Family Favorite Pot Roast

January 8, 2017 · 1 comment

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There was a foot of snow on the ground this weekend in Southampton.  Perfect weather for pot roast.  It’s not something I make on weekdays since its rich flavor and exceptional tenderness depend on around four hours of cooking, but it’s a great thing to put in the oven on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon and enjoy later that evening or later in the week.  It keeps well in the fridge for days (and freezes well too), and I like to use the leftovers to make two other favorite dishes –a rich, meaty ragu to serve with pasta and a comforting shepherd’s pie.

Here’s a short video about my favorite pot roast recipe where red wine, tomatoes, herbs, and lots of mushrooms flavor the tender meat and produce a delicious sauce.  This recipe and recipes for the ragu and shepherd’s pie follow.


Favorite Pot Roast with Mushrooms

(Serves 6-8)


3-4 pounds of boneless beef chuck or rump roast

salt and pepper

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

1 onion, diced

1 carrot, chopped

1 rib of celery, chopped

1 pound of white (or brown) button mushrooms, cleaned and halved if large

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 teaspoons of sugar

1 cup of chicken (or beef) broth

1 cup of dry red wine

3 sprigs of fresh thyme

1 14 ½ ounce can of diced tomatoes, with their juice

a handful of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped


1.     Preheat the oven to 300F.  Thoroughly dry the meat with paper towels and season generously with salt and pepper.  Set aside.

2.     Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until it shimmers.  Brown the meat thoroughly on all sides.  (This will likely take about 15 minutes or more.  Don’t rush this step.)  Transfer the browned roast to a plate.

3.     Reduce heat to medium and add the onion, celery, carrot and mushrooms to the pot.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to brown, about 10 minutes.

4.     Add the garlic and sugar to the pot.  Stir and cook briefly (a minute or so) until you can smell the garlic.

5.     Add the broth, wine, thyme and tomatoes.  Stir well and scrape any burned bits off the bottom and sides of the pot.

6.     Return the meat to the pot and add enough water to bring the liquid about halfway up the sides of the roast

7.     Bring the liquid to the boil and then cover the pot tightly with aluminum foil and its lid.

8.     Place in the oven and cook for 3 ½ to 4 hours, turning the roast over twice, until the meat is extremely tender.

9.     Just before you’re ready to serve, finish the sauce.  Remove the roast to a cutting board and tent with foil.  Let the remaining liquid settle for a few minutes and then skim off the fat with a large spoon.  Add the rosemary to the pot and then bring to the boil.  If the sauce is watery, reduce it.  If it seems too thick, add some water: you’re going for about 2 cups of sauce.

10.  Slice or pull the meat apart into serving size chunks.  Place on a platter, pour all of the sauce and vegetables poured over and serve with lots of freshly chopped parsley.

Pot Roast Ragu

(serves 4-6)


About 2 cups leftover pot roast, shredded with a fork, and any leftover sauce and vegetables

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion

1 large (or 2 small) carrot

4 cloves of garlic

½ cup dry white wine

1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes, with their juice

2 sprigs of fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)

a small (2 inches) sprig of rosemary (optional)

salt and pepper

a handful of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

grated parmesan


1.     Warm the oil in a large heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat until it shimmers and add the onion and carrot.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 6-8 minutes.

2.     Add the garlic, stir and cook until fragrant, about one minute.

3.     Add the wine and cook for another minute or so.

4.     Add the tomatoes, herbs and shredded beef, leftover sauce, and vegetables.  Stir well and season with salt and pepper.

5.     Cover and simmer over low heat for at least 45 minutes (or for up to 2 hours)

6.     Taste and adjust the seasoning.  Serve over broad ribbons of pasta like tagiatelle topped with chopped flat-leaf parsley and grated parmesan cheese.

Pot Roast Shepherd’s Pie

(Serves 6)


About 2 cups of leftover pot roast, roughly chopped, with any leftover sauce and vegetables

About 2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, diced

1 cup diced carrots, chopped medium

1 cup frozen peas

½ cup dry white wine

chicken stock

salt and pepper

About 1 tablespoon of butter (optional)

About 4 cups mashed potatoes*

A handful of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

*I like to make mine with plain yogurt and chicken stock instead of butter and cream.


1.     Preheat the oven to 350F.  Heat the oil in a large heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat until it shimmers.  Add the onion and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and beginning to brown and the carrots are tender, about 8 minutes.

2.     Add the wine, stir and cook for about 2 mintues.

3.     Add the meat and leftover sauce and vegetables.  Add enough chicken stock to make the mixture moist but not soupy.  Cook until heated through.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.

4.     Transfer the beef mixture to a baking dish and top with a thick layer of mashed potatoes.  Dot the potatoes with the butter, if desired.

5.     Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the dish is hot throughout and bubbling around the edges.


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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Dan Zelen January 10, 2017 at 4:06 pm

Finally you are back on the big screen!
LOVE seeing you again and hope that you are GREAT.

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