Dutch Oven Pot Roast

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5 from 14 votes
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This Dutch oven pot roast is the ultimate comfort food. It combines seared and slow-cooked chuck roast with savory pancetta and a host of tender veggies, all simmered in a flavorful broth. It’s easy to make and gets better with each bite! 

Dutch oven pot roast with shredded meat and broth.

Whether I’m trying to stay warm on a chilly winter evening or just need a hands-off weeknight dinner to feed my family, my go-to dishes to make are oxtail soup, meatballs and gravy, and my famous Dutch oven pot roast recipe. The meat melts in your mouth and soaks up every ounce of the broth. It’s also surprisingly easy to make, with hardly any hands-on time required. 

Table of Contents
  1. What is pot roast?
  2. Ingredients needed
  3. How to cook a pot roast in the Dutch oven
  4. What to serve with this dish
  5. Alternative cooking methods
  6. Recipe tips and variations
  7. How to store leftovers
  8. Frequently asked questions
  9. More delicious beef classics to try
  10. Dutch Oven Pot Roast (Recipe Card)

What is pot roast?

Pot roast refers to seared, slow-cooked beef simmered in a rich broth, herbs, and veggies until the meat falls apart. So, it doesn’t technically refer to a specific cut of meat, though the most common cuts used are chuck roast, top round roast, or instant pot brisket.

Like a Mississippi pot roast, It’s one of my favorite winter dishes to make my family because it needs little prep, and it makes the house smell incredible. Here are some reasons why I love this recipe:

  • Cost-effective. The best meat for pot roast is the cheapest since it’s tough and requires patience to cook properly. Lucky for us, this recipe has the oven doing most of the heavy lifting. 
  • One-pot meal. Similar to beef shanks or a Dutch oven beef stew, this all-in-one recipe comes together with just one Dutch oven, so cleanup is a breeze. 
  • Perfect flavor and texture. Between the seared, caramelized exterior of the roast and the buttery smooth interior, this dish explodes with flavor and texture. I mean, the meat melts in your mouth!

What we love most about this recipe is how good it tastes even a day or two after you cook it. As the beef continues to absorb flavor from the broth, it only gets more tender and flavorful. You can even freeze leftovers to make easy meal prep all week long. 

Dutch oven beef roast.

Ingredients needed

There are no surprises when it comes to the ingredients in this recipe, and many of them can be modified to save you a trip to the store. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Boneless chuck roast. This may also be referred to as stewing beef, and it’s best for slow cooking. I used a 3-pound roast for this recipe, but it’s very easy to adapt to whichever weight your beef is. You can use a bone-in chuck roast, but you’ll need to increase the cooking time by 15 minutes.
  • Salt and black pepper. To taste.
  • Olive oil. For searing the beef. I tested this recipe with butter too, and found it was a little too much (especially with the remaining ingredients).
  • Pancetta. For an irresistible savory element. You can also use bacon.
  • Onions and garlic. Essential aromatics for any good pot roast.
  • Beef broth (Beef stock). Preferably low-sodium beef broth.
  • Beer. The secret ingredient that adds a subtle layer of flavor. The alcohol should cook out, but you can replace it with extra broth if you prefer. Red wine will also work.
  • Water. To thin out the broth. 
  • Passata (tomato sauce). For flavor and to build the broth. It may also be labeled as tomato purée or strained tomatoes. 
  • Worcestershire sauce. Just a touch to really elevate the roast’s natural flavor.
  • Fresh thyme. For fresh flavor and herbaceous flavor. 
  • Bay leaves. For flavor and to add a delicious aroma. 
  • Brown sugar. Just a little goes a long way to elevating the rest of the ingredients.
  • Carrots, celery, and potatoes. Stewing vegetables to add flavor and make for a hearty recipe.
  • Fresh rosemary. For garnish.

How to cook a pot roast in the Dutch oven

I’ve included step-by-step photos below to make this recipe easy to follow at home. For the full printable recipe instructions and ingredient quantities, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Step 1- Sear the beef: Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Season the beef with salt and pepper. Then, add the beef to an oiled Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Sear the beef on all sides until it’s no longer pink, then set aside. 

seasoned and seared beef.

Step 2- Build the broth: Add the pancetta to the Dutch oven and cook for 1-2 minutes, followed by the onion and garlic. Then, add the beef broth, beer, water, passata, thyme, bay leaves, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil. 

broth in Dutch oven.

Step 3- Add the vegetables and beef: Add back the beef and vegetables to the Dutch oven and put the lid on. 

beef and vegetables in Dutch oven.

