Basic Pot Roast

Featured in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin on January 31, 2007.



Basic Pot Roast

This is probably one of the first, and best, one-pot meals. Make it on a day off or the weekend as it requires extra cooking time. It is very simple to put together, and the magic takes place while you are out of the kitchen. Although there are many ways to spice up this basic recipe, you will enjoy this version for its simplicity and fresh taste. The keys to this recipe are browning the meat and mixing the essence into the au jus, and cooking the vegetables just until they are tender.

  • 2 pounds boneless beef chuck arm roast, or similar cut, trimmed beef
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 1/2 cups water, divided
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 6 medium potatoes, skins on, quartered
  • 1 pound carrots, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 5 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour

Number of Servings: 8
Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups


  1. In a Dutch oven or large pot with a lid, heat the oil on medium high, then add the meat and brown on both sides so a crispy crust forms, about 5-8 minutes per side.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium low and add the onion and garlic; cook until the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes.
  3. Transfer the beef to a plate; keep warm.
  4. Return the pan to the heat; add 2 cups water and cook, scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  5. Return the beef to the pot, add the bay leaves and pepper, then cover and cook on low 1 hour, turning after 1/2 hour.
  6. Add the potatoes on top of the meat and 2 more cups water.
  7. Cover and simmer 10 minutes.
  8. Add the carrots and celery, cover, and simmer until a fork can easily pierce a potato, about 15 minutes.
  9. Remove the bay leaves and discard.
  10. Remove the meat to a cutting board and slice; arrange the slices in a large serving dish.
  11. With a slotted spoon remove the potatoes, carrots, and celery and place around meat in serving dish.
  12. Keep warm.
  13. In a small bowl, combine the flour with 1/2 cup cold water until blended.
  14. Stir into remaining liquid in the pot.
  15. Cook, stirring constantly until thickened, about 3 minutes; serve with the meat and vegetables.

Exchanges per Serving: 2 Starch, 3 Lean Meat, 1 Vegetable

Nutrition Information per serving: Calories 352 (Calories From Fat 84), Total Fat 9 (Saturated Fat 3 g), Cholesterol 93 mg, Sodium 110 mg (not appropriate for low sodium diets), Total Carbohydrate 32 g (Dietary Fiber 5 g, Sugars 7 g), Protein 34 g.


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