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Classic Pot Roast

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 2 hrs 50 min
  • Calories: 604
Pot roast shown in a large green dutch oven topped with fresh parsley and served with baby potatoes and carrots

Nothing more—and nothing less—than a true blue classic pot roast recipe. It can brighten up a dreary day, sit front and center at the holidays, or simply be a delicious Sunday dinner.

Our Best Pot Roast Recipe, Just In Time For The Holidays.

Pot roast—there’s nothing quite like it, is there? Pot roast is homey, it’s comforting, it’s classic. Meaty, rib-sticking, down-home food that soothes and satiates. Oh, and guess what? It’s easy, too. While pot roast feels like an occasion—a big piece of meat, braising all afternoon in a Dutch oven always feels like quite a celebration—but there’s nothing to it, really. Time, heat and a good hunk of chuck meat are all it takes to make the very best pot roast ever. We’ll teach you how it’s done!

Ingredients for pot roast including potatoes, chuck roast, carrots, onions, tomato paste, red wine and broth.
Chuck roast on parchment paper seasoned with salt and pepper
Pot roast seasoned with salt and pepper browned in a large dutch oven
Onion wedges sautéed in a large dutch oven

What’s the Best Meat for Pot Roast?

While you could make a pot roast from brisket, in our opinion the very best cut of beef for pot roast is chuck roast. Why? Well, a few reasons. A pot roast is really just a braise, and a chuck roast is just ideal for braising. Cut from the shoulder of a cow, chuck roast is a rather tough but, but it is still well-marbled which means that as it braises in the oven, there will be plenty of fat that seeps out of the meat. That fat means your finished pot roast will be juicy and tender. Plus, chuck roast is usually pretty affordable! Who doesn’t love that?

Onion slices with tomato paste, brown sugar and herbs shown in a large dutch oven
Browned chuck roast in red wine in a dutch oven.
Pot roast in red with shown with baby potatoes and carrots in a dutch oven
finished pot roast with carrots and baby potatoes in an oval pot

Pot Roast Seasoning

For this pot roast recipe, we’re keeping it super simple, and super classic. Pot roast is not the time to get fancy—it’s a Norman Rockwell situation. Nostalgic, and of another time, in the very best way. So we keep our pot roast seasonings simple, too. That said, some people don’t even add a single herb to that Dutch oven, but we like the little lift that a sprig of fresh thyme adds. So our pot roast recipe gets a little flavorful boost from the usual salt and pepper, plus:

  • Fresh garlic. Any excuse to use fresh garlic!
  • Fresh thyme. Yes, you could make a pot roast without herbs. But also yes, a bit of fresh thyme will take your pot roast from fine to fan-freaking-tastic.
  • Italian seasoning. A blend of dried herbs like oregano, marjoram and rosemary, Italian herb seasoning is a lot of bang-for-buck here. We always have some on hand!
close up of pot roast shown in a dutch oven with with fresh herbs

All the Ingredients You’ll Need to Make A Pot Roast

Other than that lovely big chuck roast and those basic seasonings, you’ll just need a few things to round it out into a gorgeous one-pan meal:

  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Tomato paste
  • Brown sugar
  • Beef broth
  • Dry red wine
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
Pot roast in a large oval pot with wine broth, carrots and baby potatoes
close up of pot roast meat being pulled apart

How to Cook a Pot Roast

Nothing about making a homemade pot roast is hard. You can do this! Here’s how to make pot roast in the oven:

  1. Season the chuck roast with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.
  2. Brown the chuck roast until you see a lovely crust developing on all sides. Set it aside.
  3. Brown the onions for 4 minutes until slightly softened, then add the garlic.
  4. Deglaze the pan with a splash of beef broth to keep the alliums from burning.
  5. Add the tomato paste, brown sugar, beef broth, wine, thyme and browned chuck roast.
  6. Bring it to a simmer for a few minutes.
  7. Cover the pot and place in the oven for 90 minutes.
  8. Add the potatoes and carrots!
  9. Cook for one more hour! So—how long do you cook a pot roast in total? Yeah, this pot roast recipe takes about 2.5 hours of oven time, all said and done.
pot roast in a large dutch oven

Tools You’ll Need

More Classic Winter Braising Recipes Using Chuck Roast

Chuck roast is such an unsung hero of the kitchen. Not only is it the best meat for pot roast, it’s the best beef cut for just about any beefy winter braise you’d like to make! Here are four chuck roast recipes we’re eyeing to get us through winter:

easy pot roast shown in a large pot with fork showing shredded beef along side potatoes and carrots

A Pot Roast To Gather Around

A pot roast is really our favorite kind of meal—a little showy, a little cozy and fit for a crowd. Gather your loved ones and dig in. When you try this classic Yankee pot roast recipe, let us know how you like it, OK? Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!

Classic Pot Roast

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 2 hrs 50 min
  • Calories: 604

Ingredients

  • 1 (4-pound) chuck roast, fat trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, cut into 1-inch-thick slices
  • 6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1½ to 2 cups beef broth, plus more as needed
  • ½ to 1 cup light red wine, such as cabernet sauvignon or pinot noir
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 3/4 pound new or baby potatoes, halved
  • Chopped fresh parsley for serving

Method

Oven

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  2. Pat the meat completely dry. Season all over with the salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.

