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Classic Pot Roast

  • Serves: 6
  • 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
  • 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
  • Calories: 604

Ingredients

  • 4 lb Boneless chuck roast, tied if desired
  • 2 tbsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper, freshly cracked
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 Large onion, sliced 1 inch thick
  • 6 Garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp Tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp Brown sugar
  • 2 cups Beef broth
  • 1 cup Red wine
  • 3 Large carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 4 Sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3/4 lb Small potatoes, cut in half
  • Fresh parsley

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Pat meat dry with a paper towel.
  2. Coat the roast with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.
  3. In a large Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid, heat the olive oil on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the roast to the pot and brown on all sides. Remove roast from the pot and set aside.
  4. Add the onions for 4 minutes until slightly softened, add garlic for 1 minute longer. Deglaze the pan with a little beef broth if the bottom is browning too quickly.
  5. Add the tomato paste and brown sugar stir until combined with the onions. Add the beef broth, wine, thyme and roast back to the pot. Simmer on medium until liquid reduces a little about 5 minutes. Cover the pot and place in the oven for 90 minutes.
  6. Remove the roast from the oven, add the potatoes and carrots and place back in the oven for 1 more hour. Roast is ready when meat is fall apart tender with pulled with a fork. If it's not quite there continue cooking until results are achieved.

**Alternatively you can add the potatoes and carrots to the pot the entire time, but they will likely be very mushy. For firmer veggies, we recommend adding them for the last hour only.