oven-braised beef with tomatoes and garlic Recipes

oven-braised beef with tomatoes and garlic

I realize that if you’re scouring the internet this week looking for something romantic to cook for that little Hallmark holiday this weekend, the words “pot roast” probably didn’t cross your search threshold. It’s not sexy food; nobody is writing aphrodisiac cookbooks about bottom rounds and boneless chucks. But if you ask me, it’s something better, something cozy, warm, and classic, which neither steals the show nor keeps you from enjoying it. It’s for people who long ago stopped aspiring to entertain in multi-course and completely exhausting meals (for host and guest) and turned instead to comfort foods that surprise and delight on sleety winter nights. Sure, those individual gratins, galettes, microgreens and shooters of soup look elegant, but none of them have ever gotten the reaction that a massive batch of spaghetti and meatballs, from-scratch lasagne or great big short rib braise with a green salad did. No dessert, frosted, layered or crimped has ever had the delighted reception of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies (dough prepared days before, shh), still on their baking sheet. Why are we pretending we have a team of line cooks at our disposal, anyway?

a quick chop of tomatoes
a head of garlic

My favorite meals can be prepped in advance, often taste even better the second day, require no trips to specialty stores and are hard to mess up. And I’m never, ever able to resist the siren call of a recipe that promises transcendence in less than five ingredients.

ready to braise

First published in Gourmet in 2001, this oven-braised beef recipe was inspired by two others, Laurie Colwin’s Aunt Gladys’s Beef (January 1992) and Nathalie Waag’s Leg of Lamb with Tomatoes and Garlic (September 1986). The 2001 version trimmed the ingredient list to three items — three! — just a big can of tomatoes, a head of garlic and a beef roast and the meltingly tender results are as magical and transformative as our other three-ingredient archive favorite, Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter, all from less than 15 minutes active cooking time. I’m not surprised that Jane Lear said “it achieved immediate cult status among the Gourmet staff” and that Ruth Reichl, in the intro to The Gourmet Cookbook, said she’d be embarrassed to tell you how often she made this over the weekend just so she could reheat it on a weekday night. Now that it’s finally in our winter repertoire, I expect no less from it.

from the oven
sliced and falling apart
oven-braised beef with tomato and garlic

One year ago: Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer Hearts
Two years ago: Salted Caramel Brownies
Three years ago: Lasagne Bolognese
Four years ago: Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake
Five years ago: Walnut Jam Cake
Six years ago: Crisp Black Bean Tacos with Feta and Slaw and Whole Lemon Tart
Seven years ago: Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Squares
Eight years ago: Miniature Soft Pretzels

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Apricot Pistachio Squares
1.5 Years Ago: Strawberry Lime and Black Pepper Popsicles
2.5 Years Ago: Charred Pepper Steak Sauce
3.5 Years Ago: Tomato Salad with Crushed Croutons

Oven-Braised Beef with Tomatoes and Garlic
Gourmet, February 2001 and The Gourmet Cookbook

Serves 6

1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
1 (3 to 3 1/2 pound) boneless beef chuck roast, tied with a string
1 head garlic, separated into cloves, left unpeeled

Heat oven to 300°F (150°C). Coarsely chop tomatoes with their juice in a food processor (Gourmet’s suggestion) or go at them in their can with kitchen shears (my lazy preference) to break them up. Put roast in an ovenproof 4- to 5-quart heavy pot or a casserole dish with a lid — a tight fit is just fine, as it will shrink very soon. Pour tomatoes over roast and scatter garlic around it. Season generously with salt and pepper. Braise in middle of oven, covered, until very tender, 3 to 4 hours. Cut roast into 1/4-inch-thick slices and serve with sauce, garlic, squeezed from its peels (or you can leave others to do this) and orzo (Gourmet’s suggestion, of course not gluten-free), mashed potatoes (recipe at the end) or crusty bread. Leftovers shredded over egg noodles sound wonderful as well.

Do ahead: Like almost all braises, this is even better on the second day, which means it’s a dream of a dinner party dish. Let it cool to room temperature, then chill it in the fridge until needed. Defat the sauce before warming (it will be a cinch once solidified on top) and rewarm at 300 for 30 to 45 minutes.

Notes:

  • What to buy: Gourmet is absolutely adamant that you should buy your meat from a supermarket, and not a fancy butcher shop, where the meat is often too lean and becomes dry when cooked. I, ever the rebel, and eager to part ways with my hard-earned money, didn’t listen and bought a lovely and dearly priced grass-fed organic one with a good marbling of fat and regret nothing. But you have every reason to keep this as budget-friendly as possible.
  • Why truss? It’s a valid question, especially as we are not stuffing the roast and thus have nothing to contain. This is almost purely an aesthetic choice; it’s about appearance, not flavor. Trussing keeps a roast from spreading out too much as it expands while cooking, losing that nice round shape you paid so much for. If it flattens, it also might end up completely submerged in the liquid, tasting more boiled than braised, which would be a bummer.
  • How to truss: Note, don’t use mine as much of a guide; it’s far more trussed than this dish requires. (I couldn’t say no when the butcher offered to do it for me.) Two or three loops — at either end, or with a third one in the middle — would have done just fine. Keep them loose; you want the meat to expand even while gently encouraging it to keep it’s shape, plus cotton butchers twine, the best thing to use, will shrink in the oven as well. If you’re still nervous about how to proceed, check out one of these videos on YouTube (using fewer loops and not trimming the fat, okay?). [Trussing Video 1 or 2]
  • To dabble: You should not make this if you care for neither garlic nor tomatoes, for obvious reasons. And I hope that you anticipate that this will be a simple (but lovely) dish as written. Nevertheless, there’s no reason not to dabble if you’ve got a couple pet ingredients you’d prefer this with. I don’t think I’d be able to resist adding a couple glugs of red wine, maybe a halved onion and some thyme next time. And I’ve rarely met a beef braise that didn’t taste good with a dash of vinegar (sherry, balsamic or malt) or Worcestershire, bay leaves, mushrooms (which I’d saute and add at the end).

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221 comments on oven-braised beef with tomatoes and garlic

  1. I disagree with you about pot roast! There is nothing hotter or more romantic than the smell, the taste of a good pot roast! I love it, too bad I’ve bombed them in the past. I love how you put tomatoes & garlic, a lot of garlic in this recipe! One head garlic, for me, I might actually put in 3 heads. No worries about vampires here although lots of garlic isn’t too romantic I guess. But what can I say, I love garlic. And I don’t think my eyes deceived me, you didn’t shell the garlic!!! How wonderful, I hate shelling garlic.

