Better Pot Roast

Better Pot Roast

I've never had a dinner that I've made in a crock pot that I've really loved. Sure, it's an easy way to cook - just drop everything in the crock pot, turn it on, and come back in 6 to 8 hours - but all of the pot roasts I've made using this technique are overly moist and bland, lacking any deep, satisfying flavors.

Rather than suffering another mediocre meal, the secret to a great pot roast is simply to stay true to stay true to the name and actually cook your roast in a real pot in the oven. The results are spectacular and it will remind you why your crock pot should continue to collect dust in the back of your cabinet. To give this dish an added flavor boost, you can prepare this one or two days in advance of serving and keep it in the fridge to let the flavors soak in.
  • Prep: 45 min
  • Chill: Overnight (Optional)
  • Cook: 4 hours
  • Total: 4 hours 45 min
  • Serves 4 to 6
Better Pot Roast
  • Preparing the Roast
  • 3 ½ to 4-pound boneless beef chuck-eye roast
  • Pull roast apart into two pieces at its natural seam in the middle. Using a sharp knife, trim away any large chunks of fat and discard. Place beef on top of a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet to catch any drippings.
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher or sea salt
  • Sprinkle salt evenly oven both pieces of beef and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • Preparing Vegetables
  • While beef rests, set oven rack to lower position and preheat to 300°F.
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.
  • 2 medium onions, coarsely diced
  • Add onion to pot and sauté until just starting to brown, about 7 minutes.
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • Add chopped carrots and celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Add broth, wine, tomato paste, bay leaves, and thyme to pot. Stir well to combine and bring to a simmer, about 5 minutes.
  • Cooking
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • Pat beef dry with paper towels and season with black pepper.
  • kitchen twine
  • Roll each piece of beef into a long, round loaf or log shape and tie with several pieces of kitchen twine.
  • Place tied roast on top of vegetables simmering in the pot. Tightly cover the top of the Dutch oven with several pieces of aluminum foil. Place Dutch oven lid on top to ensure a tight seal.
  • Place pot in oven and cook at 300°F until beef is fully tender and a thermometer inserted into the side of the beef registers 210°F, about 4 hours.
  • Once done, remove from oven and use tongs to transfer the cooked roast to a large bowl.
  • Strain liquid in the pot through a fine-mesh strainer into a large measuring cup. Reserve strained vegetables but discard bay leaf.
  • 1 to 2 cups beef broth (as needed)
  • Allow liquid to settle until fat rises to the top, about 15 minutes. Skim fat off surface and add additional beef broth to bring total liquid up to 3 cups.
  • Option A: Serve Now
  • If you want to eat the roast now, cut roast, against the grain, into 1/2-inch slices and place on a platter. Prepare sauce (see below) and serve.
  • Option B: Chill Overnight to Improve Flavor
  • If you wish, you can chill the roast overnight in the fridge to further improve the flavor and moistness. To chill overnight, return vegetables, liquid, and roast back into Dutch oven and cover with the lid. Store in the fridge for 8 to 48 hours.
  • When ready to eat, remove bowl from fridge and transfer roast to a cutting board. Slice roast, against the grain, into 1/2-inch thick pieces.
  • 2 tablespoons reserved juices
  • Place sliced roast onto a 9x13 baking dish and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of reserved juices.
  • Cover baking dish tightly with foil and bake at 325°F until heated through, about 45 minutes.
  • Rich Roast Beef Sauce
  • Pour liquids and vegetables into a food processor fitted with a blade. Blend until smooth.
  • Transfer sauce to a large saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, about 10 minutes if chilled overnight or 1 minute if straight out of oven.
  • 2 tablespoons dry red wine
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper, or to taste
  • Add wine, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper to saucepan and stir to combine. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, or until flavors have combined.
  • Transfer sauce to a gravy boat or serving cup (a funnel may help).
  • Serving
  • Place sliced roast on a serving platter. Allow each person to top with desired amount of sauce. Pairs well with a side of roasted root vegetables, simple stuffing, and/or dinner rolls.
From . ( Adapted from Cook's Illustrated.

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