The Best Pot Roast
The Best Pot Roast

Cooked low and slow on the stovetop, beef or shoulder roast becomes a crumbling tender pot roast. Onions, garlic, carrots, and red wine make this a flavorful, filling dinner.

Pot roast was a childhood staple and still is in my parents’ household. It needs slow cooking over low heat to ensure tender, flavorful meat.

Pot roasts typically use the tougher cuts of beef—a pot roast or shoulder roast—that have the most flavor. Slow cooking over low heat melts the tough connective tissue between the muscle fibers, leaving a tender flesh that can be pulled apart with a fork.

For pot roasts and other slow-cooked tough meats, fat is your friend! Fat not only adds flavor, it also helps keep the meat from drying out during long, slow cooking. So look for cuts that are well marbled with fat.

Another tip? Allow the roast (wrapped) to rest outside the fridge for 1-2 hours before cooking to allow it to come closer to room temperature (between 20 and 22°C). Otherwise, it will take much longer to cook at the low heat called for in this recipe.

How much liquid do you need?

This is my mom’s tried and true pot roast recipe, and she only puts 1/2 cup of liquid in the pot! Why does this work?

Beef is about 60-70% water (the rest is protein and fat). So if you keep the heat very low and cover the pot tightly, the beef will release water as it cooks and cook in its own juice.

The result? A deeper beef flavor for your pot roast. The key is to keep the temperature down and make sure the lid is tight. Otherwise too much steam will escape from the pot and you will end up with a dry pot roast.

This recipe calls for 1/2 cup of red wine for the liquid. Use the red wine you like to drink. The wine adds a richer flavor to the roast, but if you don’t have wine on hand or prefer to cook without it, you can substitute water or broth for the wine.

Can I prepare this pot roast in another way?

My mom cooks her pot roast on the stove, but you can cook it in the oven, slow cooker, or pressure cooker.

  • When you cook in the oven Fry the meat and onions and bring to a simmer first on the stove. Then place in the oven, starting the temperature at 350F for 15 minutes, then lowering to 250F for the next hour, and then to 225F.
  • If you use a slow cooker, brown the meat and onions and add to the slow cooker. Follow recipe as directed and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours or on low for 8 to 9 hours.
  • If you use a pressure cooker, Brown the meat and onions (if using an Instant Pot, you can do that yourself right in the stovetop), then pressure cook for 65 minutes, then allow to naturally release for 15 minutes. Read the instructions in our Instant Balsamic Rosemary Pot Roast recipe.

Note! If you have a gas stove, you may have trouble getting the flame low enough. A tip I read Cook’s Illustrated suggests rolling up some aluminum foil tightly, shaping it into a donut, and placing it on the burner to give a little more clearance between the stove and the pan. If you’re using a high BTU range, even that might not be enough. In this case, I recommend starting the roast on the stovetop and placing it in the oven to cook.

Can I add potatoes to this pot roast?

The problem with the potatoes is that the long, slow cooking of the pot roast can cause them to fall apart. If I was going to add potatoes, I would use firmer new potatoes instead of russets (they hold their shape better). Cut them in half, 1 1/2 inch in diameter, and quarters if larger.

I would first reheat the potatoes in the microwave or oven on a roasting pan (so they don’t lower the temperature in the pot when you add them) and then add them to the pot roast for the last hour of cooking.

Who doesn’t love a good pot roast?

  • Moroccan pot roast
  • Beef Brisket Pot Roast
  • Pressure cooker pot roast with balsamic vinegar and rosemary
  • Italian pot roast


Check out this pot roast recipe

The best pot roast

preparation time
10 mins

cooking time
4 hours

total time
4 hrs 10 mins

up to 5 servings

Look for a roast that is well marbled with fat for the best results.

For this recipe to work properly, allow the roast (wrapped) to rest outside the fridge for 1-2 hours to reach room temperature (between 20-22°C) before cooking. Otherwise, it will take much longer to cook at the low heat called for in this recipe.

Top: If your pot’s lid is not secure, cover the pot with foil first and then secure the lid over it.


  • 3 1/2 lb Beef shoulder or boneless fry fry

  • 2 tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil

  • salt pepperand Italian spices to taste

  • 2 big yellow onionsthickly sliced ​​lengthwise (about 4 cups)

  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled

  • 1/2 Cup red wine

  • 1 Bay leaf

  • Several carrotspeeled and cut into 2 inch segments


  1. Sear the roast on all sides:

    Use a covered, heavy-bottomed saucepan (oven-safe if you intend to cook in the oven), such as B. a casserole just large enough to hold roasts and vegetables. Heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat (hot enough to sear the meat).

    Pat the roast dry with paper towels. Season and rub the meat with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Brown roast in a pot, all around, a few minutes on each side. Don’t move the roast while one side is browning or it won’t brown well.

  2. Fry onions, add garlic, carrots:

    When the roast is browned, remove from the pan and place on a plate. Add the onions to the pan and sauté until they begin to brown, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and carrots to sit on top of the onions.

  3. Add the roast and let it simmer:

    Lay the roast on top of the onions, garlic and carrots. Add 1/2 cup red wine. Add the bay leaf and cover.

    Bring to a simmer, then turn the heat down to the lowest possible heat to maintain a just simmer covered (we cook our roast on the warm setting of our electric stove).

    Top: If you’re using a gas stove, you may have trouble keeping the flame low enough to sustain a mere simmer. If this is the case, tightly roll up some aluminum foil, shape it into a donut and place it on the burner to give a little more clearance between the stove and the pan. If you are using a high BTU range, you may want to cook the roast in the oven instead.

    (If cooking in the oven, bring it to a simmer on the stovetop first, then place in the oven, start the temperature at 350F for 15 minutes, then lower to 250F for the next hour and then to 225°F after that.)

  4. Cook for several hours until tender, and serve:

    Cook until meat is tender, 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours or more.

    After 3 1/2 hours, the meat will release a lot of the liquid that comes from slow cooking at a very low temperature. If your pot roast is too dry, make sure the pan you’re using has a tight-fitting lid and that you’re cooking on the lowest possible heat to maintain the low simmer.

    Serve with green beans and potatoes.

nutritional information (per serving)
859 calories
54g Fat
10g carbohydrates
79g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!