  2. This is honestly one of the most simple yet tasty recipes one can make. its not diifucult and it is soooo delicious. and this works perfectly for when u are having people over for dinner. they are always pleased with the end result. I urge everyone to try this out. Peace, love , and chicen wings!

  3. Deb, could I do this in the slow cooker? My thought is I’d brown the roast ahead of time, then put it all in the slow cooker for 8-10 hours (while I’m at work). Do you think it would still be tasty?

  4. I’m trying to do more with my crockpot. This looks like a dream recipe. Do you think the crockpot is ok? Any reason not to do it?

  5. Slow Cooker and Pressure Cooker Suggestions — Whoops, meant to add slow-cooker and crockpot suggestions, although I only made this in the oven so it’s just an estimate.

    * For the slow-cooker, I’d say low for 8 to 9 hours or high for 4 to 5, based on what I see in other recipes and what I do for brisket. No need to brown it first, unless it’s just preference.

    * For a pressure cooker, I’m having a harder time getting a good read. Some say 45 total, others say 1 hour. I suppose it’s best to use your manufacturer’s suggestion.

    CL — I’d say 6 “hungry adult” servings. If we were only serving me, who likes 1 to 2 small slices at most, 8.

  6. Deb, IME, chuck cooks pretty quickly in a slow cooker. Chuck will cook to shredding consistency in 3-4hrs in a 300F oven depending on the size of the roast.

    6hrs in a Crock-Pot on low will give you shredded beef thanks to newer, hotter crockpots. In fact, high and low are now the same temperature with slightly different cycling and as such low doesn’t function well at all. They’re now both 215F.

  7. How do you squeeze the garlic after it’s cooked? That seems to be the only difficult part of this recipe. Won’t the cloves be extremely hot???

    1. Julie — To be honest, mine had all dumped their garlic contents by then, so I fished out the skins. Not sure if this will happen every time. You can always pre-peel the garlic if this seems too pesky. Some people would argue it won’t caramelize as well; I think you’ll be just fine.

  8. Do you think I could use the same tomato and garlic braise method to cook the cubed stew meat I already have in my fridge? Thanks!

  9. One of the best meals I ever had was on a sustainable farm in Tuscany. It was a plate of homemade egg noodles with fall apart tender braised veal. Mother of god.

    Sometimes it’s best to focus on a few, good quality ingredients. This is definitely one where some good quality meat shines through.

    It’s pretty crazy how much even something like chuck roast has changed over the past 100 years. Pretty much all meat is leaner than it used to be, so you have to look closely at your supplier to understand what you’re getting. So good call trying out the not-so budget friendly stuff :)

  10. I will probably use grass-fed beef for this as well, but only because the local university has a butcher shop on campus where I can buy grass-fed for less than conventional. Too bad they are not open today, or I would be there waiting in line to make this!

  11. Hi Deb, can you give any rule of thumb about how you knew it was ready to take out? 3-4 hours is a pretty big window. What did you see when you checked it that made you knew it was ready?

  12. Hi Deb,
    I got a beautiful stainless steel pot and pan set for Christmas (after using Teflon for years), but have been slightly afraid to put it in the oven. Would this work in the stainless pot, or is there some kind of interaction with tomatoes, or horrendous staining that would occur that I should know about. I know that technically they are oven-safe, but I don’t know if they will stain terribly. Do you have experience with this?

  13. Hi Deb,
    Longtime reader here – first, I want to thank you for consistently publishing not just delicious, but reliable recipes. I’ve never been led astray, or disappointed (and the pasta with white beans and garlic rosemary oil is my favorite thing ever). A suggestion/request/omigod it would be awesome: any chance there could be a new Recipe Index category for Date Nights? Meals that feel special and interesting, but not so complicated or out there to lead to raised eyebrows, and preferably with a not-absurd number of dishes, because nothing kills a romantic, post-prandial buzz like a teetering stack of pots and pans in the sink.

  14. I’ll be making this for some hungry friends very soon. I think I may add some pearl onions. With goat cheese mashed potatoes. And bread. And wine.

  15. Hi Deb! This has been a go-to recipe in my house for a number of years and is always a huge hit. I usually salt and pepper the roast and brown it just a bit before following the rest of the directions. Thank you for sharing this recipe, it definitely deserves more fans!

  16. Since the suggestion is to process or cut up the tomatoes, is there a reason not to use canned crushed or chopped tomatoes? Thanks for reminding me to look again in my Gourmet Cookbook!

  17. Hi Deb!

    Another recipe that looks amazing! I have a foolish question. Can a heavy pot with a lid be a dutch over or will it not cook the same?

  18. I love this recipe! Roast beef is always a huge favorite of mine. I’m going to buy a boneless chuck and get busy!
    HOWEVER I must disagree with you about Valentine’s day. Since I was a child I’ve loved it, single girl in my twenties, loved it, busy mom- I still love it!
    I hand make cookies and valentines and scatter them to friends and family with glee. My husband and I love having a candle-lit indoor picnic on the day of. It’s a fun holiday.

  19. Can’t wait to try this! I was skeptical of the three-ingredient pasta sauce, but once I finally tried, it it became an instant staple. I also love the above commenter’s ‘Date Night’ index suggestion.

  20. Oh my.. I need this now!! I do think the addition of some wine to the sauce would be amazing.. reminds me of my Eemma’s “Sunday Sauce” mmmm….

  21. Thank you so much for posting this – it’s my SO’s birthday and I was going nuts trying to figure out what to make him tonight! I have boneless-skinless chicken thighs, though, not beef – the method should still follow through, though I imagine the cooking time will be quicker? Also going to add mushrooms, because we got a good deal on baby bellas at the store this weekend ($1.66 a package!) and we love them. Thank you again!

  22. The real beauty of a preparation like this one is how many different ways you can use the leftovers. It’s a very satisfying meal on night one which can then be doctored up for nights two, three and/or four, if you’ve used a generous cut. It was one of our winter favorites when I was a working-away-from-home, Mom. Chili, tacos, soup, bbq style shredded beef sandwiches and more made weeknight dinners or weekday lunches, so easy.

  23. This looks delicious! The problem is I don’t have any pots or casserole dishes with lids that can go to the oven. If I simply cover my regular dish with foil, do you think it would work just as good?

