What is Beef Pot Roast?

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  • Written By: Sara Schmidt
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 08 October 2019
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A savory, slow-cooked meal, beef pot roast is a favorite traditional Sunday dinner for many people. The meal consists of a large chunk of braised beef prepared in a slow cooker until tender. The dish is typically prepared and served with root vegetables, such as carrots and potatoes.

Considered a comfort meal, beef pot roast can be prepared in many different ways. A traditional preparation of the supper includes boneless chuck roast being browned in a Dutch oven or similar device. After the meat is browned, it is covered with beef broth or a comparative alternative and treated with the herbs and spices of the cook's choice. Sage, rosemary, and thyme are traditionally used, though garlic and other herbs provide a flavorful effect as well. Salt, pepper, and other seasonings can also be added to taste.

This mixture should be brought to a boil and covered. Once treated with broth and herbs, the heat is reduced to a simmer and the slow roasting commences. The thick meat usually cooks for an hour and a half before vegetables are added. While traditional garden ingredients include chopped carrots, onions or turnips, and potatoes, any preferred vegetables can be used. Squash and zucchini are some tasty alternatives.


The updated mixture will typically require an additional half hour of cooking, still beneath a lid. After all of the ingredients are as tender as desired, the beef pot roast dinner may be served hot. Diners may opt to serve themselves only the solid foods, though traditionally the meal is served with a spoonful of the broth. This meal is sometimes accompanied by dinner rolls and any side dishes of choice, such as green bean casserole. Many families simply enjoy the meal without accompaniments.

Variations on the traditional preparation can be found across the globe. The Lancashire hotpot, another traditional English meal, is a similar dish prepared with lamb. In Japan, a dish known as nikujaga, which sometimes employs the use of pork, is similar to the beef pot roast.

Americans have created many alterations to the recipe, such as dressing the finished meal with other liquids instead of broth. Bleu cheese sauce, mustard dressing, and many other creative dressings may be used to add additional elements of flavor to the meal. To thicken the broth, some chefs also opt to add cornstarch or other thickeners to the meal as it cooks. A modern version of beef pot roast and other braised dishes can also be made inside a slow cooker.


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Post 2

I ran across this slow cooker pot roast recipe a few weeks ago and used it for Christmas dinner. It was wonderful. It called for a chuck roast, but all I could find were shoulder roasts. It worked fine though.

In a bowl, I mixed together two cans of cream soup (cream of mushroom and cream of celery), one soup can of water and one of red wine, some garlic, two packages of onion soup mix, a beef bullion cube, some black pepper and a little hot sauce. Once it was mixed, I cut the roast in four pieces, patted the pieces dry, put them in the slow cooker and turned it on low for 10 hours. That was the best roast I've ever eaten. It was absolutely delicious. It was so tender it fell apart in the cooker. Wonderful.

Post 1

We used to have pot roast all the time on Sunday nights. We almost always had leftovers and my favorite way my dad would cook the leftover roast is with rice. He would cut the roast into bite sized pieces and would save it with all the pan juices.

The next day, he skimmed the fat off the juices and put it all in a pot. He added enough water to make two cups, added one cup of rice, brought it all to a boil, then reduced it to a simmer, covered it and cooked it until the rice was done -- about 25 minutes. That's still one of my favorite ways to stretch leftover beef post roast.

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