Delicious Dutch Oven Southern Pot Roast

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Let's make my favorite old fashion southern pot roast recipe together. A flavorful, tender roast slow cooked in beef stock and red wine with fresh herbs. It's a beautiful plate served over buttery and creamy mashed potatoes for the coziest comfort food ever.

Looking for more chuck roast recipes? Get into my French onion pot roast with cheesy mashed potatoes, and my super tender french dip sandwiches. Or my hearty and cozy stovetop beef stew without wine and one pot North England style braised chuck roast!

mushrooms top a southern pot roast over mashed potatoes in a bowl

My Southern Pot Roast with Pan Gravy is the Best Sunday Dinner

A classic pot roast recipe is one that brings back all the memories. It's a quintessential cozy family meal, classic comfort food: a fall-apart-tender beef roast cooking all day long with onions, carrots and potatoes, or sometimes served au jus (with juice) over creamy whipped potatoes.

This recipe is all about using simple ingredients coming together for a hearty meal: we're slow cooking a tasty chuck roast with tons of aromatics in a red wine and beef braising liquid, then whipping in a thickener over the stove just before serving to make a rich, lush beefy red wine sauce to pour over mashed potatoes.

The meat was so tender, so juicy and had just incredible flavor when I finalized this recipe, I made it twice again that week. 

a close view of a fork scooping up pot roast from a bowl

Follow this recipe and you will serve up a perfect southern pot roast without having you watching over a stove for hours or fussing over a pot all day. A great recipe for a slow, lazy, comfy day or as a Sunday supper that even your grandma will approve of.

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Why You'll Love this Dutch Oven Southern Style Pot Roast Recipe

  • Learn how to make and use a beurre manie - this is a classic trick we learned in culinary school to thicken up soups, stews, and sauces.
  • Learn how to braise - braising makes the toughest, grizzliest piece of meat into a fork tender piece of deliciousness!
  • Make a perfectly tender pot roast with well-rounded flavor - I have had plenty of meh-tasting pot roasts in my life, so I've developed mine to really taste beefy, rich, and savory.
  • (Mostly) hands off - sear the beef, and whisk in the beurre manie...that's about as much work as you're doing! No babysitting a pot on the stove, no fiddling around with trying to make sure the bottom doesn't burn; the oven does 90% of the work.

Equipment

Best Cuts of Meat for Beef Pot Roast

Pot roast is a classic comfort food that needs low and slow cooking, preferably in an oven or slow cooker. The roast is braised -- a technique where a protein or vegetables are first cooked with a dry heat, then wet heat in a vessel, usually a covered pot with a tight lid, to keep all the moisture in and bread the food down. 

So it needs a piece of beef that can stand up to that. My suggestion is a boneless chuck roast.

beef chuck on a cutting board

Chuck roast is a tough cut; it comes from the shoulder of the cow and gets worked out a lot, making it full of connective tissue, marbling into the muscle along with fat, and making it so, so tough -- the perfect thing to stand up to a long cook time. All the connective tissue breaks down, so the meat becomes tender. And the fat makes for a juicy and flavorful roast. It's the best cut of meat, in my opinion.

Other choices include rump roast, also known as a bottom round roast, which is extra lean and tough, which means it has a lot of connective tissue as well. It can dry out if overcooked, so I would 100% suggest a meat thermometer for this cut. And another cut is eye of round, but everything I said for the rump roast can be said for this cut as well.

Ingredients

Full ingredients, measurements, and printable instructions are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

A big thing about pot roast for me is that it needs to be rounded in flavor.

I used to make beef stews and pot roasts and go 'something is missing, something is missing...'. It turned out to be a strong dose of umami!

Umami is a flavor that balances out most savory dishes. You'll find a lot of umami-focused ingredients in my recipe.

southern pot roast ingredients labeled
  • A big ol' beef chuck roast - for the most consistent results, use a boneless chuck roast that's well marbled with fat in the muscles.
  • Beef Broth - I like using a little extra scoop of Better than Bouillon Beef Base for a really beefy gravy (honestly, I need a sponsorship at this point. I use it to 'beef' up my broths...pun intended) or toss in some bouillon cubes, just watch the salt amount you add in because bouillons tend to be salted.
  • Celery, Carrots, Onions, and Garlic - I personally love a lot of onions and garlic in pot roast, the onions melt down into caramelized deliciousness! Use less if you're not as fond of as many alliums.
  • Red Wine - use one you like to drink. Don't like any of them? Use more beef stock!
  • Cremini Mushrooms - these are the little brown version of white button mushrooms, you'll find them as 'baby bella' mushrooms in grocery stores.
  • Tomato Paste - tomatoes naturally have umami flavor, so a hearty scoop of this brings that savoriness.
  • Worcestershire Sauce - another umami ingredient. It's funky, it's strong. We don't need a lot for it to do its job. Remember that you can always add more, it's harder to take away.
  • All Purpose Flour
  • Bay Leaves
  • Fresh Thyme - I love thyme in pot roast, it brings a lemony herbaceousness but
  • Good Butter - I've been hearing through the grapevine 'they' (whoever they are) are watering down butter now at the grocery stores in the U.S.! Use a good brand you trust, preferably one that's European style with a high butterfat content.
  • Kosher Salt and Black Pepper