  24. Thank you! My husband and I agreed not to celebrate valentines this year due to our two-week-old daughter taking up rather a lot of our time at the moment but I still would like to make a special meal. This is the perfect recipe to get me back in the kitchen and will be wonderful with a glass of good red wine. I might even attempt some cookies for dessert.

  25. Sounds like another winner.

    This is probably why so many people like this blog: “My favorite meals can be prepped in advance, often taste even better the second day, require no trips to specialty stores and are hard to mess up.” Yes, yes, yes, and yes.

  26. I just made a pot roast! It’s been so cold that beefy braises are my thing this year. We may not have gotten the loads of snow (at least in the Philly area) that we got last year, but I’m getting my snow day foods ON. First it was a brisket loosely inspired by your sweet and tangy recipe (the leftovers were shredded and thrown over waffled tater tots with cheddar and sour cream and pickled peppers and oh man). And then last week saw me making a pot roast (chuck roast, unrolled, browned and then nestled into fennel, onions and carrots with wine and broth.) Next time, this one.

  27. Alexis — Good point. Let me do more research and see if I can get a clearer idea of cooking times. (The first three well-rated recipes I looked at said 8-10, but I clearly remember a couple Epicurious commenters opting for 5.)

    lila — Yes, tightly wrapped with foil is just as good.

    Hayley — Absolutely; it’s the ideal vessel. I used a flattish Dutch oven myself.

    ElaineSL — Yes, you can use chopped or pureed too. I tend towards the whole ones because I like being able to control the chunkiness.

    Date Night Index — Sure! Let me get thinking about what I’d put into it. I’m definitely open to suggestions. Or maybe I should just ask Alex what he’d put into it? :)

    Brittany — Stainless steel is by definition non-reactive (aluminum, rarely used these days on the inside of pots, is the one to worry about) so you’ll be just fine. I wouldn’t expect it to stain, although I would say I’ve eventually marked up just about all of mine. But that was more from blasting the heat too long on the stove, and not from baking in an oven.

    JORJ — Oh, how I obsessed over this. I read every comment in the Epicurious archives and everyone who commented on cooking times said it was “perfectly cooked” at either 3 or 4 hours, so I presume if your roast is in that range, either end will be fine. My roast was 3.2 pounds, I braised it for 3.5 hours and then down to 170 for another 45, to keep it warm until dinner. My husband put steak knives on the table but we only needed forks. :)

    Renee — I think so, but I’d be tempted to add a couple other ingredients — wine or such — because I feel like stew meat gives you a less intense flavor.

  28. Date night index: definitely Alex’s Marsala, the mushroom bourgignon, and the mustard-glazed kabobs (I use steak) for summertime “chilling on the porch with a beer” dates. Can’t wait to make this!

  29. Are you kidding me? This looks fantastic! I’m going to have to do this in the slow cooker while I’m at work. I’ve been all about comfort foods lately, seeing how we’ve had over 65 inches of snow in the past 30 days!

  30. deb, you found my secret recipe, even down to the bay leaf and mushrooms! One could mince/cuisinart the mushrooms and then sauté them in the pot before adding the tomatoes and beef. The mushrooms blend in with the sauce and give up their wonderful umami-ness yet remain undetectable to the vigilant eyes of any child who dislikes the texture of mushrooms. Win-win

  31. Note to all food lovers – read everything you can find by Laurie Colwin! You can probably find her monthly Gourmet articles in their archives and she had a number of books published before her very untimely death. This recipe is just fantastic. I’ve made it a bizillion times and have learned to cook it the day before so I can take off any congealed fat. And of course, the flavor only improves with time.

  32. It took me awhile to fall for braising. Too many dry flavorless pot roasts at my grandmother’s house made me avoid the whole business for years. But now that I am firmly in my mid-thirties, I’ve fallen hard for the simple alchemy that happens in the oven. I’m currently in love with Molly Stevens’s All About Braising. This seems like it’s a kindred spirit of the recipes in that book.

  33. Re, Laurie Colwin — I wholly agree. She’s a favorite. My cookbooks have been completely disorganized since we moved in August (I just threw them on the shelves in the name of “they’re unpacked!”) and I couldn’t find More Home Cooking anywhere, as I’d wanted to look up the Gladys roast which I understand is in there. Maybe this will finally be my motivator to civilize them.

    Date Night Category — As requested! I’m just starting to plug recipes in. I feel like it’s pretty meat-heavy but I’ve been married for almost ten years (!) to someone who gets really excited when I make a steak sandwich or salad so my perspective may be warped. Would definitely like to hear other suggestions, if you have them. You make this site better!

  34. Hi Deb,

    I have a cut of meat that is labeled “culotte steak”. I am not familiar at all with this cut. Do you think it would work in this recipe?

  35. I am definitely trying this. But your roast looks nothing like, even tied, the boneless chuck roast I can find. That OK? (also, an aside, you mentioned the aluminum pans not so common anymore–I’ll use Calphalon for this, but what about my old Club Aluminum–ok to still use for other functions?)

  36. my grandmother made something very similar served over rigatoni. She added a few shakes of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, paprika. Swoon-worthy! Try it with the spices sometime.I brown the meat and put in the crockpot all day, so easy.

  37. Oh, now you’re talking my love language – comfort food!!! This looks Devine. My mom used to braise beef on a spit in the oven (1970’s) and finish it off with onions and tomatoes. Mucho requested for bday dinners (chocolate cake for dessert). Will be making this very soon. Thanks Deb, Happy V Day!

  38. YUM, this is exactly what I was looking for! Quick question–hubby’s against all things canned…what’s the best way of getting around this restriction, without adding too much work? Could I get away with roasting a few whole, and peeling them?

  39. Have you tried using a jar to peel your garlic? I just put the entire head in a mason jar, put the lid on, and shake it up and down like mad for about 30 seconds. Dump it out, and the cloves will be separated from the skins. Seems like it would be less messy than trying to squeeze out sauce-covered cloves.

  40. Add some porcini mushrooms, parsley, onions and red wine and this is my family’s italian “gravy.” It is incredible, no wonder this recipe is so popular. We serve it on angel hair, gnocchi or polenta. I could eat it every night. I make a big batch and freeze it . It defrosts wonderfully! Yummmmmmmmmm

  41. I just pulled mine out of the oven to cool overnight. My house smells divine, and I stole a bite and it was DELICIOUS! This is my favorite kind of food. Rich, simple, gorgeous and cheap. Thanks so much!

