Classic Pot Roast Recipe

This recipe for making a classic pot roast is a comforting and hearty meal. The beef is slowly cooked to perfection, along with vegetables and potatoes, perfect for a cozy dinner.

This wonderful dish is often made by searing the beef in a large pot, and then adding vegetables, potatoes, and beef broth or wine. The pot roast is then cooked slowly over low heat, making the beef succulent and tender.

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A plate with chunks of juicy pot roast with roasted baby potatoes and carrots

This is truly a traditional American dish that is popular for a reason. A tough cut of meat is slowly cooked until tender and served with the cooking juices for added flavor. And in this post, I will show you how to make it.

Ingredients for Making a Classic Pot Roast

  • Beef. Beef chuck roast is the best cut of meat for this recipe because it has a very nice amount of marbling. The more fat, the better. However, you can also make it with round roast or rump roast.
  • Vegetables. Use onion, garlic, carrots, and celery for added flavor. 
  • Potatoes. Use firm potatoes, like red or gold potatoes. Baby potatoes are the perfect size for making this recipe.
  • Broth or stock. Use beef broth or stock, either store-bought or homemade. You can also use vegetable stock and even chicken stock if that is all you have on hand.
  • Wine. A completely optional ingredient that you can substitute with added broth. However, it does give this pot roast a delightful flavor. Use any red wine like cabernet sauvignon, merlot, shiraz, or Rioja.
  • Worcestershire sauce. For added flavor
  • Herbs. You can use thyme, rosemary, and sage. Use either fresh or dry.
  • Tomato paste. It intensifies the flavor and adds a touch of sweetness.
A large Dutch oven with round roast beef seared on both sides.

How to Make a Classic Pot Roast

  1. Season the beef well with salt and pepper. Add oil to a large Dutch oven and sear the beef on both sides until brown. This caramelizes the natural sugars of the beef, giving this pot roast an amazing flavor.
  2. Place the onion around the roast.
  3. Mix the broth, wine, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic and pour it on top of the roast. Add then add the herbs to the pot.
  4. Bring to a slow simmer, cover, and bake for two hours.
  5. Add the potatoes, carrots, and celery, and bake for another two hours or until tender.
  6. Serve the pot roast either shredded or cut into medium-sized pieces along with the potatoes and the vegetables.
A large Dutch oven with seared rump roast, chunks of white onion, sprigs of thyme and rosemary, covered with beef stock and red wine.

What Do I Need to Make Pot Roast?

A good quality pot or Dutch oven that can work well in the oven is always best. I love using my enamel cast-iron Dutch oven because it holds the heat well and evenly. A Le Creuset is top of the line when it comes to cast-iron Dutch ovens, but you can also use a less expensive one with great results.

You will also probably need a nice pair of tongs to help you sear the beef, and a large mixing bowl with a spout to easily pour the beef stock and wine over the meat.

Watch The Pot Roast Video

Tips for Making a Tender Pot Roast:

  • Cook the roast low and slow. Don’t rush the process. The long cooking time lets the fibers of meat break down making it more tender, while the vegetables will have plenty of time to absorb all of the savory juices from the beef.
  • Use red or gold potatoes. They are firmer and will maintain their shape during roasting. Try not to use russet potatoes because they tend to break down and fall apart.
  • Cut the vegetables, like the onions, carrots, and celery into large pieces so they don’t get overcooked and mushy.
  • Make the broth into pot roast gravy. After cooking, strain the broth into a small saucepan and then bring it to a simmer with some cornstarch dissolved in water. Use about one to two tablespoons of cornstarch per one cup of broth and simmer until it thickens.
A large Dutch oven with a partially cooked rump roast in beef stock and red wine, with added baby potatoes and carrots.

What To Do With Leftover Pot Roast

  • Leftover pot roast makes the most delicious tacos. Shred the pot roast or cut it into very small pieces. Heat oil in a large pan, add the pot roast, season with cumin and chili powder, and stir fry it for a few minutes until warm. Serve with warm tortillas, pico de gallo, and guacamole.
  • Make beef nachos with queso dip, pico de gallo, and guacamole.
  • Use it to make beef empanadas.
  • Serve it with your favorite pasta and sauce for a quick dinner.
A hot pot roast, baby potatoes, and carrots, cooked in beef stock and wine.

How To Store Pot Roast

Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days. You can freeze it for up to 3 months.

You can then reheat in a pot with added beef stock until warm. It tastes just as good as when you first served it.

A plate with chunks of juicy pot roast with roasted baby potatoes and carrots.

More Delicious Beef Recipes

¡Buen Provecho!

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A plate with chunks of juicy pot roast with roasted baby potatoes and carrots.

Classic Pot Roast Recipe

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  • Author: Diana
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours, 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Cuisine: American


This recipe for making a classic pot roast is a comforting and hearty meal. The beef is slowly cooked to perfection, along with vegetables and potatoes, perfect for a cozy dinner.


  • 3 lbs beef chuck roast, rump roast, or round roast
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion cut into large wedges
  • 3 cups (708 ml) beef stock or broth
  • 1 cup (236 ml) red wine **See notes
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme (You can substitute with ½ tsp of dry thyme)
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary (You can substitute with ½ tsp of dry thyme)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 large carrots cut into 2-inch sticks
  • 2 stalks of celery cut into 2-inch sticks
  • lbs of baby potatoes or medium-sized red potatoes cut into smaller pieces
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C).
  2. Season both sides of the roast with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and sear the roast for about 5-6 minutes per side.
  4. Place the onion wedges around the roast.
  5. In a large bowl mix the beef broth, wine, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and tomato paste and pour it over the roast. Add the thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf.
  6. Bring to a simmer over the stovetop, cover, and then transfer to the oven and bake for 2 hours.
  7. Carefully remove the pot from the oven, and add the carrots, celery, and potatoes. Cover again and bake for an additional 1½-2 hours or until the roast and potatoes are tender.
  8. Discard the herbs, remove the roast from the pot, and cut it into smaller pieces or shred it with a fork. Serve with the vegetables and potatoes drizzled with the remaining juices or pot roast gravy. **See notes where I tell you how to make this delicious gravy.


  • You can substitute the wine with another cup of beef stock or broth.
  • If using dried herbs, you can mix them with the broth before pouring over the roast.
  • A 3 lb roast takes about 3½-4 hours to bake. A 4 lb roast will take about 4 hours. And, a 5 lb roast will take approximately 5 hours. However, check the roast by trying to shred it with a fork. If it’s tender, it should come apart easily.
  • To make the pot roast gravy: Drain the juices from the Dutch oven into a small saucepan. Mix cornstarch with a small amount of water (About 1-2 tbsp of cornstarch per 1 cup of broth). Add it to the broth and bring it to a boil while you continue to stir until it thickens. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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