How to Make Southern Pot Roast

a chuck roast searing in a hot dutch oven pot

Step 1 | Sear the roast in oil over medium high heat - we are not looking to cook the meat, we want to sear the meat on each side to a nice dark brown.

red wine with onions, garlic, and thyme in a dutch oven

Step 2 | Remove the roast, turn off the heat, and deglaze the pot with your wine. Scrape all those good brown bits off the bottom of the pan with your wooden spoon. That's good flavor! Add in the broth, tomato paste, herbs, and worcestershire sauce, and stir it in well. I added a little bed of half the onions with the garlic and some of the thyme to help flavor the jus, too.

raw onions, carrots, celery, mushrooms, and thyme cover a seared chuck roast before putting into the oven

Step 3 | Place the roast back to the pot and cover the meat with the quartered yellow onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and mushrooms. Then cover the pot and set it into your preheated oven.

braised pot roast in a pot

Step 4 | Braise the roast and vegetables for 2.5 hours, or until the roast pulls apart with a fork after being cooked low and slow. If you're using a meat thermometer, you're looking for a temperature of around 195-202 degrees F. That's when the connective tissues have all broken down.

Using an Asian spider spoon, remove the vegetables and meat onto a serving platter.

butter and flour mixed together to create a beurre manie

Step 5 | We're going to thicken up the jus; it's optional, but I love it and it's easy.

In a small mixing bowl, mash together your room temperature butter with the flour with a fork. Knead it together well with the fork until the flour is thoroughly mixed into the butter. Congrats! You just made a beurre manie!

Using a whisk, mix the beurre manie into your jus over medium heat. Whisk it well, until you see the jus becomes shiny and thick. Bring to a simmer and let reduce just for five minutes.

a bowl of southern pot roast with mushrooms over mashed potatoes

Step 6 | Serve your southern dutch oven pot roast over creamy mashed potatoes with the thickened, glossy jus!

Variations and Substitutions

  • Prep the veggies a day before for an easy and fast prep time.
  • Another way to thicken your jus: a cornstarch slurry with equal parts cornstarch and cold water. Use a little at a time and whisk it in while the jus is simmering on the stove, it thickens quickly!
  • Like your carrots to still have some extra crunch? Add the carrots to the pot after 1.5 hours, during that last hour of cooking.
  • Baby carrots work just fine in this recipe; less prep work for you!
  • If you don't want to make mashed potatoes, halve some gold or red potatoes and add them to the pot. Do NOT use russet potatoes! They don't hold their shape in 'wet' cooking.

Recipe Notes + Tips

  • If you notice your beurre manie is making clumps in the liquid don't worry, keep whisking until they disappear! It just means you gotta do a little more 'kneading' of the flour into the butter but I have never had them make a lumpy gravy.
  • Get a really dark sear on your chuck roast before putting it in the oven. It really makes a difference in the flavor your pot roast has! Make sure that pot is hot, that oil is shimmering hot, and your roast is dried with a paper towel before searing.
  • Use wine you actually like to drink! I learned the hard way when I first got married: if you aren't a red wine drinker, just swap it for more beef broth and keep it pushing, honey.
  • Prep your ingredients ahead of time. I like getting my mise en place together the night before: slice the onions, chop the carrots and the celery, press the garlic, etc. and have them all in the fridge ready to go.

What to Serve with Your New Favorite Pot Roast Recipe

Pot roast is a hearty meal on its own, but since our recipe doesn't have potatoes I feel like we have more room to play with what to serve with it.

Of course, you can make it a complete meal with roasted potatoes or garlicky mashed potatoes and some slow cooked green beans. Mm!

Serve with a side of creamy mac and cheese or red beans and rice for even more comfort, and always with a tray of hot buttery biscuits or some easy dinner rolls!

a bowl of pot roast with mashed potatoes sits next to fresh carrots and a plate of mushrooms

Storage and Reheating Instructions for Leftover Pot Roast

Store: Pot roast is excellent the next day, y'all! Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Reheat: this recipe can be warmed up in a crock pot on high for about an hour or keep it in a baking dish, cover in foil, and put it back in the oven at 325 degrees F for 20-30 minutes until the meat is heated through!

