Cut Of Beef For Pot Roast

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What is the best cut of beef for pot roast? All this time I’ve been using chuck roast, when all I had to do was choose a different cut. How silly of me all these years. Just like many other parts of the country, some parts of Virginia are known for particular cuts of beef. So what cut of beef is best for pot roast? Stay tuned to discover more about this tasty topic.

The Best Cuts of Beef for Pot Roast

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How To Cook Classic Beef Pot Roast in the Oven 

Even growing up in a Chinese-American family that predominantly ate Chinese food, I knew what pot roast was. I’d seen it mentioned on television and read enough about this classic American dish to know that it was homey and delicious.

Now that I have my own young family to feed, I truly understand why pot roast is so popular — it’s inexpensive, yields a ton of servings, and makes the whole house smell delicious and warm. Although it’s pretty hard to screw up pot roast, there is one big factor that will make or break the dish: choosing the right cut of beef.

What Is Pot Roast?

Pot roast isn’t really a specific recipe or cut of meat — it’s more of a method. Take a big cut of tough beef, brown it if you can, then cover and slow cook it with aromatics and liquid (stock, broth, wine, or water) until meltingly tender.

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Chuck Roast

Tough Meat Makes Good Pot Roast

When thinking about how pot roast is made, time and temperature really define the process. Pot roast is basically a braise that cooks at a low temperature for a long period of time.

So what kind of meats work best then? The tougher cuts! We’re talking about lean cuts with lots of connective tissue and very little fat that see a lot of movement and action on the animal — ones that would be like chewing shoe leather if you just seared or grilled it quickly.

When cooked properly, the high amount of collagen in tough cuts eventually breaks down into gelatin, tenderizing the meat, making it succulent, and adding richness and body to the braising liquid to turn it into a velvety sauce.

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Brisket

Which Cuts of Beef Work Best?

Now that we know the details behind why tough cuts make the best pot roast, let’s get into the specific cuts. The following three cuts will all make a fine pot roast:

  1. Chuck: From the front portion of the animal. Look for chuck roast, shoulder steak, boneless chuck roast, chuck shoulder pot roast, chuck seven-bone pot roast, or beef chuck arm.
  2. Brisket: From the breast or lower chest with long strands of meat. The flat cut is leaner, and the point cut has more fat. Brisket is best sliced against the grain of the meat for maximum tenderness.
  3. Round: From the rear leg area of the animal. Look for rump roast or bottom round.

POT ROAST

Pot roasting or braising is simple. Long, slow cooking yields an irresistibly tender roast from some of the most economical and flavourful cuts of beef. Once the roast is simmering, the work is done, with little to clean up.

GET READY

  1. SEASON roast, in lightly oiled Dutch oven or stockpot, brown roast over medium-high heat.
  2. ADD 1 to 2 cups liquid such as red wine, broth, canned tomatoes or soup.
  3. COVER and simmer on stove top or in 325°F (160°C) oven for 3 hours or until fork-tender (or simmer in slow cooker on LOW for 8 to 10 hours).
  4. ADD chunks of vegetables for final 45 minutes, if desired. Skim fat from sauce and season to taste

TIME SAVER: Browning Pot Roast before cooking helps to develop beef flavour BUT if pressed for time, you can skip this step without too much sacrifice.

COMMON CUTS

Brisket Pot Roast Boneless

Brisket Double/Point End/ Deckle

Blade Pot Roast Boneless

Bottom Blade Pot Roast Boneless

Top Blade Pot Roast

Cross Rib Pot Roast Boneless

MYTH BUSTER

MYTH:

You brown the meat before braising to lock in the juices.

TRUTH:

Searing does not lock in juices, but it does help to add flavour and to add colour to the sauce. If you don’t have time to do the browning step not to worry – the results will still be delicious.

TIPS FOR PERFECT POT ROAST

COOKS NOTES:

Cook a pot roast on Sunday to enjoy the next night. Just arrange slices of leftover cooked roast in a baking dish with pan juices, cover and refrigerate. To reheat, cover pan with foil and heat in 325°F (160°C) oven for 30 minutes or until hot.

Slow cookers make Pot Roasts a good fit for weekday dinners.

TIME SAVER: Browning Pot Roast before cooking helps to develop beef flavour BUT if pressed for time, you can skip this strep without too much sacrifice.

Roast Beef refers to a cut that has a chunky shape – often like a cylinder or cube. Roasts can have a range of sizes cut to suit you, from 1 lb (500g) Quick Roasts to 10 lb (4.5kb) or more. They come with a range of tenderness and require one of three basic cooking methods.

All Canadian roasts are sorted into 3 BASIC COOKING CATEGORIES so you know what you’re buying and how to cook it: Choose from OVEN ROAST, POT ROAST and ROTISSERIE ROAST.

Size Matters: Butchers recommend you buy enough beef for generous servings or to allow for leftovers:
• Buy 6 to 8 oz (175 to 250g) raw beef per person (boneless roast)
• Buy 12 oz (375g) raw beef per person (bon-in roast)

MAKE-AHEAD TIP:

Pot Roasts actually taste better when made the day ahead! Here’s how: Refrigerate cooked pot roast overnight in its braising sauce. Next day, skim any fat from sauce and thinly slice roast crosswise; place meat in ovenproof casserole. Heat sauce and pour over meat. Cover and heat in 350°F (180°C) oven for about 25 minutes.

