Gently braised low and slow in a garlic, herb, mushroom, and wine sauce, this Dutch Oven Pot Roast is a comforting meal you’ll want to make repeatedly. It’s easy to make and even easier to eat!
My favorite Dutch Oven Pot Roast recipe is made with a rich red wine and mushroom sauce for a Beef Bourguignon feel without all the work. It’s very much hands-off in the cooking phase, too, but you don’t sacrifice flavor for convenience with this dish; each bite is packed with a rich blend of tastes and textures, and the best part is the leftovers – the roast is just as good the second time around!
What Is Pot Roast?
Pot roast is a sizeable, robust cut of beef ideal for long, slow cooking. It’s typically browned and then slow-cooked with vegetables and herbs in a seasoned broth until it becomes tender and flavorful. Look for large roasts labeled chuck roast, top round roast, bottom round roast, or brisket. Chuck is typically the go-to for pot roasts, but round roasts and brisket are also great.
Why Use A Dutch Oven To Make Pot Roast?
While many people opt for the ease of a Crock Pot, I firmly believe that a Dutch oven consistently produces the most flavorful pot roast. The construction of a Dutch oven, typically in cast iron, is key to its superiority. It maintains and distributes heat evenly and perfectly. The well-sealed lid also plays a crucial role, locking in moisture, which ensures the roast comes out exceptionally juicy – a stark contrast to the often overcooked and dry results from a slow cooker.
Pot Roast Ingredients
There’s a somewhat long cast of characters here, but don’t be intimidated because the overall recipe is easy to make, and each element adds its own special flavor.
- Chuck Roast: Many pot roast recipes call for whole roasts, but I recommend cutting the meat into several 4-inch pieces.
- Salt and Pepper
- Olive Oil
- Onions: Peel and quarter a couple of yellow onions. White or red onions are also fine.
- Carrots: Peel or scrub the carrots, and cut into large chunks.
- Mushrooms: I use baby mushrooms, cut in half.
- Garlic: Mince or press the garlic.
- Wine: For the best flavor, use a dry red wine that’s good drinking quality.
- Broth: You can make pot roast with water, but using beef broth adds even more flavor.
- Fresh Herbs: I love fresh thyme and rosemary in this recipe.
How to Make A Dutch Oven Pot Roast
Depending on your roast, you should budget between three and four hours for the beef to finish cooking. Too little cooking time and the meat will be very tough.
- Prep the Beef. To get started, first, preheat the oven to 275˚F. Pot roast benefits from a slow braise at a low temperature. Next, use paper towels to pat the beef dry, and generously season each piece with salt and pepper.
- Brown the Beef. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or a large braiser over medium-high heat. Place the beef roast pieces in the hot oil and sear them for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until browned; remove the beef from the pot and set aside while you work with the veggies.
- Cook the Veggies Briefly. Reduce the heat to medium. If the pot looks dry, add a bit more oil. Add the onions and carrots to the pot and cook them for several minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Stir in the mushrooms and cook for 2 more minutes, and then add the garlic and cook for 20 seconds more.
- Add the Liquids, Herbs, and Beef Back to the Pot. Add wine and beef broth to the pot and stir to scrape up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Return the beef chunks to the mixture, increase the heat to high, and bring everything to a boil. Add the fresh sprigs of thyme and rosemary, cover the pot with a lid, and turn the heat off.
- Braise. Transfer the pot to the oven, and let it cook for about 3½ to 4 hours, or until the roast is fall-apart tender.
Recipe Tips And Variations
- Brown the Beef: Thoroughly brown the beef to get lots of flavor. You actually want savory browned stuff stuck to the pan at this stage, because when you deglaze it (pour in the liquid and scrape the pan) you’ll create a full-flavored broth/sauce.
- Season Generously: Ensure the roast is well-seasoned with salt and pepper. If time permits, let the beef sit at room temperature for about an hour before cooking.
- Vegetable Prep: Clean and cut your veggies uniformly to ensure even cooking.
- Add Potatoes: For an added boost, toss a few scrubbed potatoes into the pot about an hour before the roast is done. Voila! A one-pot meal that will make your mouth happy!
- Hold the Carrots: After a long braise, the carrots basically fall apart into the sauce. If you’d rather have firm carrots for serving, hold them until an hour or so before the roast is done.
When serving pot roast, I love to pair it with comforting, starchy sides. My favorites include Garlic Rosemary Mashed Potatoes or these Vesuvio Potatoes. For a lighter option, my Instant Pot Mashed Cauliflower is a great choice. To add a fresh and vibrant touch to the meal, I recommend my Spinach Blackberry Salad with Lemon Poppyseed Dressing. For roasted vegetable options, Garlic Brown Butter Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Carrots or these Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon add a flavorful variety to this hearty meal.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- Store leftover pot roast in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator. Reheat, low-and-slow over low heat.
Classic Main Courses
- Roasted Spatchcock Chicken with Vegetables
- The Best Baked Cod
- Juicy Turkey Burgers
- Crock Pot Rump Roast
- Boneless Prime Rib Roast
Dutch Oven Pot Roast
- 3 to 4 pound chuck roast, cut into 4-inch pieces
- salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 yellow onions, peeled and quartered
- 4 large carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 pound baby mushrooms, halved
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup red wine
- 3 cups beef broth
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- Preheat oven to 275˚F.
- Using paper towels, pat dry the beef and generously season it with salt and pepper.
- Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or a large braiser, set over medium-high heat. Add the beef to the heated oil and cook for 2 minutes per side or until browned all around. Remove the beef from the pot and set aside.
- Reduce heat to medium and add onions and carrots to the pot; add more oil, if needed. Cook the onions and carrots for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the mushrooms and cook for 2 more minutes. Add garlic and cook for 20 seconds.
- Add wine and beef broth; stir to scrape up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
- Return beef to the pot; increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Add the fresh sprigs of thyme and rosemary.
- Cover the pot with a lid and pop it in the oven for about 3½ to 4 hours or until the roast is fall-apart tender.
- Remove from oven and let rest for 5 to 8 minutes.
- Beef Cut: Chuck roast is often preferred for its fat content and flavor.
- Wine Selection: Use a red wine that you’d enjoy drinking. It significantly influences the dish’s flavor. I like dry reds like cabernet sauvignon.
- Season Generously: Ensure the roast is well-seasoned with salt and pepper.
- Brown the Meat: Sear the meat on all sides to lock in the juices and develop flavor. A golden-brown crust is what you’re aiming for.
- Low and Slow: Cook the roast at a low temperature for several hours. It ensures the meat is tender and flavors meld together well.
- Fork Tender: The roast should be easily pulled apart with a fork when it’s done. Internal meat temperature should be at least 195 °F for tender beef.
- Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge for up to 4 days. Like many braised dishes, this pot roast can taste even better the next day as flavors continue to meld.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.