  42. I am so annoyed that I live with a vegetarian and things like this are out of reach. I’d be eating it all week (hmm, that might not be so bad…)

    My children have moved out but sadly will be servicing the needs of others on Valentines Day as they dine out so I cannot even cook it as a loving gift for them.

    Boo hoo.

  43. I made this with a chuck roast two weeks ago for a dinner party and again last weekend with boneless short ribs adding some chopped carrots, celery and a pinch of thyme to the gravy. I had about a quart of the gravy left over from the pot roast that I froze and used as a starter for the short ribs -I just added a small can of crushed tomatoes and a slug of red wine to have enough gravy for braising.

  44. With a 12-week old baby in tow, my kitchen skills have been sorely tested of late! This recipe looks like just the ticket for Saturday’s Pseudo-Valentine’s meal I’d hoped for: it’s got meat, which makes The Spouse happy; it has garlic and tomato, which makes me happy; it’s more simple than simple, which makes it baby friendly. All in all, it’s got to be a winner. :)

    One question though: if I halve the recipe, what’s the best adjustment to the cooking time? If anyone knows, that is.. :)

  45. Elizabeth — For a halved recipe, same cooking time. It takes the same amount of time to braise/soften a small piece of meat as large.

    ATG — Sounds wonderful. Do it! We only used orzo because we were trying to appease the 5 year-old, who if plied with pasta, will try new things. On our own, polenta or mashed potatoes would have been the first choice.

    Jenn — Yes, you can, but you’ll want 3 1/2 cups. The equivalent to canned would be quick blanche in boiling water, then slide the out of their skins — plum tomatoes on the small side, if you can find them. Be sure to use all of the juices.

    Hina — From what I’m reading, it sounds better for grilling. More here.

  46. Just a warning – have you looked over the tomatoes in a can? I often find parts I don’t want in my food – a hard dark piece or a green piece or a piece of stem – so I look through the whole can before I smush it. I saw one chef that just “wanded” the whole can in the can – beware.

  47. curious question: am i the only person who has never seen boneless chuck in a long log like that? i know it is trussed, but all the ones i’ve bought have looked like a mammoth steak – wide and flat. the most recent one i bought is tied around the middle, but like…just once, in the middle around the circumference of still a wide flat piece (but obv very thick). i wouldn’t know how to make it look like deb’s.

  48. @Sillygirl – A friend who learned to cook from his Italian grandmother taught me to pick through the can of tomatoes by hand for just that reason, removing stems and bits of skin and crushing the tomatoes by hand. The cheaper brands tend to have more unwanted bits than the fancier San Marziano.

  49. So happy to see such a simple, lovely recipe…perfect for this weekend. Note on Pot Roast….in the 80’s I got the bright idea of opening a restaurant…after all, I was qualified because I had a subscription to Bon Appetit magazine!! Ha!! Top selling entree….Old-Fashioned Pot Roast (made like my mom’s with onion soup mix and a bottle of red wine). People love these comforting, simple, delicious recipes…..thank you for this one…..can’t wait to make it.

  50. Oh boy you don’t even know how perfect and welcome and timely this recipe post is!

    I was obsessed with making first your short ribs, then even more so your dijon cognac stew, and was on the hunt for more recipes for slow cooked meats that can be prepared in advance and only get better as they are reheated throughout the week, and that utilize my recently acquired first-even dutch oven… But at the same time I hoped to find something simpler and easier and a bit less, you know, decadent (normally decadent is my favorite but it’s been a VERY decadent winter and now my jeans are tight).

    This is POIFECT. Exactly exactly exactly what I was looking for. Thanks Deb!

  51. Deb SK—I really need to stop licking my computer screen!
    Deb—Laurie was taken way too soon…oh how I wonder what might have come next.
    Nicola—perhaps a date night with a “meat mouth” girlfriend?

  52. First: Deb, I love Smitten Kitchen and have your book and have saved your posts for years. Thank you. Second: I totally despise commenters on other recipe sites who say, “I love this, but here’s what i did . . . .” So, of course, that’s what I’m going to do here. Last weekend I took a simple recipe that I had for chuck roast cooked with lots of garlic and pepperoncini in the crock pot. However, I was using my crockpot for making yogurt at the time. I browned the roast, added the peppers and garlic, then decided to add a can of tomatoes, and put it in a Dutch oven, just because I was feeling creative. It was absolutely delicious! So thank you for posting this: it vindicated my “creativity.”

  53. In fifty years of cooking, the ONLY time my braised meat was anything but tough, dry and stringy was when I made your cognac stew. That made me think the mustards must have worked some kind of tenderizing magic. Perhaps the garlic and tomatoes will do the same thing? There has to be some trick other than choosing the right roast.

    By the way, your Pho recipe is what I go to when I want to hear swooning at dinner.

  54. I am married to a man whose tastes I sometimes describe as “old man in diner” and he LOVES it when I make pot roast. Preferably with a fruit pie for dessert. I draw the line at serving coffee with the meal, however. :) Thanks for another keeper of a recipe!

  55. Maybe I can help with the chuck roast dilemma.

    Around here (Memphis, TN), the “giant steak” form of chuck roast is what you see.

    Deb’s roast looks more like what the butchers call a chuck eye roast or sometimes chuck tender.

    Thanks, Deb, for a great site.

  56. Marty — Thank you, very helpful. I simply went to the butcher (Charles and Hudson in the West Village, for NYC reference, and yes, you can all laugh at the fact that I looked up the address before I went, obviously not thinking too hard) and asked for boneless beef chuck and I’m sadly not practiced enough in big meat cooking to know whether it was the norm or not. Images Googled sometimes show one that looks like mine, but mostly flatter, as a few people mentioned. It shouldn’t have any effect on the recipe, though, which will work with all tough slightly fatty beef parts.

    Susan — With brisket, I usually heat it already sliced. (I always chill it overnight or for a day to rest it, then slice it cold, so it looks very neat) but I think this roast might be too fall-apart tender. I also had a ribbon of fat through the center of mine, so slices definitely broke in half; yours may not. Instead, I just sliced off what we wanted to eat and reheated what was left in one piece.

  57. This looks so yummy! Can I cover tightly with foil if I don’t have a big enough pot with a cover?

    Thank you for this great recipe!

  58. Deb, this will be in my Family Favourite Go To Dinners rotation! , so easy and so so good! also , I have just finished reading Ruth Reichl’s novel Delicious, so that was very fitting to see her mentioned in this recipe too! Thanks for another great recipe Deb, you are my go to girl for recipes!

