Mom’s Pot Roast


I ate this pot roast every Sunday of my life growing up. My mother now makes it for Peter and I whenever she comes to visit. It’s a ritual; before my mom comes to town, Peter goes to the store and buys everything she will need to make it. As soon as she puts her bags down, he says: “Make the pot roast!” I make a salad to go along with it, and that’s dinner.

Serves 4 to 6

1 3-pound beef chuck roast, at room temperature
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons canola or safflower oil
1 large onion, peeled and cut into eight wedges
6 carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
6 fresh thyme sprigs
6 fresh rosemary sprigs
1 cup dry red wine
4 to 6 cups beef broth
1 pound small red-skinned or fingerling potatoes

1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF.

2. Season the roast generously on all sides with salt and pepper.

3. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or deep, ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the roast and sear to a rich brown color, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Transfer the roast to a plate and set aside.

4. Add the onion, 2 of the carrots, and the herbs to the pot you cooked the roast. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are light brown and the onion soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Return the roast to the pan, add the wine and enough broth to nearly cover the roast, and bring to a low boil over medium heat.

5. Cover with a lid or aluminum foil and place the meat in the oven to roast for 2 hours 30 minutes. Add the potatoes and the remaining carrots and continue roasting for another 40 to 60 minutes, until the meat breaks apart easily and the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.

6. Transfer the roast to a shallow serving bowl and cover loosely with foil to keep warm. Remove the herb stems from the pot or skillet. Use a large spoon to skim the fat off the top of the pan juices, pour the juice and the vegetables over the roast, and serve warm.