Ina Garten’s Company Pot Roast

This Barefoot Contessa company pot roast takes an inexpensive beef chuck roast, a bottle of red wine, a little brandy, carrots, onions, celery, leeks, and tomatoes and transforms them into a meal worthy of a dinner party. And leftovers to last the week.

A partially sliced Barefoot Contessa company pot roast on a serving platter, garnished with thyme sprigs.

Each time we make pot roast, we’re astounded at just how marvelously tender such an undervalued cut of meat 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 will find that it remain not quite ready until the very last moment, when you’ve all but given up any thoughts of it actually becoming tender. Hang in there. It will happen. It just does so in its own time.–Renee Schettler Rossi

Ina Garten's Company Pot Roast

  • Quick Glance
  • (7)
  • 1 H
  • 3 H, 45 M
  • Serves 8
5/5 - 7 reviews
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Ingredients


Directions

Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C).

Pat the roast dry with paper towels. Season the roast all over with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper. Place the flour on a plate and dredge the roast in flour, turning to coat all sides, including the ends.

In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons oil. Add the roast and sear, without moving it, until nicely browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Turn and sear the opposite side. Then turn and sear the ends, 4 to 5 minutes each. Using tongs, transfer the roast to a large plate.

Add 2 tablespoons oil to the Dutch oven and keep it over medium heat. Add the carrots, onions, celery, leeks, garlic, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes, 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. Return the roast to 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, for a total of 2 1/2 hours in the oven.

Transfer the roast to a cutting board. Remove the herb bundle and discard. Skim and discard as much fat as possible from the surface of the sauce.

Transfer half the sauce and vegetables to a blender or a food processor fitted with the steel blade and puree until smooth.

Pour the puree back into the pot, place on the stove top over low heat, and return the sauce to a simmer. Meanwhile, 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, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, taste, and adjust the seasonings accordingly.

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. (You may have some leftover sauce, which you can cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Rewarm it gently over low heat and, if desired, add a splash of red wine just before serving. It’s delicious over pasta.) Originally published May 5, 2008.

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    Slow Cooker Variation

    • To make this company pot roast in your slow cooker, follow steps 1 through 4, place the pot roast and vegetables in your slow cooker, and then proceed as follows…

      5. Transfer the vegetable and booze mixture to the slow cooker and add the tomatoes, chicken stock, bouillon cube, if using, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Tie the thyme and rosemary together with kitchen string and add to the slow cooker. Place the roast in the slow cooker and cover. Cook until the roast is fork-tender, on low for 8 to 10 hours or high for 5 to 6 hours.

      6. 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.

      7. Transfer half the sauce and vegetables to a blender or a food processor fitted with the steel blade and puree until smooth.

      8. Pour the puree and the remainder of the sauce into a large 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. If the sauce is too thick, go ahead and thin with additional chicken stock. Taste and adjust the seasonings accordingly.

      9. 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 an elevated pot roast, one indeed worthy of company. While the prep time for this recipe can seem a bit daunting, it’s well worth the work assembling your mise en place as the recipe will come together easily from there.

    Pureeing the sauce produces a silky, thick gravy with tender vegetables nestled throughout. As the parent of a young child who insisted I pick out the vegetables but who scarfed down the pureed vegetables and roast, it was a revelation.

    I used a red Burgundy blend and 1 tsp Better Than Bouillon (roasted chicken).

    This was SO fantastic and our house smelled delicious for hours. It served 4 adults (2 who ran a marathon yesterday!) and 2 children with ZERO meat leftover although we did have a lot of sauce leftover to be used with egg noodles or polenta tomorrow. It was succulent and fork tender. We hardly used a steak knife to cut into it.

    All browning times were perfect, even with such a large chunk of meat! I didn't use a bouillon cube but I did use a better than bouillon gel for the broth.

    My butter mixture melted into the sauce in less than 1 minute. The sauce was seriously luxurious and very tasty. I can't wait to reuse it tomorrow! I will make this again and again!

    HUNGRY FOR MORE?

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    Comments

    1. Wonderful. Absolutely wonderful. Lots of gravy left for noodles tomorrow! My family of 7 enjoyed it thoroughly. Plenty leftover, too. Thanks, Ina. Another great recipe from you, love your mac n cheese:-)

      1. Alison, how long did you cook it? That’s what I was trying to address in my previous comment: the size is going to affect how long you cook it, and you need to pay attention to the visual and sensory cues. It needed more time for the collagen and connective tissue to break down.

      1. Alison, you would cut all the ingredients basically in half. As far as cooking times, you’re going to have to play with that. The roast will cook faster, but it still needs time for the collagen and connective tissue to break down. So watch it carefully.

          1. Alison, my pleasure. Certainly use the meat thermometer if it’s the kind that either attaches to your oven or can be attached to the outside of the door. Don’t leave anything that can potentially damage the ovn while in use.

    2. Just to be clear, 1 hour at 325 and 1 and a half hours at 250. I found another Ian Garten recipe that called for 2 hours at 325 and 1 hour at 250 for a total of 3 plus hours.

    3. I have made this recipe a few times and always get wonderful comments! I need to make this on a Sunday morning while we are at church. Can I do this thru step 5 and instead of putting it in the oven at that point, put it in my slow cooker on high for 4 hours?

      1. Hi Sharon, this recipe should do well in a slow cooker. Although we did not test it this way, now we are intrigued and are going to give it a try. Let us know how yours turned out and we will do the same.

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