FAQs

How long does it take for a pot roast to get tender? 

It's less about the time, more about the temperature. For a tough cut of meat to get tender, it needs the connective tissues making it tough to melt away, around 190-202 degrees F. This will take at least a couple of hours or more, depending on the weight of your roast. Here's how to tell without a meat thermometer: if you can tear it apart with a fork, it's tender!

How do you keep a pot roast moist and tender?

The way to keep a pot roast moist and tender is to keep it from getting over cooked! Once your pot roast has reached 195-200 degrees F, it's tender. If you overcook the roast, it can turn crumbly and dry.

Is pot roast a southern food?

Pot roast can be traced back to medieval Europe: a tough cut of lean meat cooked over a fire with vegetables to flavor it. It developed further into the French Boeuf a la Mode, then French immigrants brought it to New England where it turned into The Yankee Pot Roast.
This method travelled across the US with many variations being created, like the Mississippi Pot Roast!

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📖 Recipe

a bowl of southern pot roast with mushrooms over mashed potatoes

Southern Pot Roast Recipe

Eden Westbrook
My southern pot roast recipe is easy to make comfort food. Chuck roast slow cooked to perfection in a dutch oven with red wine, fresh herbs, and carrots makes the best fall and winter meal!
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 731 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3 pounds boneless beef chuck roast
  • ½ tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup pinot noir
  • 2 medium yellow onions sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 4 medium carrots peeled and chopped
  • 3 celery ribs washed and chopped
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms cleaned and large mushrooms quartered
  • 2 cups low sodium beef broth
  • 4 tablespoon salted butter softened (optional)
  • 4 tablespoon all purpose flour optional
  • Mashed potatoes for serving

Instructions
 

  • Heat the vegetable oil in your dutch oven on the stovetop over medium high heat. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Dry your roast on both sides with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper generously on both sides. Once the oil is shimmering hot, carefully place the chuck roast into the oil and sear for 3-4 minutes, or until the roast has a good, brown crust. Flip with the tongs and repeat on the other side, then remove the roast onto a plate.
  • Add the red wine to the pot, using a wooden spoon to scrape the brown fond from the bottom of the pot. Add in the tomato paste, worcestershire sauce and stir it in well before adding the garlic, thyme, and half of the onions at the bottom. This will be our gravy later.
  • Add the roast back to the pot and cover it in the rest of the onions, carrots, celery, and beef broth. Put the lid on the pot and place it into the preheated oven for 2.5 hours.
  • Take the pot out of the oven, place it onto your stove, and remove the roast and veggies with a spider and place on a serving platter. The next steps are optional, to make the jus into a gravy. You can serve from this step.
  • Turn the heat to medium and begin to simmer the jus left in the pot. While it's coming to a simmer, make your beurre manie. Use a fork to mash the softened butter and flour together in a small mixing bowl until very well combined with no flour showing at all.
  • When the jus turns into a simmer, use a whisk to mix the beurre manie into the hot liquid. Whisk until it's fully dissolved and the jus becomes glossy.
  • Let the gravy simmer for another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure nothing on the bottom sticks. Serve the gravy over the pot roast and mashed potatoes, or whatever you serve your southern pot roast with!

Notes

Storage and Reheating Instructions for Leftover Pot Roast

Store: Pot roast is excellent the next day, y'all! Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Reheat: this recipe can be warmed up in a crock pot on high for about an hour or keep it in a baking dish, cover in foil, and put it back in the oven at 325 degrees F for 20-30 minutes until the meat is heated through!

Recipe Notes + Tips

  • If you notice your beurre manie is making clumps in the liquid don't worry, keep whisking until they disappear! It just means you gotta do a little more 'kneading' of the flour into the butter but I have never had them make a lumpy gravy.
  • Get a really dark sear on your chuck roast before putting it in the oven. It really makes a difference in the flavor your pot roast has! Make sure that pot is hot, that oil is shimmering hot, and your roast is dried with a paper towel before searing.
  • Use wine you actually like to drink! I learned the hard way when I first got married: if you aren't a red wine drinker, just swap it for more beef broth and keep it pushing, honey.
  • Prep your ingredients ahead of time. I like getting my mise en place together the night before: slice the onions, chop the carrots and the celery, press the garlic, etc. and have them all in the fridge ready to go.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 731kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 60gFat: 44gSaturated Fat: 20gPolyunsaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 3gCholesterol: 209mgSodium: 889mgFiber: 3gSugar: 5g
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