Barefoot Contessa Company Pot Roast

Barefoot Contessa Company Pot Roast

Most pot roast recipes recommend that you strain the vegetables to make the sauce, which makes it too thin for my taste. If you don’t strain the vegetables, though, the sauce is too chunky. I got the best of both worlds by puréeing half the sauce and pouring it back into the pot with the chunky half. This recipe makes a lot of sauce. If there are leftovers, the sauce is delicious the next day on pasta. A splash of red wine in the pot before serving gives the sauce a nice edge.–Ina Garten

LC Cheap Cuts Of Meat Note

Each time we make pot roast, we’re astounded at just how marvelously tender such a cheap cut of meat as a chuck roast can become with a little love—and a lotta patience. We’re convinced the trick to pot roast lies in leaving it in the oven long enough. Those of you who are impatient and continually pull it out to poke and prod it will find that it remains unappetizingly tough until the very last moment. So hang in there and just go read a book or something, as it will turn surprisingly tender, it just does so on its own timeframe. Sorta like some guys we’ve known….

Barefoot Contessa Company Pot Roast

  • Quick Glance
  • 1 H, 15 M
  • 3 H, 45 M
  • Serves 8
5/5 - 5 reviews
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  • One (4- to 5-pound) prime boneless beef chuck roast, tied
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • All-purpose flour
  • Good olive oil
  • 2 cups (4 carrots) chopped carrots
  • 2 cups (2 onions) yellow onions
  • 2 cups (4 stalks) chopped celery
  • 2 cups (2 to 4 leeks) chopped leeks, white and light green parts
  • 5 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 2 cups good red wine, such as Burgundy
  • 2 tablespoons Cognac or brandy
  • One 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes in puree
  • 1 cup homemade chicken stock or canned chicken broth
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 3 branches thyme
  • 2 branches rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature


  • 1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C).
  • 2. Pat the roast dry with paper towels. Season the roast all over with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper. Dredge the roast in flour, turning to coat all sides (including the ends). In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the roast and sear without moving for 4 to 5 minutes, until nicely browned. Turn and sear the other side and then turn and sear the ends. This should take 4 to 5 minutes for each side. Remove the roast to a large plate.
  • 3. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the Dutch oven. Add the carrots, onions, celery, leeks, garlic, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper and cook over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender but not browned. Carefully add the wine and Cognac and bring to a boil. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, bouillon cube, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Tie the thyme and rosemary together with kitchen string and add to the pot. Put the roast back into the pot, bring to a boil, and cover. Place in the oven for 1 hour. Turn the heat down to 250°F (120°C) to keep the sauce at a gentle simmer. Continue to roast until the meat is fork-tender or the pot roast registers 160°F (71°C), about 1 1/2 hours more, for a total of 2 1/2 hours.
  • 4. Transfer the roast to a cutting board. Remove the herb bundle and discard. Skim off as much fat as possible from the surface of the sauce.
  • 5. Transfer half the sauce and vegetables to a blender or a food processor fitted with the steel blade and puree until smooth.
  • 6. Pour the puree back into the pot, place on the stove top over low heat, and return the sauce to a simmer. Place 2 tablespoons flour and the butter in a small bowl and mash them together with a fork. Stir the butter mixture into the sauce and simmer, stirring constantly, until thickened, which ought to take about 2 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings accordingly.
  • 7. Remove the strings from the roast and slice the meat. Pile it onto a platter and serve it warm with the sauce spooned over it.

Recipe Testers Reviews

This is a very simple and delicious pot roast recipe. It’s comfort food all the way. Fabulous served with mashed potatoes or buttered noodles. The leftovers are great for an open faced sandwich the next day. For those who use a slow cooker, this dish is ideal. Puréeing the sauce makes a wonderful gravy to use over the potatoes or noodles. Serve it with some glazed carrots or broccoli and this is an ideal dish for family or guests.


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  1. You are a goddess, well, all of you! I have been making this for years to great acclaim. The leftover shredded roast & the sauce makes an incredible French Dip Sandwich – the sauce being a wonderful au jus. I make sure I have enough extra sauce to freeze this ‘au jus’ in baggies so I have delicious quickie dinners. Thank you so much for all the extra tips.

  2. Help…I probably didn’t understand this correctly, but is it 1 hour at 325 and then lower temperature to 250 to then continue to cook for another 1 1/2 hours?

  3. I would like to do half thectecipe instead of 4 lbs. only 2 lbs. do I decrease the cooking time since I only have 2 lbs of meat and not four?

    1. Ana, you would decrease the cooking time, but it may not be exactly in half. I’d use Ina’s cues as a guide: “…until the meat is fork-tender or about 160°F (71°C) internally.”

  4. My sweetheart and I decided to invite another couple over for dinner with one day notice. I wasn’t sure what to make but because we live in the country and Wyoming, I figured meat and potatoes would do the trick. I searched and found this recipe….and thought perfect. It was SO SIMPLE and SO DELICIOUS. I served it with mashed potatoes and my version of garlic bread (a baguette with olive oil, garlic & onion powder, rosemary and thyme). The “gravy” that this makes was just right for the potatoes! A family keeper!!!!!

    1. Lovely, Kathleen! Thank you so much for taking the time to let us know! We so appreciate it! And being from the midwest, I can fully appreciate meat and potatoes when cooked properly. Looking forward to hearing which recipe on the site you try next!

