Beef Pot Roast Recipe
My Mom’s Best Beef Pot Roast Recipe is tender, juicy, and packed with flavor. The perfect Sunday dinner to bring the family together, this classic comfort food recipe can be made in the oven or slow cooker!
Why We Love This BEST Pot Roast Recipe
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why pot roast is always better when Mom makes it. The wow factor doesn’t come from fancy ingredients or cooking methods. Mom’s Best Beef Pot Roast is a humble classic-American roast with carrots, onions, and potatoes, that blow everyone else’s pot roast out of the water… In my opinion.
My mom made her pot roast at least a couple times a month, throughout my entire childhood. She would prep the roast before church on Sunday mornings, then place it in the oven as we walked out the door. Later, we would come home to a house filled with the aroma of pure beefy comfort.
Now, I love filling my own home with the same warm, delicious smell of Mom’s Best Beef Pot Roast!
This meal is sure to satisfy and is great even for picky eaters. Pair with extra potatoes or make gravy and serve them with decadent mashed potatoes! Especially during the colder months, this beef pot roast is constantly in my dinner rotation.
You can make your pot roast by starting on the stove and finishing it in the oven, or you can simply let it slow cook to perfection in your crock pot! Either way, you will end up with the most tender and flavorful pot roast ever.
Ingredients You Need For Top Round Roast
I believe one of the reasons that beef pot roast is such a classic meal is that it’s made with wonderfully simple ingredients. By cooking it low and slow, either in the oven for 4 hours or in the crock pot for 6-12 hours, your hearty veggies and tender beef get a chance to really come together to create flavorful pot roast magic.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make Mom’s Best Beef Pot Roast:
- Beef roast – Pick cuts of beef like top round, chuck roast, or rump roast are best!
- Thick-cut bacon – or pancetta!
- Sweet onions
- Garlic – whole cloves
- Fresh thyme
- Fresh rosemary
- Mini new potatoes – use a medley of mini and red potatoes or any potatoes you prefer
- Worcestershire sauce – for added umami flavor
- Beef base – boullion or beef broth
- Salt and pepper – to taste
Pro Tip: Select a large beef roast that will shred well when cooked over time. It’s best to find one with some fat marbling, like a beef chuck roast, rump roast, or some top-round roasts. Even lean roasts will cook down and shred. Yet the marbled fat provides rich flavor and gives the slow-cooked meat a more luxurious texture.
You can also add or swap extra root vegetables like turnips and parsnips!
How To Make Pot Roast
- Preheat & Prep: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Move the oven racks up or down to accommodate a large pot or dutch oven. Salt and pepper the beef roast generously on all sides.
- Start Building Flavor: Place the chopped bacon in a 6-8 quart dutch oven, or oven-safe pot with a lid. Set the pot over medium to medium-high heat and cook the bacon, stirring occasionally. Once the bacon is mostly cooked, add the onions wedges, garlic, and fresh herbs. Add a bit of olive oil if the pot seems dry. Let the onions sauté on both sides, then move the onions and bacon to the side and add the beef roast. Brown the roast on all sides, flipping every 2-3 minutes.
- Add Additional Ingredients: Move the beef roast to the center of the pot. Move the onions and bacon to one side. Pour the Worcestershire sauce, water, and beef base into the pot. Arrange the carrots and potatoes around the beef. Cover the pot with a heavy lid and place it in the oven for 4 hours, or until the meat is fork-tender.
- Shred and Serve: Shred the beef and serve it warm with potatoes, carrots, onions, and pan juices.
How To Make Pot Roast in a Crock Pot
Yes, you can turn this into a slow cooker recipe. However, remember that you must sear the bacon, onions, herbs, and beef prior to placing them in the crock pot. If you put the ingredients in the crock pot raw, you will end up with a shallow mediocre version of Mom’s Best Beef Pot Roast Dinner. What a travesty.
Slow cook on high for 6-8 hours or on low for 10-12 hours! Shred and enjoy!
