

Ingredients:

  • 1 3 to 3 ½ pound boneless chuck roast, excess fat trimmed
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 ½ tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 ½ cups beef broth
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 pounds small Yukon gold potatoes
  • 3 large carrots, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 2 celery ribs, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 1 medium sweet onion, cut into 1-inch wedged
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 6 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Instructions:

  1. Season beef with 1 ½ teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper, or generously to taste.
  2. Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add beef and cook all sides until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes for each side.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together beef broth, wine, flour, tomato paste, and Worcestershire, then set aside.
  4. Place potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf into a 6-quart slow cooker then stir in the beef broth mix, season with salt and pepper to taste, top with beef.
  5. Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours until beef is tender.
  6. Remove beef, potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, and bay leaf from the slow cooker. Shred beef, using two forks, cover with foil.
  7. Strain cooking juices through a fine-mesh sieve into a small saucepan over medium heat. Discard any solids and skim fat from surface, then discard fat. Bring juices to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, whisking constantly until desired thickness. Roughly 5-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Serve beef, potatoes, carrots, celery, and onions with juices and garnished with fresh parsley.

Easy, classic, and comforting, these pot-roast recipes will no doubt become your own family’s tradition if they are not already. Enjoy fall-apart pot roast any day of the week or whenever guests are over.