  59. With children in the mix, our go to Valentine’s Day meal has become baked meatballs and sauce and baked creamy polenta, while it bakes we play a game.. Then some sort of decadent dessert we eat after the children go to bed, but decadent has come to mean – eaten when the children aren’t around!

  60. This is begging to be done in a pressure cooker. 1 hour or less at high pressure, I would guess. Pressure cooking is genius. Mom was so right.

  61. OMG! Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter from Marcella Hazan! The best, best sauce I always made for my husband. Her book was a wedding present to myself! Oh, yes, the braised beef…that’s on!

  62. I just got a text from my boyfriend cancelling all the other Valentine’s dinner requests in favor of this. Direct quotation: “You were asking what my heart desires… They say the shortest route to a man’s heart is through his belly, and my belly yearns for that.” It looks so easy, and so delicious! I can’t wait.

  63. @Maggie … LOVE that…thanks for sharing!

    Funny, at Christmas I made a Prime Rib Roast and it was good but I was thinking that I really liked a good pot roast as much, if not better and I could buy 4 times as much boneless chuck for the amount I paid for the prime rib. I did get some awesome stock from the rib bones, but still…

  64. Hi Deb. I bought a 6 quart enameled cast iron pot to make no knead bread in. Could I use it for this recipe as well or should I use by stainless steel work horse pot? My concern is that the flavors will remain in the cast iron or at a minimum it will stain…am I correct or crazy? Thanks.

  65. This is probably a dumb question, but…what do you do with the garlic once you’ve squeezed the cloves from their peels (or fished out the peels, whatever the case may be)? Do you puree it into the sauce? Serve separately? Or just let the cloves float in the sauce?

  66. YUM. I went home immediately and made this the other night! I am the world’s laziest cook, so this was 100% up my alley. So easy, so tasty… This is definitely forever on my easy weeknight recipes list. I added a quartered onion and about a quarter cup of soy sauce, but otherwise, followed everything exactly. I could eat this all day!

  67. This is probably a dumb question, but…what do you do with the garlic once you’ve squeezed the cloves from their peels (or fished out the peels, whatever the case may be)? Do you puree it into the sauce? Serve separately? Or just let the cloves float in the sauce?

  68. I should not have made this recipe. I don’t like a lot of tomatoes (sacrilege, I know) and I’m not a huge beef fan, and I’ve always disliked pot roast. So why did I make this? I dunno, for my husband and because for some reason it sounded good. BOY AM I GLAD I DID! I used most of the “dabbling” suggestions (didn’t have onions, used a bit long-in-the-tooth Burgundy for wine and vinegar), and the whole thing is so easy, and it was delicious. We ate leftovers tonight, and I’d still eat more!

  69. Tried in slow cooker. Did the recommended hours for pot roast for my brand of slow cooker (Cuisinart – 8 hours) and it cooked to perfection. Used fire roasted tomatoes. This was absolutely by far the best dish I’ve tried from Smitten Kitched :). Sooooo delishhhhh!!!!

  70. This is right up my alley. There IS something magical about few-ingredients meals which honor kitchen alchemy. A favorite of mine, which I’m proud to say I stumbled upon myself; is a whole chicken, drizzled with olive oil (+ salt and pepper), roasted on a bed of sliced onions until the onions char and wilt and the chicken is done. I honestly just serve this “onion-y jus” over white rice and then drink the liquid by the spoonful while I’m cleaning up and no one’s looking. I’m not a food blogger or even much of a chef but I am compelled to share this meal with anyone who’ll listen.

  71. I made this tonight in an enameled cast iron Dutch oven and it was delicious. We served it over mashed Yukon gold potatoes. We are looking forward to leftovers. The Dutch oven cleaned up easily – no sign of staining. For those who have stained stainless steel you might try “Bar Keepers Friend”. We have found it does a good job of restoring the shine to stainless steel and will do a nice job of cleaning copper cookware.

  72. Wow. Just made this dish with chuck roast trussed from whole foods. The simplicity of the dish is incredible. Takes all of 4 min to prepare. Few adjustments which really seemed to take the dish to the next level: added thyme, rosemary, and a splash of balsamic and red wine. Also strained the sauce and mashed to garlic cloves into the sauce giving it a rich yet smooth flavor and texture. I also served atop a mound of farro with tomato paste, salt, pepper and chopped carrots. Thank you for the inspiration!!!

  73. Deb,
    This is probably a stupid question…. but I didn’t know what ‘braise’ meant, so I looked it up, and every website/dictionary I looked up says that it involves first frying or searing the meat and then cooking it slowly. So when you say, “Put roast in an ovenproof 4- to 5-quart heavy pot”, do I put the raw meat in the pot, or do I fry it first?
    I’m so sorry for my stupid question — I just don’t want to mess up my first braise :(

  74. I am going to try the tomato sauce with out without the meat. Your pictures have inspired me.. I actually took a class from Marcella Hazan many years ago when she was visiting Toronto Canada. She made a black ink risotto which was amazing. Luckily I bought her recipe book which she autographed for me and today when I looked I see it contains this recipe. The book I have has a different title: The Classic Italian Cookbook

  75. Absolutely divine. Cooked this up yesterday with a slightly less than 3# chuck roast. Pulled it out after 3 hours, set the roast on a cutting board with a foil tent while I made polenta, and mashed the (peeled) garlic into the condensed chunky tomato sauce. SOOOOO GOOD. The house smelled AMAZING too. I only used the three ingredients this time around, but next time will doctor it up with wine, woody herbs, and an earlier mentioned minced mushroom idea was great too. Thanks!!

  76. help! my grocery store only had bottom round roast. would it be a disaster to use that instead? i’m reading on the internet that it may be leaner and have less flavor….

  77. The Laurie Colwin recipe is one of my treasures. I have the page torn out of that Gourmet issue. Overtime it has become tattered, splattered, xeroxed and shared. Thank you for continuing her legacy.

  78. @ Evie – I’m in the UK and made this with brisket last night, it worked well. Not sure whether we can get chuck roast here, at least not in the supermarket, maybe from a butcher? It’s what’s sold as braising steak, but usually as steaks, or cubed for stew.

