This Dutch Oven Pot Roast recipe is classic comfort food at its very best. It’s made with simple real food ingredients that you likely have on hand, and always feeds a crowd or provides plenty of leftovers. This delicious recipe is also gluten-free, Whole30 compliant, and Paleo friendly. ⠀
The Best Dutch Oven Pot Roast
There is something so comforting about a hearty and delicious slow cooked pot roast that has been braising for hours. When it comes to a good pot roast, this one has it all. Perfectly cooked beef, tender root vegetables, herbs, and the most flavorful gravy.
If you have never made pot roast at home before, you might be surprised to know that it is incredibly easy to make. Essentially, all you need to do is sear the beef, add in the veggies, herbs, and aromatics, then allow it to slowly cook for a few hours until tender.
This classic pot roast recipe is made entirely in one dutch oven, which makes cleaning up a breeze. Don’t have a dutch oven? I’ve also included slow cooker instructions below, which is another great way to make this recipe.
The Key to Flavorful Beef in Dutch Oven Pot Roast
The key to the most flavorful pot roast is taking the extra step to sear the beef before letting it roast. Seasoning the chuck roast with salt and then searing helps to create a delicious crust that breaks down while the beef is roasting.
The salt crust on the beef helps to flavor the rest of the dish and gives you a perfectly seasoned pot roast. Whether you make your pot roast in the dutch oven or in the slow cooker, this is an essential step that you should not skip. It makes all of the difference.
Here are the easy steps to creating a delicious salt crust on your beef before roasting:
Step One: Pat your chuck roast dry with paper towels. This helps to remove any excess moisture so that you get the perfect crust. Next sprinkle at least half of a tablespoon of salt on one side of the roast.
Step Two: Heat your dutch oven or skillet over medium-high heat. The key to getting that crust is to make sure that your skillet or dutch oven is screaming hot.
Step Three: Once the dutch oven is hot, add in the oil. Because searing requires you to work at a higher temperature an oil with a high smoke point, like coconut or avocado oil, will work best for this.
Step Four: Place the chuck roast in the dutch oven, salted side down and let it cook for six to seven minutes or until a golden brown crust develops. While the salted side cooks, sprinkle the remaining salt on the other side of the beef before flipping and searing the other side.
Step Five: Once the beef has been seared on both sides, you can remove it from the dutch oven and prep the rest of the dish.
Let’s Talk About the Vegetables
Once you have the beef seared and ready, it’s time to think about the veggies in your pot roast. When it comes to vegetables you can keep it really classic with a simple combo of carrots, celery, and onion or add in more flavor with mushrooms and diced tomatoes.
Carrots: Cut them a bit larger and thicker so that they do not completely fall apart when cooking.
Celery: Adds so much flavor to this pot roast.
Mushrooms: Completely optional but always a great addition.
Tomatoes: Canned diced tomatoes add great flavor to this dish. One can is all you need.
Onion: You can’t have a good pot roast without onion.
Potatoes or No Potatoes?
You may have noticed that this recipe does not include potatoes in the list of veggies. We prefer to serve our pot roast over mashed potatoes so we leave them out of the dish and mash some on the side instead. The mashed potatoes help to soak up all of that delicious gravy from the pot roast.
If you prefer potatoes in your actual roast, feel free to cut up a few red potatoes or yukon golds and add them to the mix.
What Herbs and Aromatics Should I Use?
When it comes to herbs and aromatics you cannot go wrong with fresh cloves of garlic, thyme, rosemary, and of course dried bay leaves. All of these will give your roast a hearty dose of delicious flavor. If you do not have fresh herbs, feel free to use dried herbs instead!
Can I Make This Recipe in the Slow Cooker?
Yes! Making this recipe in the slow cooker is incredibly easy and a great way to use your slow cooker because it allows the meat to slowly cook until perfectly tender.
Here is what you need to do to make this in the slow cooker:
After searing the meat and developing the crust on the chuck roast, transfer it to the slow cooker.
Deglaze the pan you used to cook the beef with balsamic vinegar and cook the onions and garlic like you normally would. Then, transfer them to the slow cooker.
Add all of the remaining ingredients to your slow cooker and then cook on high for 6-8 hours or until the beef is tender.
If you prefer, thicken your gravy with a little arrowroot starch and then eat!
While the dutch oven is heating, pat the chuck roast dry with paper towels. Next, sprinkle half the salt onto one side of the chuck roast.
Once the dutch oven is hot, add the coconut oil. Next, place the chuck roast in the dutch oven salt side down. Sprinkle the remaining salt on the other side of the beef.
Sear the beef for 6-8 minutes on each side until it has developed a golden brown crust. Remove the beef from the dutch oven and set aside.
Lower the heat and add the balsamic vinegar to the dutch oven to deglaze the pan. Next, add the onions and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Remove the dutch oven from the heat and add the beef, carrots, celery, diced tomatoes, herbs, bay leaves, broth, black pepper, and mushrooms (if using). Cover the dutch oven with a lid and cook for 3-4 hours or until the beef is fork tender and easy to shred.
If you prefer, add in a tablespoon or two of arrowroot starch to thicken the gravy. Then use two forks to shred the beef in the gravy and then serve!
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