SEE THE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR HOW TO MAKE TOP ROUND POT ROAST
Tips for Success
- Beef base is concentrated beef stock. If you add it to the pot roast with a smaller portion of water, the roast will absorb the concentrated flavor and give the roast an extremely beefy essence. This will add more flavor to the pot roast than beef broth! You can keep beef base in the refrigerator for a long time and use it for gravy and soups.
- For even more flavor, add about a quarter cup of dry red wine! The alcohol will get cooked off but adds a nice depth of flavor.
- The more carrots, the merrier. In this beef pot roast recipe, you’ll notice there are more carrots than potatoes. Yes, this is intentional, and yes, if you have room in your dutch oven you should always add more carrots than listed. The carrots offer a touch of rustic sweetness to Mom’s Best Beef Pot Roast Dinner, which seasons the entire meal. They are so soft, silky, and sweet, that the carrots are always the first thing to disappear. When in doubt, add more carrots!
- Don’t skip searing the meat! This seals in the flavor, and creates a foundation for all the other flavors of the pot roast to build upon. Make sure to salt and pepper the beef thoroughly before searing. If you are using a slow cooker to make your beef pot roast, you definitely still want to properly sear the bacon, onions, herbs, and beef prior to placing them in the crock pot!
Frequently Asked Questions
To get fall-apart tender beef, you have to slow cook the beef for at least 4 hours in the oven, or at least 6 hours in the slow cooker on high. You might even need a little bit more time, depending on how tender the beef is at that point. Check on it, and if it doesn’t immediately fall apart, keep cooking it! Patience is key!
Sure! You can really use any kind of potato you want, but if you use large potatoes, make sure to cut them into quarters so they cook through before the end of the cooking process. You can use yukon gold or russet potatoes for the best result!
You can store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave until heated through!
To make a gravy, take the beef and vegetables out of the pot after cooking. Shred the beef and place it on a platter with the veggies. Cover with foil to keep warm. Scoop out 1/2 cup of the pan juice and place it in a bowl. Swirl the bowl to cool the juice. Whisk 1-2 tablespoons of cornstarch or flour into the juices. Whisk until smooth. Then whisk the smaller portion of juice with cornstarch back into the pot. Heat over medium-high until the juices thicken into gravy. Let the gravy simmer until it reaches your desired consistency. Add a little water if it is too thick. Serve over the warm roast and enjoy!
Looking for More Slow Cooker Comfort Food Recipes?
- Chicken Broccoli Slow Cooker Lasagna
- Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff Recipe
- Slow Cooker Shepherds Pie Recipe
- Slow Cooker Garlic Butter Chicken and Potatoes
- Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Beef Tenderloin Recipe
- Crock Pot Pork Loin with Vegetables
Best Beef Pot Roast Recipe
- 4 pounds beef roast (top round, rump roast, or chuck roast are best)
- 4 strips thick-cut bacon, chopped
- 2 large sweet onions, peeled and cut into large wedges
- 4 cloves garlic smashed
- 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 2 pounds carrots, trimmed and halved
- 1 1/2 pounds mini new potatoes
- 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 2 tablespoons beef base
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Move the oven racks up or down to accommodate a large pot. Salt and pepper the beef roast generously on all sides.
- Place the chopped bacon in a 6-8 quart dutch oven (or oven safe pot with lid.) Set the pot over medium heat and cook the bacon, stirring occasionally. Once the bacon is mostly cooked, add the onion wedges, garlic, and fresh herbs. Let the onions sauté on both sides, then move the onions and bacon to the side and add the beef roast. Brown the roast on all sides, flipping every 2-3 minutes.
- Move the beef roast to the center of the pot. Move the onions and bacon to one side. Pour the Worcestershire sauce, water, and beef base into the pot. Arrange the carrots and potatoes around the beef. Cover the pot with a heavy lid and place it in the oven for 4 hours, or until the meat is fork tender.
- Shred the beef and serve warm with potatoes, carrots, onions, and pan juices.