  5. When making in the crock pot, you say to add the vegetables specified in step three. Do you cook them first as in the recipe, and then add them? And boil the wine as well? Any other crock pot tips that were not noted since the first post? Thank you.

    1. Hi Mary Ann, yes, you follow the recipe until you get to the middle of step 3. Instead of placing in the oven, you would place in a slow cooker.

  6. my grandmother was a phenomenal cook, but both my mother and I use this recipe now. She does it in the oven, I do it in the slow cooker, both are perfect every time. My best friend is a 911 operator, and I often bring this to her before a big storm, when i know she’ll be working 48 hours. the firemen know they’ll suffer her wrath if they so much as look at it :)

  7. I’m so excited to try this recipe. Thanks for the suggestion on the crock pot. I saw that I could make the entire roast ahead of time, but is it OK to do the searing – adding vegetables the night before and then just put it in the crock pot in the morning for the cooking?

    1. Missy that should be perfectly fine. Just make sure that the meat doesn’t sit out all night not cooking. You’ll need to keep it in the fridge overnight, and then add it to the cooker. You might need a little longer cooking time. You want to be safe.

  8. I’m planning to make this for Christmas Eve dinner. (The kids have requested pot roast, and I’ve never had good luck with it, so I usually use Schwan’s.) Alas, I don’t have any in the freezer. But I have all the Barefoot Contessa and many of my favorite recipes come from those books, I’ve never had a failure yet, so I’m going for it. I’m going to use the crock pot, so I can use the oven during the day. Is there any reason I can’t use an immersion blender at the end, to blend up about half the sauce? Seems like it would be easier than moving to a blender.


  9. Ina, I love your fondness for cooking. I watch every program featuring “The Barefoot Contessa.”Tonight, I am making your Pot Roast using leftover London broil…I can’t wait…you’re amazing…thank you for sharing with all of us. Jo-Ann, San Francisco

    1. Hello, Ruth Ann. The directions instruct you to tie the rosemary and thyme together (not the beef) and to toss that herb bouquet into the pot. The reason why it’s tied is so that it’s easy to fish out when the the meat’s done. Plus you don’t have stems floating in sauce.

  10. Just saw this recipe on Ina’s show yesterday, and am making it in my Dutch Oven tonight.
    I saw the adaptation for a slow cooker ( which I also have).
    Just wondering if it is adaptable to a pressure cooker?

    1. Hi Alison, we haven’t tested it in a pressure cooker but if you try it, please let us know. We would love to hear of your results.

  11. I have this cookbook and cannot believe I have not yet made this recipe! In my eyes, Ina can do no wrong! Quick question, can you clarify when the recipe states “Place in the oven for 2 1/2 hours, until the meat is fork tender or about 160°F (71°C) internally. Turn the heat down to 250°F (120°C) after about an hour to keep the sauce at a simmer?” Do I cook the roast for 1 hour at 325°F, then reduce to 250°F and cook the remaining 1 1/2 hrs? Help!

    1. Ina is pretty special, isn’t she, elizabeth? As for your question, yes, she means exactly what you just suggested—1 hour at 325°F, then 1 1/2 hours at 250°F. We often try to keep the wording of recipes in largely the original wording so as to convey the voice of the writer, but I went ahead and tweaked this recipe so it hopefully won’t cause anyone else confusion. Let us know what you think….

    1. Any of so many things would go with this roast, Peg. Mashed potatoes are ideal as it provides a natural firmament for the roast’s thicks sauce, which takes the place of gravy. We have several versions of mashed potatoes on the site, though I’d suggest either these simple yet rich Fork-Mashed Potatoes or Lidia Bastianich’s Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes. A simple batch of basic polenta would also be lovely in place of a mash. As for some nutritionally redeeming component to the meal, perhaps carrots or steamed green beans finished with a little butter or olive oil and some chopped almonds ro hazelnuts? As for any leftover roast, I hear it’s terrific shredded, stirred into the sauce, and ladled atop pasta.

  12. Is it possible to make this recipe the day before and reheat stove top or in the oven before serving for a dinner party? Would like to get the sauce ready, etc., beforehand… Thanks in advance for the advice.

    1. Hi Rhonda, you should be fine making this the day before. “Leftovers” always have such a great flavor. If you slice the meat before storing, I would cover it with some of the sauce and tightly wrap it, so that it does not get dry. Alternatively, you could make it in a slow cooker to be ready when your guests arrive, and take advantage of that great aroma.

    1. Hi Rachel, I reached out to our slow cooking testers and they have the following tips. Sear the roast as instructed then place it in a slow cooker with the ingredients specified in step 3. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours, or until fork tender. Follow the instructions as stated to thicken the broth.

    1. Hi B, I would use an oven safe dutch oven as specified in the recipe. No crock pot required. You should end up with a lovely pot roast.

  13. This is one of those recipes where it makes me thankful for my local butcher. I was choosing between the 100% grass fed or the 90% grass fed chuck roast and he wholeheartedly recommended the latter as it had more fat, flavor, and was not as likely to dry out. He was right – it was incredibly flavorful. I think it’s the sauce though that really makes the recipe. Can’t wait for leftovers tonight!

  14. My daughter’s family made this and emailed me raving about it. I then made it for a potluck dinner and it was greatly acclaimed—and completely consumed. Sincerest form of praise, I think.

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