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Recipe for pot roast

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2-3 pound boneless beef chuck roast
fresh black pepper
minced garlic, 3-4 cloves
1 tblsp paprika
2-3 medium onions, cut into quarters and some thinner slices
2-3 peeled Yukon Gold potatoes, quartered
2-3 large carrots, peeled and cut into fingers or disks, according to taste
Preheat oven to 325.

Rub chuck roast all over with salt, pepper, minced garlic and paprika. Grease bottom of your dutch oven or pot with a teaspoon or so of oil, just enough to keep the meat from sticking. Roast meat on a lower oven shelf for two hours. Baste with pot liquids, adding a little water from time to time to create a gravy.

Meanwhile, cut up onion, carrot, and potato and simmer in a little salted water until tender, not mushy. Arrange the vegetables around the browned roast and baste. Roast again until vegetables are done and have added their goodness to the gravy.

Remove vegetables to a serving dish and meat to a carving board and keep warm. If the gravy left in the pot is too thin, spoon a bit into a bowl and make a slurry with a tablespoon or two of flour -- pour back into the liquid and whisk well, making sure to incorpate all browned bits from the meat. More water can be added; season to taste. Serve with fresh cornbread and sliced tomatoes.
My mom made pot roast when I was a kid, and I never liked it. Still, it always seemed a basic and simple recipe to me, so I tried making it four or five times over the last 25 or 30 years of my daily cooking history. They always stunk.

This one, adapted from John Egerton's fine book Southern Cooking, has a Kentucky/Tennessee pedigree, and is THE POT ROAST I ALWAYS DREAMED OF. Easy to produce -- it pretty much cooks itself -- and my children and their guests devoured it.

The beef is delicious on its own, but don't skimp on the gravy.
Thanks to Chef Bill Malloy