SLOW COOKER SOLUTION:

Beef slow-cooker meals are the ultimate in convenience. To convert your favourite stew or pot roast recipe to cook in the slow cooker following these simple steps:

  1. BROWN beef, onion and garlic on stove-top (as usual); transfer to slow cooker insert.
  2. DEGLAZE the pan used for browning and add to meat in slow cooker insert.
  3. ADJUST cooking liquid from recipe, using 30 to 50% less cooking liquid.
  4. CHOOSE the LOW setting on slow cooker (HIGH heat can cause meat to be stringy and overcooked).
  5. ADD fresh herbs and sweet green pepper near end of cooking.
  6. ADJUST seasonings to taste before serving.

Classic Pot Roast

  • SERVES: 6
  • PREP TIME: 10 min
  • COOK TIME: 2 hrs 50 min
  • CALORIES: 557
Pot roast shown in a large green dutch oven topped with fresh parsley and served with baby potatoes and carrots

Nothing more—and nothing less—than a true blue classic pot roast recipe. It can brighten up a dreary day, sit front and center at the holidays, or simply be a delicious Sunday dinner.

Our Best Pot Roast Recipe, Just In Time For The Holidays.

Pot roast—there’s nothing quite like it, is there? Pot roast is homey, it’s comforting, it’s classic. Meaty, rib-sticking, down-home food that soothes and satiates. Oh, and guess what? It’s easy, too. While pot roast feels like an occasion—a big piece of meat, braising all afternoon in a Dutch oven always feels like quite a celebration—but there’s nothing to it, really. Time, heat and a good hunk of chuck meat are all it takes to make the very best pot roast ever. We’ll teach you how it’s done!

Ingredients for pot roast including potatoes, chuck roast, carrots, onions, tomato paste, red wine and broth.
Chuck roast on parchment paper seasoned with salt and pepper
Pot roast seasoned with salt and pepper browned in a large dutch oven
Onion wedges sautéed in a large dutch oven

What’s the Best Meat for Pot Roast?

While you could make a pot roast from brisket, in our opinion the very best cut of beef for pot roast is chuck roast. Why? Well, a few reasons. A pot roast is really just a braise, and a chuck roast is just ideal for braising. Cut from the shoulder of a cow, chuck roast is a rather tough but, but it is still well-marbled which means that as it braises in the oven, there will be plenty of fat that seeps out of the meat. That fat means your finished pot roast will be juicy and tender. Plus, chuck roast is usually pretty affordable! Who doesn’t love that?

Onion slices with tomato paste, brown sugar and herbs shown in a large dutch oven
Browned chuck roast in red wine in a dutch oven.
Pot roast in red with shown with baby potatoes and carrots in a dutch oven
finished pot roast with carrots and baby potatoes in an oval pot

Pot Roast Seasoning

For this pot roast recipe, we’re keeping it super simple, and super classic. Pot roast is not the time to get fancy—it’s a Norman Rockwell situation. Nostalgic, and of another time, in the very best way. So we keep our pot roast seasonings simple, too. That said, some people don’t even add a single herb to that Dutch oven, but we like the little lift that a sprig of fresh thyme adds. So our pot roast recipe gets a little flavorful boost from the usual salt and pepper, plus:

  • Fresh garlic. Any excuse to use fresh garlic!
  • Fresh thyme. Yes, you could make a pot roast without herbs. But also yes, a bit of fresh thyme will take your pot roast from fine to fan-freaking-tastic.
  • Italian seasoning. A blend of dried herbs like oregano, marjoram and rosemary, Italian herb seasoning is a lot of bang-for-buck here. We always have some on hand!
close up of pot roast shown in a dutch oven with with fresh herbs

All the Ingredients You’ll Need to Make A Pot Roast

Other than that lovely big chuck roast and those basic seasonings, you’ll just need a few things to round it out into a gorgeous one-pan meal:

  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Tomato paste
  • Brown sugar
  • Beef broth
  • Dry red wine
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
Pot roast in a large oval pot with wine broth, carrots and baby potatoes
close up of pot roast meat being pulled apart

How to Cook a Pot Roast

Nothing about making a homemade pot roast is hard. You can do this! Here’s how to make pot roast in the oven:

  1. Season the chuck roast with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.
  2. Brown the chuck roast until you see a lovely crust developing on all sides. Set it aside.
  3. Brown the onions for 4 minutes until slightly softened, then add the garlic.
  4. Deglaze the pan with a splash of beef broth to keep the alliums from burning.
  5. Add the tomato paste, brown sugar, beef broth, wine, thyme and browned chuck roast.
  6. Bring it to a simmer for a few minutes.
  7. Cover the pot and place in the oven for 90 minutes.
  8. Add the potatoes and carrots!
  9. Cook for one more hour! So—how long do you cook a pot roast in total? Yeah, this pot roast recipe takes about 2.5 hours of oven time, all said and done.

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