Susie Middleton

A chuck roast is my favorite cut for pot roast. A long slow braise, and a tender roast is yours. You can flavor a pot roast so many different ways; it doesn’t have to be basic Yankee. I’ve used chorizo, smoked paprika, garlic, and red wine  here to give this version an alluring depth of flavor, but you could use another kind of cured sausage or smoked bacon, or leave the pork product out altogether, especially if cooking for a Jewish holiday. Try a different combination of herbs and spices to customize your pot roast. (Scroll down to the end for notes on a Mediterranean spiced version using a 2-pound roast.)

I’m not fond of soggy veggies, so other than the veggies I sauté as part of the flavor base (onions and carrots), I don’t add any others. Instead I prefer to roast diced veggies separately (Quick-Roasted Root Medley) and garnish the pot roast with them at the end. I often serve this pot roast over Green Rice, but you could serve it over polenta or mashed potatoes — or simply on its own with the veggie garnish. Remember the liquids from a pot roast are not traditionally thickened like a stew would be, so you'll have plenty of broth (albeit a reduced and very flavorful broth, almost like gravy) looking for a nice soft landing place.

I call for a three- to four-pound chuck roast in this recipe, because I often find 3-pound roasts at one grocery store I shop at, and 4-pound roasts at another. If your roast is on the smaller side, use a smaller Dutch oven (4 to 5 quarts) so that the liquids come halfway up the sides of the roast. Larger roast, larger pot.

Serve 6


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (more if needed)
  • One 3- to 4 -pound boneless beef chuck roast, tied
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces dry-cured Spanish (not Mexican) chorizo (such as Columbus brand, see below), quartered and thinly sliced 
  • 2 cups diced onions (about 1 large or 8 ounces)
  • 1 cup finely diced carrots  (about 5 ounces or 1 large)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh garlic
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 ½ cups dry red wine
  • 1 ½ to 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • Juice of one clementine or tangerine (optional)
  • 1 recipe Quick-Roasted Root Medley
  • Green Rice, Five-Minute Polenta, or mashed potatoes for serving (optional)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley


1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F.


2. In a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven (for a bigger roast) or a 4- to 5-quart Dutch oven (for a smaller roast), heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat. (I like an enameled cast iron Dutch oven such as Le Creuset or Lodge.) Season the roast all over with about 1 teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper. Add the roast to the pot and cook, turning with tongs, until nicely browned on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Turn the roast over and cook until brown on the other side, about 4 minutes. (If you like, you can also turn the roast on its sides and cook each for 1 to 2 minutes, but watch the pan and turn down the heat if the pan is getting a very dark brown.) Transfer the roast to a plate. Pour off all but a thin layer of fat from the pan.


3. Reduce the heat to medium low. Add the 1 tablespoon cold butter and use a wooden spoon to scrape up some of the browned bits on the bottom of the pan as the butter melts. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and the chorizo. Cook until the chorizo has crisped and released a lot of flavor and color to the oil, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the chorizo to a plate with a slotted spoon.


4. Add the onions and carrots to the pot, season with about 3/4 teaspoon salt, cover loosely and cook, stirring, until the veggies are softened and lightly browned, 7 to 9 minutes. Uncover, add the garlic, smoked paprika, and ground coriander.  Stir until very fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and stir until well-mixed.


5. Pour the red wine into the pot and cook, stirring again to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes so that the wine reduces and concentrates a bit.


6. Put the chorizo and the roast back into the pot. Add 1½ cups of the chicken broth, the tangerine juice (if using), and 1 cup water to the pot. (The liquid should come a little more than half of the way up the roast. If it does not, add more water or a combination of water and chicken broth.)


7. Bring the liquid to a simmer, cover, and put the pot in the oven. Cook, turning the roast over with tongs about every 45 minutes, until it is fork-tender, about 3 hours. Remove the pot from the oven, but if you’re not ready to serve, keep it covered. It will stay hot in the pot for 45 minutes (allowing you time to turn up the oven heat and roast the veggie garnish if you like.)


8. Transfer the roast to a cutting board.


Susie Middleton

9. Skim the fat from the surface of the cooking liquids with a spoon. Alternatively, transfer the broth to a bowl and refrigerate briefly to make removing the fat easier.


10. Cut the strings from the roast and cut the roast into slices (or if it is falling apart, just pull it off in chunks) and arrange in six shallow serving bowls over rice, polenta, or mashed potatoes (if you like.) Spoon some broth over the meat and top each serving with a portion of the Roasted Root Medley. Garnish with chopped cilantro or parsley. 



A Note on Chorizo:

For this braise, be sure to buy Spanish (not Mexican) dry-cured chorizo. Cronig's Market sells several kinds, both domestic and imported. I tend to stock this one from Columbus Craft Meats.




Mediterranean Spiced Variation with a Small Roast

On a recent Sunday, I cooked a small (2-pound) chuck roast by following the directions above but making some changes to the ingredients. The results were equally delicious to the original so I thought I'd pass my notes along to you.

Changes to the ingredients and directions above:

- use a 2-pound chuck roast instead of a 3-4 pound one

- drop the chorizo and the step to cook it

- use 1 1/4 cups diced onions instead of 2 cups

- use 3/4 cup diced carrots instead of 1 cup

- instead of 2 tablespoons garlic, use 2 teaspoons garlic and 2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger

- instead of 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, use 1/2 teaspoon each ground ginger and ground cinnamon (and keep the 1 teaspoon ground coriander in)

- use 2 tablespoons tomato paste instead of 3

- for the liquids: drop the wine altogether and use 1/4 cup orange juice plus 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar in its place; do not reduce this liquid for 5 minutes

- use 1 1/2 cups chicken broth and 1/2 cup water (more of either if necessary), still making sure your liquid comes about halfway up the sides of the roast)

- drop optional tangerine juice

Follow the directions in the original recipe from start to finish, with two exceptions: 1. You will not be cooking the chorizo. 2. When you add the orange-balsamic mixture to the pot, stir and let it reduce and thicken for just 30 seconds to 1 minute (not the 5 minutes you would with the larger amount of wine.)