Learning how to make the perfect pot roast is not as hard as you may think, and is a family favorite that generations are sure to remember and fall in love with.

Image of plated pot roast dinner on round white plate in foreground, red Dutch oven in background with serving spoon, both on a red and green striped dish towel. Also in the image is a text overlay that reads "The perfect pot roast."

Today we’re going to be talking about pot roasts which, for me, go hand-in-hand with Sunday dinners.

Sunday dinners, a time for families to gather around and come together before the chaos of the week starts. Did you enjoy Sunday dinners while growing up? Do you do them now? To this day I have fond memories of the aromas wafting through the house in the afternoon as the pot roast was cooking.  Pot roast was always a staple at family dinners.

Close up of plated pot roast chunks, with carrots and potatoes behind it. In the background is red Dutch oven with serving spoon.

Even if as a teenager I may have rolled my eyes at the sound of ‘dinner’s ready’ coming from the kitchen, I’m lucky enough to have experienced dinners where everyone sat around the table, and even luckier to be able to carry on the tradition with my in-laws who host a Sunday dinner week after week (pot roast is still served on occasion!).

Now you’re thinking: Oh great, family dinner…what am I going to make that everyone will enjoy? The answer, my friends, is this perfect pot roast!

While there are many versions of pot roast out there, the one I always come back to is a super simple one that that is naturally flavored by the beef and vegetables cooking together, accentuated by fresh herbs.

A collage of 11 photos detailing the process of making a pot roast from start to finish. Also included is text, "How to make the perfect pot roast."

Tips and tricks for the perfect pot roast:

  • Clean your meat: Always remove the ‘silver skin‘ or fat film that is on one side of the roast. Start at one end of the roast and gently pull up the skin or fat that needs to be removed and nudge a knife towards the opposite end of the roast to remove it.
  • Pre-salt the meat: Pat the pot roast with salt and garlic salt. Pre-salting brings out the flavors of the meat. Meat that is salted after cooking tastes like just that – meat that has been salted after cooking – it doesn’t bring out any of the complexities of a well-seasoned and browned roast.
  • Never use ground black pepper on your pot roast: Pepper burns in the pan while browning, and no one wants a burnt pepper taste, right?
  • Never use a fork to poke into your pot roast: Always use tongs to flip your meat while browning because poking it with a fork causes meat juices to burst out.
  • Oil the meat, not the pan: You want to rub the roast with oil directly, not heat oil in the pan. This will help to create an amazing crust when browning.
  • Brown your roast: Always brown your roast before adding the other ingredients, creating that amazing roasted meat crust and flavor with succulent meat on the inside.
  • Use fresh herbs: They really marry together the flavors of the meat and vegetables.
  • Be patient. The perfect pot roast needs four hours in the oven, slowly roasting to perfection. If you’re looking for a quicker method to prepare pot roast, try Instant Pot pot roast

Let’s make this roast! And I’d love to know, do you have Sunday family dinners? What are some of your favorites?

Side dishes for your pot roast

Now that you know how to make the perfect pot roast, consider trying some roasted vegetables as a side:

 

Close up of plated pot roast chunks, with carrots and potatoes behind it. In the background is red Dutch oven with serving spoon.

The Perfect Pot Roast

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 50 minutes

Learning how to make the perfect pot roast is not as hard as you may think, and is a family favorite that generations are sure to remember and fall in love with.

Ingredients

  • 2-5 pound chuck roast
  • 1 tablespoon salt, plus a little more for seasoning the vegetables
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus a little extra for cooking the onion
  • 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 6-8 whole carrots, ends removed and cut into chunks
  • 2 parsnips, ends removed and cut into chunks
  • 4 medium sized potatoes, cut into quarters
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary

Instructions

  1. Remove silver skin on the roast – start at one end of the roast and make a little prick into the silver skin and then pick it up in a pinching motion and cut underneath it to remove it, push the blade of your knife away from you towards the other end of the meat.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the salt, garlic salt, and paprika. Using your hands, pat the salt mixture on the roast, if your entire roast isn’t covered, add a little more salt. Next spoon the olive oil over the salted roast and pat into it so that the whole roast is covered in olive oil.
  3. Place oiled/salted roast into a Dutch oven and sear it over high heat until it is brown on all sides (about 5 minutes). To brown the meat simply let it sit for a few minutes on each side, don’t constantly flip it. Only use tongs to flip your meat, don’t poke it with a fork.
  4. Remove browned roast from the Dutch oven and let it rest on a plate. In the now empty Dutch oven, add a dash of oil, and add the onion. Cook until the onions start to become translucent, stirring occasionally (about 5 minutes) then add the garlic and stir, and then add the carrots, parsnips, and potatoes and a few dashes of salt. Cook for a few minutes until the vegetables start to brown a little (about 5 minutes).
  5. Gently push the vegetables to the sides of the Dutch oven and nestle the roast in the middle. Pour beef broth over the meat and vegetables and place rosemary and thyme on top. Cover with a lid and cook on medium-low for 4 hours, or until the meat falls apart when touched with a fork.
  6. To serve, remove a few vegetables from the pot and desired amount of meat. I just leave the herb stalks in the pot until I’m done serving, then I remove them. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Nutrition information is based on a 5 lb. roast.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 of 6
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1123Total Fat: 65gSaturated Fat: 25gTrans Fat: 3gUnsaturated Fat: 36gCholesterol: 314mgSodium: 2107mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 6gSugar: 6gProtein: 99g

RachelCooks.com sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

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Closeup of fork with a piece of pot roast and a slice of carrot on the tines. In the background is a plate of pot roast dinner.