Classic Pot Roast In A Dutch Oven
I just purchased an already seasoned Lodge Dutch Oven. I opted for their 7 quart Dutch Oven with the spiral bail (handle) and iron cover.
They also make a 5 quart and 9 quart version but 7 quarts is large enough to handle a lot of short ribs or chuck for braising and still fit into my new outdoor wood-burning oven. The reason I purchased this giant cast iron pot was to be able to use it in the outdoor oven and my friend Barbecue Bob has one and highly recommended it.
The problem with some of the other fine Dutch (French) Ovens like Le Creuset are the plastic handles on the covers that max out at 400ºF and the smoke makes them difficult to clean.
The Logic Dutch Oven from Lodge is rated a "Best Buy" by Cook's Illustrated and that's good enough for me. The spiral bail (handle) is good for transporting the pot from the outdoor oven to inside.
What is a Dutch Oven?
Basically it is a heavy cooking pot made out of cart iron that has been used for slow cooking in America for more than two centuries. Think of those old western movies where the cowboys are all sitting around a campfire with a big black pot hanging above it usually filled with beans and pork fat.
That's a Dutch Oven.
In the past you could only get them unseasoned unless you purchased a used one. Today they come pre-seasoned so you can use it right out of the box. I'll work on an article about the pros and cons of purchasing Dutch Ovens soon, but let's go to a very simple recipe for Dutch Oven Pot Roast.
Dutch Oven Pot Roast
Nothing could be easier and have as much flavor as slow cooked beef in a Dutch Oven. I had picked up a couple of chuck steaks each weighing about 2½ pounds at Costco the day my Dutch Oven arrived from Amazon. I used one of them for this pot roast and vacuum sealed the other for the freezer.
Chuck is a great meat for braising. It comes from the shoulder and neck area of the cow and is very inexpensive. Too tough for grilling, but perfect for the tenderizing effect of slow cooking (braising) in some beef stock.
And with the addition of some vegetables, you can have one of the best sauces imaginable. (See My Beef Cuts Chart)
Dutch Oven Pot Roast Recipe
- 2½ pounds beef chuck you could try brisket, top round, bottom round or rump
- red wine to deglaze the pan
- aalt & pepper
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 stalk celery chopped
- 2 peppers chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 14½ ounces diced tomatoes
- 1 cup brown stock beef or veal or combination
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro chopped
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- ½ cup half & half or cream for sauce
- I started by preheating the oven to 300º F, then heating up my biggest fry pan and browning the chuck on both sides for a couple minutes per side. Once browned, I seasoned it with a little salt & pepper and then placed the meat into the Dutch Oven.
- Deglaze the pan with a little port, red wine, or brown stock and let the liquid cook down to an essence.
- Add the onion, celery, peppers and garlic to the pan. I added a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to the pan because I didn't think there was enough fat. You can opt not to if you are watching those calories.
- You don't want to cook the vegetables that much. Just brown them some. This should take about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Spoon the browned vegetables over the meat in the Dutch Oven, dump in the can of diced tomatoes, add the cup of stock and top with the fresh cilantro and rosemary.
- Again, these are just ingredients I had around the house. Experiment with what you like. I wanted to add a couple of bay leaves and had them in my pantry but forgot. It may have added to the flavor but the pot roast was still delicious without them.
- When all the ingredients are added, cover and place in the preheated oven. Cook for about 3 hours, then check to see if the meat is fork tender and shreds easily. If not cook for a little longer.
- When done, remove the chunk of meat from the pot. You may want to use a couple of large spoons so the meat doesn't come apart when you lift it out.
- With the meat removed, add the half and half or cream.
- I used a hand blender to puree the vegetables with the stock and juices from the meat. If you don't have one, you can use a food processor or maybe even a blender. The sauce is so good you could it like soup!
- Taste, adjust seasonings with salt and pepper and serve.
OH MY GOSH THANK YOU!!!
Sounds great and easy!
where is the pros and cons of dutch oven review?
Can't wait to try this recipe, but I need to purchase my dutch oven first. I eagerly await your review and hope that it covers the comparative advantages of cast iron (such as Lodge), enameled cast iron (such as Le Crueset), and stainless steel (such as All Clad).
thank you, I am going to give this a whirl for dinner tonight. I just bought a dutch oven and am having so much fun with it. I love recipes that are not an exact science, i cook better when I can improvise.
Have fun with the Pot Roast recipe ariel. Let us know how it turns out.
I was looking for a simple receipe for pot roast that I could use in my new Le Crueset. This was it! Since I have a glass top stove, I had to brown my meat as the RG did. The heavy pans contain the heat better so you can do your dish at a lower temperature. Oddly enough, the items used in the receipe are the ones I bought yesterday at the store. It was a terrific, simple meal!
Hi Rufus, glad to hear the pot roast worked out for you. I really enjoy my Le Crueset pans for stove top and oven cooking.
I have the 9 qt. cast iron from Lodge. Could I just set the dutch oven on the top of my soapstone woodstove and allow it to cook this way or will the roast cook too quickly?
Hi Dennis, I guess if you keep the heat low enough it would work but when you are cooking on a stove top, you
are heating directly to the bottom of the pot. When you cook in an oven, the heat is coming from all sides and will
make a slight difference. How much? I have no idea. I'm sure it will turn out fine so give it a try and let us know.