  3. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once the oil is glistening, add the meat and cook until browned all over, about 10 minutes total.Transfer the meat to a plate.

  4. Add the onions to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, f until slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 more minute. If the bottom of the pot begins to brown, add a splash of broth.

  5. Add the tomato paste and brown sugar and stir to incorporate. Add 2 cups of the broth, 1 cup of the wine, and thyme. Return the meat to the pot along with any collected juices. Cook on medium until the liquid reduces slightly, about 5 minutes. Cover the pot and transfer it to the oven.

  6. Cook the roast for about 90 minutes. Remove the pot from the oven, add the carrots and potatoes, and continue roasting 1 more hour, or until the meat is very tender and shreds easily with a fork.

  7. Discard thyme leaves and serve on a large platter topped with fresh parsley alongside any drippings from the pot.


Slow Cooker

  1. Pat the meat completely dry. Season all over with the salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.

  2. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once the oil is glistening, add the meat and cook until browned all over, about 8-10 minutes total. Transfer the meat to the slow cooker pot.

  3. Add the onions to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 more minute. If the bottom of the pot begins to brown, add a splash of broth.

  4. Pour in 1 cup of red wine and bring to a simmer. Cook until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes, then stir in the tomato paste, brown sugar, and 2 cups of the broth.

  5. Arrange the carrots, potatoes, and thyme around the meat in the slow cooker pot. Pour the sauce over the top. Cover and cook on high for 6 hours or on low for 8 to 9 hours.

  6. Discard thyme leaves and serve on a large platter topped with fresh parsley alongside any drippings from the pot.

*Note: For firmer carrots and potatoes, add half way through cooking time.


Instant Pot

  1. Pat the meat completely dry, and if necessary to fit in your Instant Pot, cut it into two pieces. Season all over with the salt. Using the saute function, heat the oil in the Instant Pot. Once the oil is glistening, add the meat and cook until browned all over, 10 to 20 minutes total. Transfer the meat to a plate.

  2. Add the onions to the Instant Pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 more minute.

  3. Pour in ½ cup of the red wine and bring to a simmer. Cook until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes, then stir in the tomato paste, brown sugar, 1½ cups of the broth, the Italian seasoning, and black pepper. Return the meat to the pot along with any collected juices. Add the thyme.

  4. Lock the lid in place, being sure to close the vent valve, and cook on high pressure for 1 hour. Allow the pressure to release, remove the lid, and add the carrots and potatoes. Lock the lid again and cook on high pressure for 10 more minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 30 minutes, then quick release if needed.

  5. Discard thyme leaves and serve on a large platter topped with fresh parsley alongside any drippings from the pot.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories 604
  • Protein 66 g
  • Carbohydrates 27 g
  • Total Fat 6 g
  • Dietary Fiber 4 g
  • Cholesterol 191 mg
  • sodium 1000 mg
  • Total Sugars 6 g

Classic Pot Roast

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

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  • Cindy

    Is 2 Tbsp salt the correct amount for seasoning a 4 lb roast? It seems like a lot.

    Yes Cindy that is correct for this recipe. Feel free to use less if you don't like using that amount of salt. Hope you enjoy!

  • Danielle

    This is my first time making a pot roast:) Any beginner advice you could provide (i.e. common mistakes to avoid)? Also, would you recommend a specific red wine?

    We suggest dry red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir. We recommend reading through the blog post for all our best tips and tricks!

  • Liliana B King-Adas

    If im doing 2lbs of meat should i do it for less time? Also is there a way to do it on the stove top?

    I've never made this recipe on the stove top. Yes, I would cook it for less time. Just keep an eye on it.

  • Courtney

    Can you use whole mini potatoes and do they need to be halved?

    For sure!

  • Cyndi Bishop

    Can you make this is the crock pot?

    Working on converting this to a crockpot and instant pot. Be on the look out.

  • Kelly Stevens

    I made the crock pot version of this it was so good. I had never cooked with red wine before. The smell while it was cooking was wonderful but the tenderness of the beef and the flavourful gravy was even better!

    Thank you Kelly, we are so glad you loved it!

  • Mary Alice Moulton

    Fantastic! Everyone raved about it. Followed the recipe to the letter and it was as very flavorful.

    That you Mary, we are so happy that every one loved it!

  • Lindsey

    Delicious! I salted the heck out of the roast before frying in oil to get a really amazing crust on the outside! I used Seasonello Herbal and Aromatic Salt. I followed the directions exactly and my husband, who usually doesn’t like pot roasts said this one was a winner! In the past, they have been too dry or lacking flavor!

    Thanks so much Lindsey! Happy to hear you liked it so much and glad your husband approved as well!

  • Maureen Pickering

    Absolutely delicious! Excluded the potatoes added more carrots and onions and doubled the beef stock and wine. Meat was succulent and tender. Great for crowds. Thank you for yet another fabulous recipe!

    You're so welcome Maureen! Thanks for letting us know how much you enjoyed it!

  • Nina

    My GO-TO pot roast recipe. Delicious, tender, and feels so luxurious. However, my 4lb roasts have needed an extra hour to be pull apart 3x, so factor in another hour!

    Glad you like it Nina!