Step 4- Bake the pot roast: Put the roast in the oven and bake for 2-2 ½ hours or until the beef is tender. 

cooked roast in Dutch oven.

What to serve with this dish

This pot roast is quite hearty all on its own, though you could easily whip up a few sides to serve with it. To soak up the broth, try air fryer garlic bread or cheesy biscuits. For lighter sides or as a starter, try a green goddess salad or a wedge salad

Alternative cooking methods

While I prefer the low and slow oven approach for the meat, I’ve tested this exact recipe in the instant pot and the slow cooker. Here is how you’d make it:

Instant pot method: Once the beef and vegetables have all been seared on the stovetop, add them to an instant pot, secure the lid, and pressure cook for 70 minutes. Now, allow to naturally release for 15 minutes.

Slow cooker method: Sear the beef, then add it to the slow cooker, along with the remaining ingredients. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Pat dry the meat before searing. It might seem as though this is common sense, but trust me- you want the meat to be completely dry to sear well, which in turn traps in all the juices.
  • Sauté the vegetables. After searing the meat, add a little extra oil and sauté the veggies to extract more flavor and get some caramelization. 
  • Don’t have a Dutch oven? Swap it for a baking dish wrapped tightly in foil. 
  • Cut the vegetables to the same size. So they cook evenly.

How to store leftovers

To store: Leftover roast beef should be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to one week. 

To freeze: Allow leftover pot roast to cool completely, then freeze it in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Let frozen leftovers thaw overnight in the fridge or add more reheating time. 

To reheat: Microwave them for 30-40 second spurts or reheat in a small saucepan until warm.

Dutch oven pot roast.

Frequently asked questions

How do you keep a pot roast from getting tough?

The key to getting tender pot roast is to cook it low and slow, with enough liquid, and with the lid on to prevent too much steam from getting out. 

How do you know when the pot roast is done?

You’ll know the roast is done when the meat is fork-tender and pulls apart easily when shredded. 

More delicious beef classics to try

  • No bean chili– Beefy chili that makes amazing leftovers (just ask my family members!).
  • Tri-tip steak– Thinly sliced marinated steak served with a delicious chimichurri sauce.
  • Cheeseburger soup– Cheesy, creamy soup made with juicy ground beef and all your favorite burger fix-ins.
  • Round steak– Juicy steak that comes together in 20 minutes.
  • Beef tips and gravy– Tender chunks of beef simmered in an outrageously flavorful gravy.
dutch oven pot roast recipe.

Dutch Oven Pot Roast

5 from 14 votes
This Dutch oven pot roast is the ultimate comfort food. It combines seared and slow-cooked chuck roast with savory pancetta and a host of tender veggies, all simmered in a flavorful broth. It’s easy to make and gets better with each bite! Watch the video below to see how I make this in my kitchen.
Servings: 8 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total: 1 hour 30 minutes

Video

Ingredients  

  • 3 pounds beef chuck roast boneless
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 ounces pancetta or bacon
  • 2 large onions sliced into wedges
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 1/2 cup beer or extra beef broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup tomato sauce passata
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2 large carrots chopped
  • 2 stalks celery chopped
  • 3 large potatoes

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
  • Season the beef with salt and pepper. 
  • Add oil to a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the beef and sear on all sides until no longer pink. Transfer it to a plate.
    seasoned and seared beef.
  • Add the pancetta to the same pot and cook for 1-2 minutes, followed by the onion and garlic. Add the beef broth, beer, water, tomato sauce, thyme, bay leaves, and brown sugar, and bring to a boil.
    broth in Dutch oven.
  • Add the vegetables, followed by the beef, and cover. Remove from the stovetop.
    beef and vegetables in Dutch oven.
  • Transfer the Dutch oven to the oven and cook for 1 1/2-2 hours, or until the beef is tender.
    cooked roast in Dutch oven.

Notes

TO STORE. Leftover pot roast should be stored, covered, in the fridge for up to one week. 
TO FREEZE. Allow leftover pot roast to cool completely, then freeze it in freezer-safe containers for up to 3 months. Let frozen leftovers thaw overnight in the fridge or add more reheating time. 
TO REHEAT. Microwave them for 30-40 second spurts or reheat in a small saucepan until warm.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 393kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 37gFat: 19gSodium: 721mgPotassium: 1438mgFiber: 5gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 3242IUVitamin C: 35mgCalcium: 77mgIron: 5mgNET CARBS: 14g
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

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Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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  1. 5 stars
    This was my most successful pot roast yet! Thank you for the recipe. I was able to use home-grown/home made tomato sauce. I prepped everything the day before so probably had a little marinade time before cooking. It was delicious!