Moist, juicy and fall apart tender, this Pioneer Woman pot roast recipe will be an instant family favorite.
Lauren Habermehl for Taste of Home, Getty Images
Pot roast is one of those quintessential recipes that we all know and love. However, perfecting the perfect roast is no small feat. Even the queen of homestyle comfort food, Ree Drummond, admits that it took her a long time to get her Pioneer Woman pot roast recipe just right.
Her resulting recipe, after many trials and tribulations, is made with simple ingredients and braised low and slow in the oven. In fact, it’s so straightforward, we had to put it to the test to see if her recipe truly is the perfect pot roast (or if Ina Garten’s pot roast takes the top spot).
Building Blocks of the Best Pot Roast Ever
As Ree likely learned on her quest for pot roast perfection, it is essential to get the basic building blocks just right to make the best pot roast ever. Once you nail the basics, you can have fun with unique spins on pot roasts.
Temperature and Time
Low and slow is the name of the game when making pot roast (and tender ribs in the oven). Most roasts are made with cheaper cuts of beef that tend to be tough unless cooked properly. Low and slow cooking helps retain moisture (juicy!), render fat (flavorful!) and break down connective tissue (tender!), which all lead to a supremely cooked pot roast.
Cut of Beef
For the best pot roast, you’ll want to select a muscular cut of beef. While cuts from hardworking regions of the steer tend to be tougher, they also have more flavor when cooked properly. Ree recommends a good old-fashioned chuck roast. This cut will never steer you wrong (you know Ree loves a good pun). However, brisket, rump roast and bottom round are other cuts commonly used to make pot roast.
Don’t miss these other top tips to make tough meat tender.
How to Make The Pioneer Woman’s Pot Roast
Lauren Habermehl for Taste of Home
This recipe yields 6 servings.
- 3- to 5-pound chuck roast
- 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 whole onions, peeled and halved
- 1 cup red wine, optional
- 3 cups beef broth
- 2 to 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 2 to 3 sprigs fresh thyme
Step 1: Saute
Preheat the oven to 275°F.
In a large pot or Dutch oven, over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. When it shimmers, add the onion halves and cook until browned on all sides. Remove to a plate.
Next, toss in the carrots and saute until fragrant and lightly charred. Remove the carrots and add them to the plate with the reserved onions.
Step 2: Season and sear
Generously season the chuck roast on all sides with salt and pepper.
Add a bit more olive oil to the pot, if needed, then add the meat to the pot. Sear it on all sides until it is nice and brown all over. Remove the roast to a plate.
Editor’s Tip: When searing the beef (or searing any steak), make sure the pot is still screaming hot to get a nice crust on the meat. Resist the urge to move the meat more than necessary in the pot, and flip it only once.
Step 3: Deglaze
With the burner still on high, deglaze the pot with 1 cup of red wine or beef broth. Use a wooden spoon or whisk to scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen all of the bits (a.k.a. the fond) stuck to the surface.
Return the roast back into the pot with the onions, carrots and fresh herbs. Add enough beef stock to cover the meat halfway, about 2-3 cups, then cover with a tight-fitting lid.
Step 4: Roast
Transfer the roast to the preheated oven and roast for 3 to 4 hours. The roast is ready when it’s fall-apart tender. Serve with mashed potatoes and other homestyle side dishes of your choice. Enjoy!
Here’s What I Thought
Lauren Habermehl for Taste of Home
Be still my heart. I think I might be in love. Wow, this makes one seriously good pot roast.
While Ree’s method and ingredients are simple (just like in her Pioneer Woman potato soup recipe), each plays an important role in making this a super flavorful, tender and juicy pot roast. From charring the vegetables, searing the beef, deglazing with wine and braising low and slow, I wouldn’t change a thing.
My 4-pound roast was fall-apart tender in exactly 4 hours and filled the kitchen with the most heavenly aroma. I opted to save the reserved cooking liquid and turn it into a quick and easy pan gravy that took the roast to next level delicious.