  79. Munich Girl — Larousse Gastronomique defines braising as “A moist cooking method using a little liquid that barely simmers at a low temperature on top of the stove or in the oven… In modern cookery, braising is used for semi-tough cuts of meat, large poultry and also for some vegetables, such as cabbage, chicory (endive), artichokes and lettuce.” (I pulled the book down just for you!) Also, Michael Ruhlman wrote a book on braising that came out this week. He was on Food52 this week talking unexpected facts about it, which you might find an interesting read. In summary, though, no, browning meat or vegetables is not an essential component. It can be done, but it’s not required to call a dish a braise. In my mind, braising has much more to do with the level of liquid, which is rarely more than halfway up the meat or vegetables. If they were submerged, they’d be boiled or simmers. If there was no liquid, they’d be roasted or baked. Hope that helps.

    Jennyjoseph — The recipe has you serve the garlic with the sauce, either “squeezed from its peels (or you can leave others to do this).” I mentioned in an earlier comment that mine had actually ‘evacuated’ their peels by the end of the cooking time, so I just fished out the empty peels. You could also blend or mash them into the sauce, for a smoother consistency.

    Patricia — No, that’s the exact kind of pot that’s perfect for this. I use a 4/5 quart enameled Dutch oven as well, a flatter one called a “braiser” but they all cook the same.

  80. Oh my god, I need this in my life … I’m pregnant, too – expecting in early June – and I’m basically the opposite of you. ALL I want all the time is MEAT. The insane cravings have died down a bit as I’ve gotten further into the 2nd trimester, but still … it’s funny, because you’re food issues and cravings sound exactly like me, but during my first pregnancy. :) Hormones are crazy.

  81. This is in our oven right now, bubbling away for my dinner for 8 that I am cooking for my partner’s birthday. I made the cake yesterday, and all I have left to do is saute the mushrooms, whip up the mash and dress my greens. This is the most relaxed I’ve been before a dinner party in my life. THANK YOU, DEB!

    @Isobel, @Evie, I’m in the UK as well, and when I told them at the butcher’s counter at my Tesco that I wanted the equivalent of an American chuck steak for braising, they brought out a beautiful joint (2.2 kg for GBP17, so I’m not complaining), and it looks like it’s going well. (I’ll come back if it’s a disaster!)

  82. Just made this recipe. It smells really good so I am sure my family and I will appreciate it tomorrow. I actually had stopped buying red meat because I always managed to over cook it. The end result was always dry. So thank you for reconciling me with beef. I have officially entered the braising club. And congratulations on your pregnancy. Wishing you all the best. Always.

  83. Made this last night–way overcooked! I would cook it at 200-250 for 3-4 hours or for 2 hours at 300. It did not turn out at all.

  84. So I was a bit silly and didn’t double-check my recipes at the grocery store and bought short ribs, tomatoes and garlic (I was seriously eyeballing your braised beef short ribs recipe as well – my brain gave me a hybrid shopping list). Can I just follow this recipe using the short ribs in place of the roast?

  85. Did you get the browned crust without searing on stovetop first? I’ve never made a pot roast without searing, but the roast in your picture looks lovely and well-browned.

  86. Made this with the stew meat I had on hand, added a splash of basalmac and a squeeze of agave at the end- served over orzo, along with roasted carrots- best meal of the week!

  87. This looks amazing! I’ve made so many of your recipes and they’ve all been delicious!

    I have some frozen chuck already cut into cubes that I’d like to use. Would you suggest any adjustments if I’m using cubed meat?

  88. I cooked this on Thursday, exactly as the recipe is written, and ate it on Friday. Skimmed all the solidified fat, warmed it in the oven, made fabulous mashed potatoes & fresh green beans. Well, the most amazing meal. The meat was tender, very, very tasteful, the sauce was perfect, the garlic was the crown. I usually add ‘my take’ to a recipe but since I am not home and have limited herbs & spices on hand this was the perfect recipe for me; it now will be part of my permanent repertoire.
    Deb, Mazel Tov; I am so happy for you, Alex and Jacob. The last time your wrote about your ‘news’ it was your 2nd cookbook; this time I knew it would be more exciting. You will, literally, have your hands filled…with love and joy.
    Keep us updated and chocolate is good…2 or 3 recipes in a row are quite acceptable.

    ism

  89. Post-valentine’s feast, I give this recipe two heart-y thumbs up (as does my boo). We added a couple glugs of red wine and the onion, as suggested. I also put in a couple of sprigs of rosemary and oregano because that was what I had in the fridge and I think it added a nice flavor. We chose the mash option over the orzo, with no regrets.

  90. Hi, this is Ann the RVer posting again. Love crock pot recipes! Made this for dinner yesterday. We added some red wine and put tenderizer on the meat. Next time we will add some seasonings (bay leaf, thyme, basil) as we felt it was “missing something.” Cooked for 7 hours on low and 2 hours on high. Made the chewy crispy chocolate chip cookies also. Delish!

  91. I just wanted to thank you so much for sharing this. I made it for an early V-day dinner with my hubby (Friday night) and it was wonderful! I only added a few splashes of worchestershire sauce and a couple of dried bay leaves. Made it a day ahead, easily skimmed off the fat the next night and re-heated it as you directed. Had it with mashed potatoes and sautéed broccoli. : ) Will definitely make again and likely often! I’ll give it a try in the slow cooker next time.

  92. I just made this for Sunday night dinner, and words can’t describe the ease and deliciousness! I made just as directed, and topped with fresh parsley and pair with a nice glass of red wine. The pear and raspberry crumble is dessert. (but we have not dug into it yet!)
    I am already thinking of the how the favors will blossom in the next day, and which guests I can wow with this dish!
    Deb, each of the dishes I have made from your site have been fantastic! Thank you for always steering us the the right culinary direction!

  93. I am so distressed as my 3 hrs and 45 minutes has elapsed and I believe my roast has been boiled for almost 4 hours!! And the two pieces of string with which it was trussed look to have popped. I think I used a too-small pot (an oval Le Creuset with covered lid – not sure the capacity but everything fit very snugly within it) as the liquid is all the way to the top after the entire cooking time. What happened?! This was going to be dinner for tomorrow night after a very busy day and I am beyond disappointed. The meat was about 3.75 lbs and was very square-shaped, not long like yours… Does the meat give off a lot of liquid? I’m upset to have wasted $25 but even moreso that we don’t have dinner for tomorrow night!

  94. First time posting (but long time reader) This was perfection! I couldn’t help myself and added a few glugs of red wine and a sprig of fresh rosemary. Guest swooned over it (served it over egg noodles)
    Thanks Deb!!!

