I’ve never met a meat lover who did not have a cozy little corner of his or her heart reserved for pot roast. It’s classic comfort food. It’s what you crave when you think of home cooking on a Fall or Winter day. It’s a mouthful of beefiness that warms your tummy while taking you back to your childhood. I simply love it.
Given how amazing pot roast is, I’m shocked when I run into people who don’t make it because they think it’s too complicated or too much work. Many times I have been told that either their meat comes out tough or gray and bland, or it just took too long to make.
Well, this recipe makes a pot roast that is neither difficult nor labor-intensive. And the result, with very simple ingredients, is so tender and richly robust in flavor that it will surprise you. It’s a one-pot meal, and the pressure cooker gets it done so fast, you’d never believe it.
So let’s look at what goes into this dish.
You’ll need a tiny bit of canola or vegetable oil for browning the meat.
Why broth AND stock? Stock is made from meat AND bones, while broth is just made from the meat. Therefore, stock has a richer, fuller flavor that I like for my final gravy. But I like to mix in some broth so it is not too rich. I do 2 parts stock and 3 parts broth, more or less.
Many recipes call for mushrooms, wine, fresh onion and garlic, and a whole host of other things. I’ve simplified the recipe by using the Tones Rosemary Garlic seasoning pictured above. The secret is to use a lot of it.
You’ll also need a bit of flour and room-temperature butter to mix a roux. That will be the thickening agent for the gravy at the end.
Start by seasoning the meat. Don’t be shy with the garlic and herb seasoning. Give it a good coat.
One of the reasons I love this particular seasoning is that it not only has an amazing flavor, but there is very little salt added, as you can see from the nutrition facts on the container. It also has no MSG.
I used to get this at Sam’s club in the large 20 oz. containers, but we now have a Costco membership, and they don’t carry it. I have found it at Wal-Mart in the past, but usually in the small containers. So now I order it online from Amazon.
If you know and love pressure cookers, you can skip the next two sections.
This guy does all of the heavy lifting. My kitchen would not be complete without it. I have a lot of friends, however, that are terrified to use pressure cookers. I grew up with my mom’s, so I’ve basically used one since I was old enough to help her in the kitchen.
I make all of my bean recipes with the pressure cooker, as well as most stews and soups. Anything that requires transforming something tough into something tender goes faster in a pressure cooker.
There are fancy versions out there. I even had a digital one once. But this very simple one is the best for my needs. It has one of the biggest capacities for a home-use version, and not too many gadgets.
You can note on the picture that I put labels on the features.
(A) is the position you turn the knob to while cooking. When you do that, you can push the green button forward and up, which locks the lid so that it cannot be opened while there is pressure inside.
(B) is the position you move the knob to when you want to release pressure so that you can open the lid. Simply turn off the flame, and switch to this position until all of the pressure has escaped and the pan is no longer making noise.
(C) is a little yellow pop-up button you can’t see now. It pops up when there is pressure in the pan. When it is up, it keeps the cook from being able to push the green button down and back to unlock the pan. After the steam is released as described in (B) above, the yellow button drops down so the unlock button can be used and the lid opened.
See? Simple and safe. Although you also need to watch cooking times and temperatures to use this safely.
Heat the pressure cooker to very hot over a medium-high flame.
When the pan is very hot, add a teaspoon of oil and brown the roast on both sides until you get a nice caramelized color. About 5 minutes on each side.
Check the meat while it is browning so as not to burn. You may need to adjust the temperature up or down, depending on whether it is getting too dark or not dark enough.
Brown both sides, then add enough beef stock and beef broth to just level with the top of the roast. Also add your thyme and rosemary.
Your house will smell amazing right about now. Mine sure does!
Seal the lid and cook on medium-high heat until the pan is hissing loudly, indicating that it is at full pressure. Reduce the heat to medium or medium-low (whichever is needed to keep the hiss constant, but not as “angry” as it was at the higher heat). Cook for about 30-35 minutes.
Turn off the flame, release the steam, and open the lid when the safety feature indicates that there is no longer any pressure inside.
Add your potatoes and carrots to the meat, reseal the lid, turn the flame back up to medium-high, and cook for another 15 minutes.
While the veggies are cooking, whisk the flour and the softened butter to prepare your roux.
I like this SO MUCH better than using cornstarch, or flour and water.
- it eliminates lumps
- cornstarch makes the cooled or left-over gravy into a gelatinous blob
- the butter gives the gravy a glossy, silky look and feel that is pretty sexy.
After 15 minutes have passed, release the steam and open the pan. Test for tenderness. Everything should be very tender.
Move the meet and veggies to a serving platter and cover with tin foil to keep warm. Careful lifting the meat out of the pan. It may be so tender that it will disintegrate on you. You may want to lift it out with a broad spatula.
Did I mention that my house smells amazing? It’s worth repeating.
Taste the cooking liquid for seasoning. Add salt and pepper if needed.
Turn the heat back on to medium-low and whisk in a tablespoon at a time of the prepared roux. Stir until completely dissolved and watch for thickening. Keep adding roux until the gravy is of the desired thickness. Keep in mind that this is a glossy, runnier gravy than a country gravy, for instance. Don’t get it too thick.
Allow the gravy to come to a rolling boil for about a minute so all of the flour is well cooked.
Then drizzle some of the gravy over the meat and veggies in the serving platter, both to keep warm and to maintain moisture. Pour the rest of the gravy into a gravy boat so that everyone can add more to their individual portions.
People ALWAYS want to add more to their individual portions. It’s a given for a rich and beefy roast like this one. Trust me.
It tastes as good as it smells. Which is amazing. Melt in your mouth goodness.
- 3-4 pound USDA Choice chuck roast
- 2 cups unsalted or low-sodium beef stock
- 3 cups unsalted or low-sodium beef broth
- 3 tablespoons Tone's Rosemary & Garlic Seasoning
- 2 twigs each fresh rosemary and thyme
- 2 pounds baby potatoes, red or cream, halved
- 6 large carrots, cut into spears
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 5 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon canola or vegetable oil
- Season one side of the raw roast by spreading 1½ teaspoons of the Tone's seasoning with your hands, pressing in slightly.
- Flip and season the second side with the remaining seasoning.
- Heat the pressure cooker pan over medium-high heat until very hot.
- Add the oil and tilt the pan to spread over the bottom.
- Brown the roast, approximately 5 minutes on each side. Do not burn.
- Add the stock and broth as well as the fresh rosemary and thyme.
- Seal the pressure cooker and allow it to come to full pressure with an angry hiss.
- Reduce the heat to medium or medium-low, making sure that the hissing continues, just not as intense as before.
- Cook for 30-35 minutes.
- Release the steam, open the pan and add the carrots and potatoes.
- Reseal and cook over medium-high heat for 15 minutes.
- Release the steam, transfer the meat and vegetables to a serving platter and cover with tin foil to keep warm.
- Remove herb stems from the cooking liquid and discard.
- Mix the roux in a bowl by whisking the butter and flour aggressively until you have a very creamy mixture.
- Add the roux a tablespoon at a time to the cooking liquid, over medium heat.
- Keep adding roux until the gravy is slightly thickened and somewhat shiny.
- Bring to a rolling boil for 1 minute to cook the flour completely.
- Drizzle grave over the meat and vegetables on the serving platter and transfer the rest to a gravy boat for the table.