Updated: May 10, 2021
Fall-apart fork-tender beef, buttery potatoes, carrots, and luscious gravy are cooked in a fraction of the cooking time but still have the same classic, slow-roasted, homestyle taste.
No Instant Pot? No problem! Just put everything in your slow cooker for this impressive, wow-worthy, one-pot comfort meal.
Source: Veronika's Kitchen
For me, nothing says "home" like a classic, slow-roasted pot roast. I can still remember the warmth of the oven, the soiled page in Mom's cookbook, and the wonderful smell of slow-roasting beef and veggies, that permeated the entire house when I was a kid.
Typically, a classic Sunday pot roast is a traditional meal served on Sunday (hence the name), consisting of roasted meat, served with roasted potatoes or mashed potatoes (source), cooked all day in the oven using moist heat to tenderize the tougher cut of meat while it slowly simmers in a cooking liquid that adds a ton of flavor and moisture.
For this recipe, I am taking a short cut by using my Instant Pot. If you follow my blog regularly, you know how much I love my Instant Pot. If there was just one recipe that would convince you to buy one, it would be this one. The way it creates the super moist, fall-apart, fork-tender meat, perfectly cooked veggies, and luscious gravy all in one pot (and under 2 hours, instead of 8) is super impressive. Nobody would ever know that you didn't slow cook in the oven all day long!
If you haven't gifted yourself an Instant Pot yet, see my slow cooker instructions below.
Let's talk about the meat. For this recipe, I will be using a beef chuck roast. It has the perfect amount of marbling, which makes it perfect for braising and slow roasting. You can also use a brisket cut or round roast.
For the veggies, I am using small Yukon Gold potatoes. I love their buttery texture. You can also use small red-skinned potatoes. For the carrots, I am using baby carrots. If you choose to use whole carrots, be sure to cut them into large chunks rather than slicing so they don't get mushy.
Now, there are a few smalls steps that we will take before we just dump everything in the pot. These steps are going to promise that the end result is tender meat with a ton of flavor.
The first step is to make a dry rub. It contains smoked paprika, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and a pinch of cayenne. It makes the meat sweet, smoky, slightly spicy, and so delicious.
The next step is searing. Do not skip this step! This will create a wonderful "crust" that again will produce all that flavor that I promised. After the beef cubes are nicely coated with the dry rub, they are sautéed in the pot with olive oil for 4 to 5 minutes per side until they are golden brown (we will be using the "Sauté" feature on the Instant Pot for this step). You may have to brown the meat in two batches to prevent over crowding. Remove the meat from the pot and toss in the chopped onions. Sauté them until soft and tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two.
Next, we will deglaze the pan. We will use a combination of beef broth, tomato paste, and Worcestershire sauce (I am using tamari as a replacement, which is gluten-free). After the liquids are added to the pot, the fond (the brown cooking bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan) is scraped up using a wooded spoon or spatula. Ahh, more flavor!
Finally, the browned meat is added back to the pot and nestled into the cooking liquid. The potatoes, carrots, and fresh rosemary are added on top of the meat. Don't stir! Now it is time to "set-it and forget it."
Place the lid on the pot. Be sure to make sure the venting knob is in the "sealing" position. Cook on manual high pressure for 50 minutes. Please note: It may take up to 20 minutes to build up the pressure in the pot before the actual cooking starts. I like to mention this, especially for people new to pressure cooking so they are not confused by the overall cooking time. After the cooking time has ended, do a quick release to release the pressure in the pot. Gently remove the potatoes and carrots from the pot with a slotted spoon and place on a serving platter. Cover them with foil to keep warm while the roast finishes. I find the shorter cooking time for the veggies ensures that they cook more evenly without being mushy and falling apart. Return the lid to the pot. Set the pot to seal and continue to cook the meat on manual high pressure for another 25 minutes. Do a quick release and then remove the meat from the pot. Place the meat on the platter with the veggies. Shred the meat into big bite-size chunks using two forks. Cover with foil while you make the gravy.
