I'm usually a from-scratch kind of cook, and the sort of “semi-homemade” ingredients for this pot roast make me cringe a bit. But although I've tried other recipes and other methods, this one beats them all hands-down. I got the recipe from an old friend after enjoying it at her house a couple of times and wondering why my pot roast was never as good as Kim's pot roast.
This recipe has one cardinal rule: You must start with good beef. Otherwise why bother? We use a roast from the beef we buy in bulk; it's pasture-fed on a local farm and the resulting beef literally falls off the bone in succulent shreds of savory goodness. This roast cooks all day at a low temperature. It's simple enough to start before you leave the house so that it's ready when you come home for dinner.
I use a Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid for this recipe. If you don't have one, you can line a roasting pan with foil, then cover the meat with another piece of foil, and then crimp the two all the way around to make a sort of meat packet. The goal is to hold the moisture in while the beef becomes completely tender. The roast forms its own gravy as it cooks.
- 3-4 pounds beef roast (top chuck, chuck shoulder, or rump round)
- 1 package Lipton's dry onion soup mix
- 1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
- 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly oil the bottom of a Dutch oven with vegetable oil. (Or line a roasting pan with foil.) Add the roast to the pan. Combine other ingredients and spread over the roast. Put lid on pan. (Or add more foil and fold to seal roast.) Bake 11 hours.
Separately, I like to roast vegetables to serve as a side dish for this beef. In a shallow pan, I cook carrots, onions, and russet potatoes, drizzled with a bit of vegetable oil and seasons with salt and pepper. I cook them for 80-90 minutes at 400 degrees or so. If you aren't lucky enough to have two ovens, make mashed potatoes on the stovetop instead.
I don't recommend baking vegetables at the low oven temperature needed for this pot roast. Don't try adding them to the roast; their high moisture content somehow messes up the texture of the beef.
Internet versions of this recipe exist using a crockpot on low for 8-9 hours. This might be worth a try someday, but I'm reluctant to meddle with perfection! I've also heard you can start with two cans of soup if you'd like more gravy at the end.
I like to serve this meal with a salad, homemade applesauce, and our favorite homemade bread.
Do you have a favorite low-effort recipe? What do you make that offers maximum flavor with minimum fuss?
J.D.'s note: This pot roast is fantastic. I cannot rave about it enough. In fact, I'm tempted to call Kris right now and ask if we can have this for dinner tomorrow. Yum. Photo by Merelymel13.