This is truly the best recipe for Pot Roast! The beef is so tender, it falls apart as you spoon it out of the most delicious gravy. Cook the vegetables right in the gravy with or without the beef and infuse it with the same mouthwatering flavors as the beef.
Pot Roast is more of a name for the cooking method rather than the meat itself. It refers to a tough cut of meat that is cooked by braising with or without vegetables. Braising is a cooking technique where you start by searing meat on high heat and then slowly cook it in liquid at low temperature.
Using a pressure cooker for this dish will help you achieve the same tender meat result in a fraction of the time. In a slow cooker, pot roast takes about 8 hours to cook but in a pressure cooker, it takes less than 2 hours.
Cooking it in an Instant Pot results in the most tender beef and it’s the fastest cooking method. But, you can always use your trustee Slow Cooker and I have instruction for that below.
WHAT BEEF TO USE FOR POT ROAST:
Most commonly used cut of beef for the pot roast is beef chuck. It’s best to use tougher meats that are lean and have a lot of connective tissue because the cooking method transforms this tough cut into delicious, tender, meat that fall apart as you touch it.
Beef chuck roast: chuck is a large cut of beef that comes from the shoulder, neck, and some rib area. This cut is very lean and has a lot of connective tissue and muscle that gets exercised a lot. It’s a tough cut but very flavorful and perfect for braising.
Bottom round or rump roast: this cut comes from the rear area, towards the bottom. Bottom round is generally divided into rump roast and bottom round roast cuts. These two cuts are tougher than the top round and better to use in stews and slower cooking. Bottom round is quite flavorful though and would be my second choice for pot roast.
Brisket: this cut comes from chest area and is another lean and tough cut. it is essentially two muscles that overlap and you can buy a whole brisket or just the flat. Either way, slow cooking is the way to go with this meat. If using a brisket for pot roast, make sure to NOT pull cooked meat but slice against the grain instead.
TIPS FOR THE BEST POT ROAST
Let it rest: Take the meat out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before cooking. Cold meat will seize when it hits high heat suddenly so for the best results, remember to let it warm up.
Season the meat generously: before searing the meat, season it generously with salt/pepper/garlic powder/onion powder mix. This will give the meat much more flavor and not just in the juices.
Sear, sear, sear: don’t skip this step! Searing the meat first adds even more flavor to the beef and it’s an important step in braising process, which starts with introducing blast of high heat to the meat.
Add wine: I highly recommend adding wine to pot roast. It doesn’t just add a whole new level of flavor, it also adds acidity, which helps to break down connective tissue in touch meats. (Other acidic additions include balsamic vinegar and tomato sauce/paste.) So unless you have prohibitive reasons for not using wine, I recommend that you add some.
What vegetables to use: classic vegetables include onion, celery, carrots, and potatoes. You can also add some leek, mushrooms, green beans, butternut squash, and other types of dense winter squash.
Cooking vegetables: there are two ways you can cook vegetables and that is with the meat or without the meat. In an Instant Pot, vegetables should be cooked at the end, after meat is done, because they only take a few minutes. If cooking a large piece of meat, vegetables may not fit. So take the cooked beef out but leave all the broth in the pot. Cook vegetables in the broth as instructed. For smaller piece of meat, you can add vegetables to the meat and cook together.
Using leftover broth/gravy: you’ve hears the saying that there is never too much gravy in the pot roast. That is because you can always find more uses for leftover broth/gravy. Use it to dip sandwiches, or mix with some pasta as sauce. You can also use it on mashed potatoes with another meal.
HOW TO MAKE POT ROAST IN A SLOW COOKER
Prepare beef the same way by letting it rest and then season it generously on all sides.
Use a large cooking pan sear the meat on all the sides.
Combine ingredients for the broth mixture in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Bring this mixture to simmer in a sauce pot and take off heat.
Spread vegetables in the bottom of the slow cooker and place seared beef on top. Pour in hot broth mixture, cover and cook on HIGH for about 6 hours or on LOW for 8-10 hours.
Discard bay leaves before serving.
MORE BEEF RECIPES TO TRY
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Instant Pot Pot Roast
This is truly the best recipe for Pot Roast! The beef is so tender, it falls apart as you spoon it out of the most delicious gravy.
- 3-5 lb beef chuck roast*
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1 cup red wine
- 3 cups beef stock
- 6 oz tomato paste
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 6 cloves of garlic pressed
- 3 springs thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 long ribs of celery
- 1 lb carrots
- 1 yellow onion
- 1.5 lb baby gold potatoes
- 2 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp cold beef stock
Take the beef out of the refrigerator and out of the package. Lay it out on a rimmed baking sheet or a large cutting board and let it rest for about 30 minutes to warm up. Cut it in half or in thirds, depending on the size.
Combine seasoning in a small mixing bowl. Season the beef chunks generously on all the sides and leave the remaining of the seasoning for the broth mixture. (Depending on the side of meat, you will probably use 1/2 to 3/4 of the seasoning.)
Preheat Instant Pot on "saute" setting and drizzle oil over the bottom and some up the sides. Sear the beef halves until golden-brown on all the sides.
Cooking Pot Roast:
Combine all the ingredients for the broth mix in a mixing bowl and whisk together until smooth.
Take the beef out of the Instant Pot.
Pour the broth mixture into the pot slowly while scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon.
Let the broth mixture heat through and return beef to the pot.
Close the lid of the Instant Pot and make sure it is latched. Turn the valve to "seal" and set the pot to cook on high pressure for 70-75 minutes. (Make sure to consult your pressure cooker manual for exact control specifications of your appliance.)
Let it naturally release for 10 minutes and then carefully quick release the pressure.
**Add vegetables into the pot, close the lid and make sure it's latched and valve is turned to "seal." Set to cook on high pressure for 6-8 minutes, depending on the size of baby potatoes.
Discard bay leaves before serving.
If you want to thicken the broth and make gravy: take cooked meat and vegetables out of the pot right away. Turn on "saute" setting and stir cornstarch mixture together with hot broth in the Instant Pot until it thickens.
*NOTE for cooking larger piece of beef: you can cook 5 to 5.5 lb beef chunk in a 6 quart Instant Pot since meat is cooked first without vegetables. You will need to cut larger size beef into 3 pieces and you may need to sear one of the pieces separately.
**All the vegetables will not fit safely with large piece of beef so you will need to cook the vegetables in the broth without the beef. To do that: cook meat for 75-80 minutes, take cooked beef out of the pot and set it aside. Add vegetables to the pot with all the cooking broth remaining in the pot and cook as instructed, for about 8 minutes.
All images and text ©Lyubov Brooke for ©Will Cook For Smiles. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If using my posts in collections and features, please link back to this post for the recipe. Disclaimer: Nutrition information shown is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate as most ingredients and brands have a slight variation.