A pot roast is basically what it sounds like. A pot that is roasted. And inside of this pot is a big chunk of meat, also confusingly called a "roast." So the word "roast" can be used to describe both an action and a thing. So why exactly do we roast pots? It has to do with what's in the pot. Which, in this case, is a chunk of meat, vegetables, and a bit of water. All of these things, when roasted together in a sealed pot, create a lot of steam and everything begins to cook. This method of cooking, known as braising, is a very effective way to cook tough cuts of meat. After a few hours, that chewy meat will become tender and extremely flavorful.
1. Pick up a chuck roast and season it. There are many different chunks of chewy meat that can be used to make pot roast. Some popular ones are shoulder, arm, round, brisket, and blade. Basically, any tough or chewy piece of meat will work well for pot roast. Because after you've "pot roasted" it for 2‒3 hours, it will transform into deliciousness. Season the roast by rubbing salt and pepper into it on all sides.
2. Brown the chuck roast. To help add flavor to the dish, we brown the roast on all sides first. Do this by melting one tablespoon of butter in the bottom of the braising pan at medium-high heat. Once the butter melts and the foam subsides, lay the roast in the pan and brown it. This is also a good time to begin preheating your oven to 350 degrees F.
3. Cut up the vegetables for the pot roast. For pot roast, you will want to keep the potatoes and carrots in bigger chunks. I recommend peeling them, unless you prefer skin on. But cut the celery up into smaller pieces, as the celery will be melting down into the sauce. The shallot/onion and garlic should be sliced thinly. If you don't have shallot, just use an onion instead.
4. Add the vegetables to the pot. After the chuck roast is done browning, add the vegetables to the pot. Celery on the bottom and onions/shallot and garlic on top of the roast. Try to distribute the vegetables evenly along the sides of the roast. Then add ½ cup of water to the pot and turn off the burner. Cover the pot and put it in the preheated oven for one hour at 350 degrees.
5. Cook the pot roast. After an hour take it out and flip the meat over using tongs or a meat fork. Then set the timer for another hour. The pot should have plenty of liquid in it, but add more if it's getting low. Most pot roasts will be done after two hours, but it's perfectly normal to go three hours or more depending on the size of the meat. Once the meat is done, fall apart when forked, let it rest for 30 minutes in the pot with the lid on, before cutting it up.
The most popular piece of meat to pot roast is the chuck roast. Although not all chuck roasts are the same, it should at least vaguely resemble the one in the picture above.
Remember to always buy fresh meat.
You can try switching up some of the ingredients if you want to. I have a few other ideas listed to the right. Also, you could try using beef stock or wine instead of water.
If you can't get a good seal on your braising pan, try putting aluminum foil on the pan underneath the lid. That should give you a nice seal.
The liquid in the pan should be very tasty, so serve it with the meat.
Before you cut up the meat, make sure you let it rest for 30 minutes.