  95. This was terrific! A great Valentine’s Day meal for us in blizzard-laden, more than freezing Boston. My first post but a long time follower. I made it w/ 2.5 chuck tied up in the simplest way for the two of us, and on the 2nd day, skimmed fat as suggested & cut into slices, put in the oven for an hour & served over egg noodles. Such a winner-thanks!

  96. Well, this was awesome. And really easy. I always thought pot roast required multiple browning/tomato paste adding/defatting at the end steps. And while one can do all of that too, it’s nice to know there’s an easier way that tastes just as great. Thanks Deb!

  97. Made this for a family Valentine’s dinner using a 3.5# roast, Cento brand crushed tomatoes and peeled garlic. We caramelized an onion then added 12 oz. thickly-sliced mushrooms to brown alongside, then removed all from the pot (7 1/4 Qt. Le Creuset Dutch oven, perfect size). The roast was tied lightly, seasoned w/ S&P and a bit of flour to sear, then the pan deglazed w/ 3/4 C. of red wine. All ingredients were chucked back into the pot, along w/ Worcestershire, and cooked for 3 hours. I pulled it out to cool, submerged the onions/mushrooms for easier de-fatting later, then stuck it in the fridge overnight. The next day I defatted it (SO easy and SO worth making in advance to be able to do so), left it out to come to room temp for about 2 hours then reheated, whole, for about 45 minutes. The meat was fabulously tender and the sauce was the perfect consistency to serve over fresh pappardelle. The garlic cloves mostly melted in, but the larger ones were smooshable for bread. Next time I’ll stir in a Tbs. or so of vinegar before serving. Red pepper flakes are a must. This is delicious and, even with modifications, still frightfully simple. Loved it!

  98. Thanks, Deb for helping me do V-day dinner like a boss.

    I sauteed chopped onion and de-glazed the pan with 1/2 cup of red wine before proceeding with the other ingredients. Also added a few peppercorns, couple pinches of dried thyme, 2 bay leaves, and a few juniper berries to the tomatoes because it was quick & easy and I already had them on hand.

    Served with sauteed mushrooms over tiny star pasta with roasted asparagus on the side. Would totally do this again – I might even plan ahead so I can de-fat the sauce before reheating. Looking forward to the leftovers.

  99. Made this today and it is AMAZING. Bought a somewhat fancy roast from my somewhat fancy neighborhood market and cooked it up in my Costo brand dutch oven. My roast was 3.13 lbs and took 3.5 hours. The result is perfect. This recipe makes the world a better place.

  100. Hello
    Love braises too. Yours looks like it has sat undisturbed in the tomatoes. Do you ever turn it in the pot – say, half way through cooking time – so that all of the meat has at some point been submerged? Or not?
    Thank you for lovely recipes, pictures and words

  101. This is my kind of braised beef! Simple and delicious! Admittedly, I’m not a fan of tomato sauces, but I think this may have made me a convert. My husband loved it, and my 2 year old ate a few bites before declaring that she didn’t like her dinner (we normally don’t get that far with new foods). I paired it with mashed potatoes, and cheddar-black-pepper-cornbread. Phenomenal end to a long snowy weekend.

  102. Hi Deb,
    Congrats on the new baby! In the post you wrote: “To dabble: You should not make this if you care for neither garlic nor tomatoes, for obvious reasons.” I actually loathe cooked tomatoes…I can’t stand pizza sauce, pasta sauces, or any form of tomato besides raw. In spite of that, I wanted to tell you that this was probably the best pot roast I’ve ever had. The tomatoes don’t overpower the meat at all, like I thought they might. I used tomatoes grown in our garden and canned, then simply scraped them off the meat (blasphemy! sorry) before eating the meat with mashed potatoes. It was an awesome meal, but my boyfriend was annoyed that I had purchased beef instead of using one of the pieces of deer meat we have in the freezer. Is there anything that you’d suggest when using deer instead of beef? I think it’s leaner and therefore less flavorful. Maybe adding red wine? Thanks!

  103. This was delicious!! I did slice up an onion and sauté it before quickly browning the beef and then throwing everything into the oven. I did peel the garlic before throwing it in the pot so I wouldn’t have to worry about the skins later. Cooked closer to four hours and it was fall-apart tender (a little less would have better if we wanted the slices to stay together, but I loved it this way too). Served over orzo covered in the sauce, which is the best part! Will definitely be keeping this in the rotation.

  104. I browned the meat first and then I blended the sauce (with the garlic), and some apple cider vinegar. It’s like…a cross between a ragu and your cream of tomato soup. :) it’s delicious, but I should’ve made noodles instead of mashed potatoes!

  105. I will make this over the weekend, and I’ll halve the recipe, as we are only two in our household. Thank you for posting it. It sounds wonderful.

    When I make it, do you mind if I share your recipe on my blog – giving you full credit, of course.

  106. I made this dish last night and I am amazed at how delicious it was considering the simplicity of it. I followed the recipe as written and also added a good glug of sherry vinegar and a few sprigs of thyme per Deb’s recommendation. I served it with the orzo and spinach that I sautéed in a bit of olive oil. Seriously so good and so easy.

  107. I have an extra jar of your tomato sauce that I made for pizza….do you think I can use it here, or is it the wrong flavors?

  108. Made this one as I usually do with your recipes following the quantities and times adding only 2 bay leaves and 1/4 cup of red wine. I found it to be much too acid and sharp flavored.

  109. I made this in the crock pot and it was amazing. 8 hours on low. I loved it and have shared the recipe with 4-5 other people. I added 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, and next time I’ll try it with balsamic vinegar or red wine if I have it on hand.

  110. Made this on a snow day earlier this week, and watched flurries outside from the comfort of my kitchen – complete with the promise of this glorious hunk of beef waiting for me. Added in three bay leaves, portobello mushrooms, half an onion and about 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar – certainly worth the wait!

  111. To follow up on my comment 123- the short ribs worked well, the cooking time was perfect but my goodness was it fatty! Maybe it was just the particular short ribs that I got but I must have spooned off a good 1/4 cup of fat after it cooled. I will definitely make it again as it was delicious but next time will actually use the recommended cut of meat. ; )

  112. As you revel in your readers’ monkeying with your recipes, I will tell you I made this per the recipe, but added bay leaves. Cooked it until it was fork-tender, then added sautéed mushrooms and a glug of balsamic. Generally I find straight-up tomato sauces a tad too acidic for my taste, so I added about 1/3 cup cream to mellow it out. It was fantastic over pasta. The following night I shredded the meat up real good, then made a bechamel sauce and tossed both with some cooked ziti and a big handful of parmesan and baked it. EVEN BETTER! It’s great on its own but also a really fun springboard! Thanks, Deb!