I am preparing this for the second time today and wanted to say how much I enjoyed it the first time. I have a few specialties, but I am not a "cook". This is delicious, easy, familiar yet special. Thanks
Thank you Rick. - RG
Dennis - Re putting the dutch oven on top of your soapstone woodstove, as long as it is flat-bottomed and made of iron it will receive and conduct the heat from the woodstove to all the metal, if you preheat it a little with the lid on you will be able to feel that the lid is hot to touch, this will be adequate to heat the food inside evenly. If you are concerned about burning the bottom you can address it by greasing it more, or partway through the cooking you can move it to sit right in front of the woodstove - once the dutch oven is hot it will stay that way and the proximity to the woodstove will keep it from cooling off, it will keep cooking slowly.
With good judgment about how hot your fire is and when to shift your dutch oven's position to keep it at a consistent temp, I have found you can make very good stews on a woodstove.
Great post Aaron, thank you.
We are getting another big snow storm this weekend so I figured a pot roast would be perfect. Your long cooking method will also help keep my house warm, will let you know how it turns out.
Great - RG
I added diced new potatoes and cooked it for 8 hours (4.5 lbs roast) in the crock pot... It was great on a cold night!
Sounds like a good idea David, thanks for sharing. - RG
RG: I recently read that a "cast iron" pot, such as a dutch oven or skillet, is not good for acidic foods, such as tomatoes or tomato sauce/paste. Is this true?
Thanks for your reply...Rob
Hi Rob, I'd say yes and no. If the cast iron pan is well seasoned, tomatoes should not be a problem especially when you are cooking them with other ingredients like when making chili. But I'm not sure I would use a cast iron pan or dutch oven for making tomato sauce from scratch. Now if you have an enameled cast iron pan, like a La Creuset, you don't have to worry about tomatoes at all and you still get the advantages of cast iron. - RG
This was novel. I wish I could read every post, but i have to go back to work now... But I'll return.
Hi RG: I did the recipe only I used a large (12 in) or better) cast iron frying pan with lid. I enjoyed the results as well. We ate the veggies (did not do the blender) and enjoyed all!
Thanks for letting me know p love. - RG
Couldn't help myself I wanted to drink the sauce! My family said this was the best thing I have ever made - and I'm 50 yrs old and cook a ton! I had some garlic butter left over in the fridge, I added that to my olive oil to brown the roast. That's the only thing I did different. I will make this a staple in my kitchen. Thank you!
It's actually a nice and helpful piece of info. I'm happy that you simply shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.
Wonderful!! My husband was delighted!
First time I've used my dutch oven for a roast. I threw in some cabbage and a dash of cider vinegar instead of the wine. The hubby loves it and eats it with wheat bread to soak up the sauce. Thanks for sharing!
The 5qt Dutch oven is the one of the most wonderful that the world has ever seen, this thing was made to last but, the company features that are enabled in this oven is nothing that you have never seen before in your entire lifetime. It is not only wonderfully and magnificently crafted form modern art elegance,
Hi. I dropped you a note a long time ago saying how much I loved this. My mother thinks I'm brilliant. Fortunately she has never figured out the reality. Motherly love. At any rate, I fixed it today for the family for Mother's Day. It went over as it usually does, very well, but since I've probably fixed it a dozen times thought I would put in my two cents worth. You may want change.
First of all today was the largest group I've done it for, so did five lbs of chuck. Unfortunately the price has changed a bit since you first posted. Everything I state applies to your orignal portion. I love garlic' I double what you recommend. I use a full cup of a decent Cabernet for the wine. Mom doesn't even drink, but she prefers the extra flavor. I also do add bay leaves. Use the fire roasted diced tomatoes. I use a few more of the veggies and tomatoes than you suggest. Before adding the half and half, I pull some out and serve alongside the meat. Everyone seems to prefer that.
Nothing earth shaking. Just a tweak or two on something that you suggest is anything but precise. I do like the little changes though. Garlic Yukon mashed potatoes, home made yeast rolls, fresh asparagus and the rest of the Cab made for a great Mother's Day. Mom asked me to thank you. Best, Rick
Very happy with how this turned out. I used my Griswold #7 oval roaster and made about 5 lbs of chuck roast for a Christmas meal this year and it turned out great. I didn't follow the amounts exactly (because I never follow the directions exactly when cooking!) but it was excellent! Thanks so much!
G. Stephen Jones
You are very welcome and thank you for not following the amounts exactly. They are there as a guide and I appreciate when home cooks change things around to suit their cooking styles.
I have always used broth or wine and thrown in a bunch of fresh herbs and vegetables, such as carrots, turnips, rutabaga, celery, mushrooms, etc...always tasty.
This time, I seared my salt-and-pepper rubbed "crosscut chuck" roast which was tied, 3 minutes on all four sides, in bacon fat, which I wipe on my cast iron once preheated. A chopped onion, a quartered rutabaga, several minced cloves of garlic, a couple celery stalks, a bay leaf and a half cup of water in a 275 oven for four hours is all I used.
Let me tell you, the juice tasted as good as the meat. The wine was for drinking and the roast didn't taste like a poor man's chateaubriand or Swiss steak or anything else. It tasted like pot roast...and it was delicious.
With mashed potatoes, peas, French bread, tomato, cucumber, basil, olive oil and balsamic vinegar salad...and the aforementioned red wine--a big cab--and yeah, we just spooned that juice all over the meat and spuds, just as it was.
This was a case of, less is more.