Oven Braised Pot Roast is a classic comfort food with its juicy chunks of pot roast and rich savory gravy. Serve it with mashed potatoes and extra gravy! This recipe adds an Italian twist by adding red wine, tomato paste and Italian spices. The gravy would also be perfect served over a creamy polenta or orzo pasta. Add a Classic Italian Salad for a complete meal.
This recipes calls for 5 pounds of chuck roast. I purchased two 2.5 pound roasts at Costco (best quality for the price), and tied them together with butcher’s string to form a “bundle”. This helped them fit better in my 7-quart LeCrueset Dutch Oven. Two other benefits to tie up your pot roast, even if it is just one big roast, are to make it easier to turn the roast with tong during the searing phase, and to keep the roast from falling apart during cooking. The result is larger chunks of juicy Oven Braised Pot Roast.
For the liquid, I used Slow Press, a great Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles, CA but any decent red wine will work. Besides loving the name for a slow-cook recipe, my sister Lisa who lives in Paso Robles and is a member of the American Wine Society, loves wines from Paso. The recipe requires about 1 cup of wine. The rest we polished off with dinner. It went great with the Oven Braised Pot Roast.
The step-by-step guide and recipe follows:
Sear the seasoned pot roast bundle in a Dutch Oven pan over high heat on the stove top on all sides in hot olive oil. It takes about 3-5 per side to get a nice sear. Once done, remove roast and transfer to a large plate to rest while cooking the vegetables.
Add diced, celery, carrots, onion, garlic and red pepper flakes to the hot Dutch Oven. Turn the heat down to medium high and cook for 1 -2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir to incorporate. This base creates a rich and flavorful gravy. Place the seared roast on top of the vegetables
Add the red wine, beef stock and bay leaves, rosemary, thyme and oregano. Cover and bring the liquids to a boil on the stove top. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Carefully transfer the hot, covered pot to the oven. Cook for 5 – 6 hours. Add more liquid about halfway through if needed.
When done, remove the cooked roast from the Dutch Oven and transfer to a large casserole dish. Cut the strings and toss. The roast will fall apart in large chucks. Use a fork to separate into smaller serving size pieces.
To make the gravy, strain the cooked vegetables and liquid into a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl to catch the juices. Smash the vegetables with the back of a wooden spoon to extract as much flavor and juice as possible. Toss the pulp. Add the strained liquid back to the hot Dutch Oven.
Finish the gravy with a slurry of flour and water (or more beef stock) and whisk until well blended with no lumps. Cook over medium high heat on the stovetop until the gravy thickens slightly. The last yummy step is whisk in a knob of butter to give it a shimmery finish.
Oven Braised Pot Roast with an Italian Twist
- 5 pound or two 2.5 lb chuck roast
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Pinch red pepper flakes or to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 carrots peeled and cut in chunks
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 2 stalks celery diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 4 cups beef broth (divided 3 +1 cup)
- 1 ½ cups red wine
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 bay leaf
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 1 sprig thyme
- ½ tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Tie the roast into a bundle with butcher’s string. Season both sides liberally with salt and black pepper.
- Sear the pot roast in hot olive oil on both sides in a large dutch oven over medium high heat. Set roast aside.
- Add carrot, onions, celery, garlic and red pepper flakes to hot dutch oven. Stir and heat for 1 -2 minutes. Add tomato paste. Stir to combine and allow the paste to blend in.
- Place the roast on top of the vegetables. Gently pour 3 cups beef broth and red wine over the roast. It should cover most of the roast, but not cover it entirely. Add bay leaf, rosemary, thyme and oregano.
- Cover and bring the pot to a slow boil. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
- Once the liquid reaches boiling, keep covered and transfer to hot oven. Allow to roast for 5 - 6 hours. Check the liquid level about halfway through to ensure it is not evaporating. Add more liquid (water, broth or wine) of needed.
- When done, remove the roast from the pot and place in a large casserole pan. Cover with foil to keep warm.
- Drain the beef juice and cooked vegetables over a fine mesh strainer with a bowl underneath to catch the juices. Smash down the cooked vegetables with a wooden spoon to extract as much liquid and flavor as possible. Toss the pulp when done.
- Return the beef juice to the dutch oven and heat over medium high heat. Add remaining 1 cup of beef broth.
- Mix 2 tablespoons of flour and ¼ cup water in a cup. Slowly pour the slurry into the hot liquid, whisking until well blended. Cook for 5 more minutes or until the sauce thickens. Add water or more beef stock to thin out if needed.
- To finish the gravy, whisk in 1 tablespoon butter at the end. Test for seasoning. Add more salt and pepper if needed.
- Remove the string from the roast and discard. The roast will fall apart. Using a large fork, break the larger pieces into serving size chunks.
- Serve with hot gravy poured on top. Wonderful with side of mashed potatoes, creamy polenta or buttery orzo pasta