This Perfect Pot Roast is the most flavorful, fall-apart beef roast that's been a Christmas dinner staple in my family for years. A slow-roasted chuck roast cooked alongside carrots & celery that creates plenty of drippings for a delicious gravy to top a side of mashed potatoes. This recipe can also be easily adapted to a slow-cooker version.
Pot Roast for Christmas Dinner
This Pot Roast has been the traditional holiday meal my family enjoys at Christmas for as long as I can remember. As a kid, my dad and I would get this in the oven early afternoon to roast before opening presents. As the afternoon went on, the amazing smell of the roast would slowly float throughout the house making your mouth water in excitement for Christmas dinner. By the time this Pot Roast is done cooking, there is no need to wait around to slice it as it's so tender that it falls apart easily with two forks.
Ready to Roast
To start the Pot Roast, it's important to sear the meat. This may seem like an unnecessary step, but searing the meat gives it so much flavor! I love using a cast iron skillet to sear the meat, but if you have a large Dutch oven that would work great too. Heat your pan over high heat and add a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Generously season chuck roast with salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. I usually buy a chuck roast that is 3-4 pounds which is a good amount for 6-8 people.
When the pan is hot, place the roast in and sear on all sides. You want each side to develop a nice brown color, that's where the flavor is! When finished, place beef in a large baking pan or leave in your Dutch oven.
Now it's time to add the most wonderful flavor to this beef roast. Sprinkle a package of dry onion soup mix over the top of the roast and pat down so it sticks well. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar over the top. The vinegar is going to add to the flavor as well as making the beef even more tender.
Pour 1 cup of beef broth around the roast and fill in the pan with celery and carrot sticks. My family is pretty serious about gravy so I want to be sure I get plenty of drippings from the roast. Cover and roast at 325 degrees for 3-4 hours.
For this Pot Roast, I look more for how tender the meat is when determining if it's done. You may check the temperature and find that the roast is well past 145 degrees after 2 hours, but the meat should start to fall apart when you poke it with a fork. If anything, the roast will become more tender the longer it cooks. I cook my pot roast anywhere from 3 ½-4 hours. When done, remove it from the oven and transfer the vegetables to a serving bowl and the roast to a serving platter. Cover the roast with foil and allow it to rest while you make the gravy.
Gimme the Gravy
To make the gravy take all the drippings from the bottom of the roast pan and place in a saucepan. Again, you could make the gravy right in the Dutch oven if you are using that. Bring to a simmer on the stovetop.
While the drippings are heating back up, make a slurry using equal parts cornstarch and cold water. I like to start with 2 tablespoons of each. Slowly whisk a little of the slurry into the drippings and cook for a minute. Continue to add the slurry until your gravy has reached your desired consistency. You don't want to add too much slurry all at once as this could make the gravy too thick and gooey. The cornstarch needs to heat to a boil to activate its thickening, so it may seem like nothing is happening right away but give it a minute and keep whisking before adding any more slurry.
Slow Cooker Pot Roast Version
The basics of this Pot Roast recipe remain the same if cooking in a slow cooker instead of the oven. You will still want to sear the roast on the stovetop and add everything to the slow cooker. Cook the pot roast on low for 7-8 hours or on high 3-4 hours. I have done this method plenty of times and it comes out just as great as the oven roasted way!
Serve this Pot Roast with creamy mashed potatoes alongside the vegetables that were roasted all day with the roast. Top with your version of an acceptable amount of gravy, for me that would be a lot, and you have a delicious and hearty meal to enjoy with those you love. This Pot Roast is melt in your mouth delicious!
- 3-4 # boneless chuck roast
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- ½ tsp. onion powder
- ½ tsp. garlic powder
- 1 envelope dry onion soup mix
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup beef broth
- 3-4 whole carrots cut into sticks
- 3-4 celery stalks cut into sticks
- drippings from roast
- 2 tbsp. cornstarch
- 2 tbsp. cold water
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Heat a cast iron skillet or Dutch oven over high heat with olive oil. Season roast on all sides with spices. Place in skillet and sear on all sides until golden brown.
- Place roast in a large baking pan and top it with onion soup mix, being sure to press it into the roast. Top with apple cider vinegar.
- Pour beef broth around roast and fill in pan with cut carrots and celery. Cover and cook 2-3 hours until internal temperature reaches at least 145 degrees. The roast should begin to fall apart when poked with a fork.
- Remove from oven and place vegetables in a serving bowl and the roast on a serving plate. Cover with foil and allow it to rest while making the gravy.
- Place drippings in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. In a small bowl combine equal parts cornstarch and cold water. Slowly whisk in about half of the slurry and let gravy thicken. Repeat with slurry until gravy is at your desired consistency.
- Serve pot roast and vegetables with creamy mashed potatoes and gravy.
- Follow directions above including searing the roast, but place everything in the slow cooker and cook 7-8 hours on low or 3-4 on high.