[107] Perfect Pot Roast

Cover of The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond

Sometimes, when I’m menu planning for the week, I throw myself into my cookbooks and flip through them until I have a pile of delicious recipes to try. Sometimes I pick an ingredient, and only then go hunt down a recipe (this happens a lot more during CSA season). And, sometimes, I just get a hankering for something and I find a recipe.

This pot roast definitely came from the last urge. I wanted a lot of meat, and I wanted something that was fairly easy to throw together and start cooking and ignore. This suited me down to my toes.

Okay, well, not quite. I was actually looking for a slow-cooker “pot roast” recipe. I actually didn’t think of slow-cooking something in the oven. Or, more accurately, I didn’t think of roasting my pot roast. I only had slow-cooker pot roast growing up, that I recall. This was delicious and easy, so I’ll be having more roasted pot roast in my future, for sure.

I will say that I didn’t think to make any sort of side items for this pot roast, and that was a bummer. She suggests her mashed potatoes (of course), and if I’d thought of it soon enough, I probably would have made them too. However, I realized this way too late, so it didn’t happen. Bill and I figured it was probably for the best, since her mashed potatoes have about 14 lbs of butter and 7 lbs of cream cheese.

Or something like that.

So, we had just pot roast and the accompanying veggies. It was plenty. It was so utterly plenty, even with a “small” roast at 3 lbs, that we all ate our fill and then I sent some home with Jessie and had it for leftovers for the next two days. I’m very lucky. You could be too, if you make this. And it’s dead easy.

h2. Ingredients

2 – 3 tbsp olive oil
Kosher Salt

2 – 3 lb chuck roast

2 onions

6 – 8 carrots


2 – 2 1/2 c beef stock

3 – 4 fresh rosemary sprigs (I used ~ 1 tsp dry rosemary.)

3 – 4 fresh thyme sprigs (I used ~ 1 tsp dry thyme.)

h2. Instructions

Preheat the oven to 275F. Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and let it get really hot. While it heats, prepare the other ingredients.

Generously salt the roast on both sides. Cut the onions in half, cut off the tops and the roots, remove the papery skin, then brown the onion halves on both sides in the very hot oil (~1 min/side). Remove them to a plate.

Wash but do not peel the carrots, and chop them into 2″ pieces. Toss them into the very hot pan, and brown them a bit for ~1 min. Remove them to the plate with the onions, add some more oil to the pan, then sear the chuck on both sides (~1 min/side). Remove it to a plate.

Deglaze the pan with the beef stock, over high heat. Then place the meat back in the pan and dump the veggies on top of it. Pour in enough beef stock to cover the meat halfway. Tuck in your herb sprigs (or sprinkle your dried herbs all around) and cover and roast for 3 – 5 h, depending on roast size. For 3 lbs, allow 3 1/2 h to cook, for 5 lbs, allow 4 – 5 h. Do not disturb while cooking. When cooking is over, stick a fork in the meat. It should go in easily and the meat should be very tender. Remove the meat and veggies to a platter, slice against the grain if necessary, and serve.

h2. Cooking and Consumption Notes

h3. Cooking

I didn’t do the prep work as I was waiting for the oil to heat. I basically did all of it in the beginning, and then just kind of waited for the oil to heat back up after each addition and removal of food. This works better for me because 1) I like to watch and poke at my food and 2) I have really slow knife skills, and prefer to get it all done at once. It didn’t seem to matter, but it may have required a bit more patience for a few times of “doing nothing”.

Also, I didn’t manage to just cut my onions in half. I’m not sure why. It made browning them appropriately a bit more difficult.

You know what else made browning them a bit more difficult? Not having the oil hot enough. Pioneer Woman means for this oil to be seriously hot, and I didn’t manage it. I would say looking for the oil to be “shimmering” is probably what I should have done, instead of just kind of “going by gut”. Which you’d think I’d have known, because my gut is often wrong on how long it takes oil to heat up “enough”.

The house smells really good while this is cooking. Have plenty of salad or carrot sticks on hand to stave off hunger pangs.

h3. Consumption

This was so tender that slicing it wasn’t an option. It was falling apart, which I do love in these big pieces of meat. NOM!

I expected to dislike the carrots intensely, because I am basically only a fan of raw carrots. It there’s no more “snap” to a carrot, you can bet I’m not a fan. Luckily for me, the carrots take up a lot of the flavor of the surrounding beef and herbs, so they were much better than your average cooked carrots.

I did not feel that this recipe particularly lacked from my using dried herbs instead of fresh. I could still taste both the rosemary and the thyme, quite wonderfully and distinctly. They played nicely with the other food items, and were not in any way inadequate.

The best part, though, was the onions. Soft, sort of beefy, sort of caramelized, sort of herby. I wish I’d put in about 15 onions.

2 thoughts on “[107] Perfect Pot Roast

  1. Oh, GOD. I think I’m going to have a pot roast soon.

    Which is sort of inconvenient since it’s about 60F these days (72 in Randallstown yesterday!) and it’s just too warm to heat up the house with the oven. Maybe stovetop would be ok.

    • It’s been crazy warm here too. Not into those highs, but edging in around 50F.

      I bet stovetop would work well. It’s simple and tasty.

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