Time to make the gravy! Turn the pot to the "Sauté" mode. Allow the cooking liquid to come to a boil. Once boiling, let it simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Then mix the corn starch (or tapioca flour) with the water in a small bowl. Add the mixture to the pot. Stir and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the gravy thickens to the desired consistency.
Once the gravy is made, I like to pour a little on top of the roast and toss it, with tongs, coating the meat well with the sauce. I serve the extra gravy alongside the roast and veggies on the serving platter. Sprinkle the pot roast and veggies with fresh thyme leaves, if desired.
To make this recipe in a slower cooker: Place the meat on a large cutting board. Pat the meat dry with paper towels. Cut the meat into 4-6 large chunks. Trim any large areas of excess fat. Coat the meat with the dry rub. Heat a Dutch oven with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Place the meat into the pot and brown as indicated above. Remove the meat from the pot and add the onions and garlic. Cook until soft and golden brown. Deglaze the pan per the same instructions above then pour the liquid contents into a 6-quart Crock Pot. Nestle the meat in the sauce. Place the potatoes, carrots, and fresh rosemary on top of the meat. Cover and cook on low for about 8 hours, or until the meat is fork-tender. Remove the meat and veggies from the pot. Place on a serving platter. Cover them with foil, and set aside. Add the liquid contents from the Crock Pot to a large Dutch oven. Make the gravy per the instructions above.
Comfort food is food that makes us feel good. It makes us feel warm, cozy, and cared for. It's like a great big ole hug. It can make us feel nostalgic by taking us back to a time or place, like our childhood, filled with fond memories of carefree Sunday family dinners.
Make this wonderful, down-home dish for someone you love very soon!
This recipe makes 6 large servings.
Let's get cooking!
1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
1/2 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3-4 pounds beef roast, cut in 4-6 pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups beef broth
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (I used gluten-free tamari)
1 1/2 pounds of small Yukon or red-skinned potatoes (cut them in half or quartered, if larger)
1 1/2 pounds of baby carrots, or 4 medium carrots cut into large chunks
1 large sprig of fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons of corn starch or tapioca flour
1/4 cup water
Fresh thyme leaves for serving
How to make
Please be sure to visit Veronika's Kitchen for the source recipe and original instructions.
In a small bowl, mix all the dry ingredients until well blended.
Place the meat on a large cutting board.
Pat the meat dry using paper towels.
Cut into four to six pieces. Trim any large pieces of fat.
Sprinkle with the dry rub ingredients, rubbing it into the meat, coating evenly.
Set the pressure cooker to the “Sauté” function.
Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to the pot.
Once the pot is preheated, put the meat in the pot and sear for about 4-5 minutes on each side, until it is browned on all sides. You may have to do this in two steps.
Remove the meat from the pot.
Add chopped onion to the pot.
Sauté for about 5 minutes, or until it is softened and browned.
Add minced garlic and cook for another minute or two.
Add 2 cups beef broth to the pan.
Using a wooden spoon or spatula, scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
Add the tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce (or tamari).
Cook for another minute, then turn off the “Sauté” mode.
Put the meat back in the pot.
Put potatoes, carrots, and rosemary on top of the roast. Do not stir.
Cover with the lid and make sure your venting knob is turned to “Sealing.”
Cook on manual high pressure for 50 minutes.
When the time has ended, do a quick pressure release.
Remove the potatoes and carrots from the pot.
Place on a serving platter and cover them with foil to keep warm.
Return the lid to the pot.
Set the pot to "Seal" and continue to cook the meat on manual high pressure for another 25 minutes.
Do a quick release and then remove the meat from the pot.
Place the meat on the platter with the veggies.
Shred the meat into big bite-size chunks using two forks.
Cover with foil while you make the gravy.
Turn the pot to the "Sauté" mode.
Allow the cooking liquid to come to a boil.
Once boiling, let it simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
Mix the corn starch (or tapioca flour) with the water in a small bowl.
Add the mixture to the pot.
Stir and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the gravy thickens to the desired consistency.
Pour a little gravy on top of the roast and toss it with tongs, coating the meat well with the sauce.
Serve the extra gravy alongside the pot roast and veggies.
Sprinkle the pot roast and veggies with freshly minced thyme leaves, if desired.
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