  113. My roast was not melting and was on the tough side. I bought a 3 pounder at Costco and checked it after 3 hours and then at 3.5 hours but did not see improvement. Should I do 4 hours next time?

  114. Wow! A simple recipe where the sum is greater than the individual ingredients. We served it with a side of sautéed mushrooms, orzo, and a salad with some crusty rosemary bread. I also made your chocolate pudding pie for desert. We are doing both recipes again – they are keepers. (Our roast was the largest we could find – which was only 2.75 lbs – we roasted for 3.5 hours and it was tender and wonderful.)

  115. Debra — Did it taste okay? I’m wondering if a little boiling or a popped truss would actually ruin the dish. I hope not.

    Stephanie — I did, I couldn’t resist. I then turned it back during the last hour. I’ve never found this to be necessary, however, I just can’t leave a cooking dish well enough alone.

    Leslie — Absolutely.

    Pas — It may have needed more. Did it seem undercooked or overcooked? Both could lead to toughness, but it does seem far less likely that it could get overcooked in 3.5 hours.

    Melodie — There was no crust; that browned color is just the way it looked when it was done. You won’t get a crust from making this recipe, but if you wish, you can brown the roast first to encourage one to form.

    Katy — Yes, short ribs are incredibly fatty. But I love them. They’re probably my favorite “cut” of beef; the flavor is, to me, 10x what any other piece has. I have a recipe in the archives where you finish the ribs under the broiler after they’re braised. It sounds a little fussy, but it gives a nice texture… and, if you’re a little crazy like I am, you can remove larger pieces of fat before broiling because you’re no longer going to need them for cooking.

  116. Made this for Sunday dinner and it was fantastic–though the leftovers reheated the next day were even better! I couldn’t resist dumping in a cup of Zinfandel, a few bay leaves, sprigs of thyme and a couple of glugs of Worchestershire sauce, but I suspect the braise would have been fine without it. I cooked a 3lb roast for 3.5 hours, but I think it could’ve gone 20-30 minutes less. I also reduced the sauce on the stove top after I removed the roast to rest. It was pretty thin, but 10 minutes at a good simmer brought it down to the perfect consistency. Served over buttered egg noodles and it was heaven! Will definitely make again :)

  117. this one fell flat with me.
    meat was weirdly dry (i don’t even know how THAT happened) and sauce didn’t have much flavor despite adding wine, a bay leaf, and some oregano sprigs.

    I did this in the slow cooker so maybe that’s it. I always feel like dishes don’t reduce well in the slow cooker and then end up less flavorful than they should be.

    oh well. it was fine. just not all i’d hoped for and more.

  118. Made this last night, for dinner tonight and it was a hit! As suggested, I added 1/2 onion, some thyme and a bit of red wine. Excellent, as always! I’ve clearly not been reading closely though, because I completely missed the new baby news – best wishes!!

  119. Made this Sunday and it was spot on! I added thinly sliced onions and oregano and served it with goat cheese mashed potatoes (as suggested by Charlotte in Toronto). All it needed was a good bottle of Beaujolais!

  120. This was delicious! I followed the recipe closely adding only a couple of bay leaves. Like reader Debra above, I bought a 3 1/2 pound squarish chuck roast at Whole Foods I too cooked in an oval le Crueset Dutch oven. it was delicate and so flavorful after 3 hours. I removed the meat and bay leaves and boiled down the liquid to thicken, first removing skins of the garlic ( I would peel garlic first next time!) then used a stick blender to smooth out the sauce. Served with orzo and sautéed spinach…yum! Perfect dinner for yet another frigid evening…

  121. Hi Deb, thanks for such a great recipe! I admit that I tinkered with it as well – went heavier on the cracked pepper, added about half a cup of good quality red wine, some chopped fresh parsley and a handful of torn fresh basil leaves. I also couldn’t get chuck but I did have a giant 2.5kg blade roast which I used with additional liquid, same cooking time. Had friends from out of town around for dinner and they were most impressed, as was I! Lovely and tender, served on the orzo (which I know as risoni) with steamed broccoli and zucchini, because I can’t go past fresh green vegetables.
    Then (horror of horrors) realised I didn’t have enough refrigerator space for the slightly more than half leftover. This is the point at which my brain said “well if it’s not going into the fridge then it may as well go back in the oven…” and I basted the exposed beef with the sauce, put the lid back on and cooked it for another 4 hours. SPECTACULAR is the word here. Melt in the mouth delicious. Next time it goes in the slow cooker for sure!

  122. I am all with you on the easy, re-heat dinners. I do not have time, nor energy to cook on the weeknights, and live solely off of previously cooked dinners. Hilarious writing, per usual :)

  123. Hi Deb, we made this last week and LOVED it. Such a delicious and easy meal with our one year-old in the mix. We’re making it again today and we’d like more sauce for leftovers. Any reason why we can’t double the tomatoes and garlic?

  124. Deb, do you mean to cut the meat in 3/4 inch slices? Recipe says 1/4 inch but I’m looking at your picture and that does not look like 1/4 inch to me. :)

  125. Thi — I’m fairly certain I didn’t measure at all, but I’d guess I did 1/2-inch slices. I’m not sure I’d have gotten a clean slice with 1/4 inch as the meat was falling-apart tender, so you might want to go thicker as well.

    Mary Lynne — The recipe has you season it generously with salt and pepper, right after you add the tomatoes.

  126. I made this a few night’s ago and it was fantastic! I added sliced onions, dried thyme, oregano and basil and served it over mashed potatoes. SO easy, too. It was even better than I thought it would be. I can’t want to make it again soon!

  127. I made this in a Pyrex baking dish covered tightly in foil. It was just serving two, and I just used 2 lbs of meat. I made it a day in advance–cooked it at 350 for 2.5 hours, and at 300 for abort 45– and then i put in in the fridge. The next day I warmed it at 300 for 45 minutes and WOW! This was incredible- unbelievably good for just 3 ingredients. And super easy to make! It’s great for weekends- I can cook it one night when I get home from work- and serve it the next night, and it’s very low effort!

  128. So I’m dying to make this but have not been able to find a chuck roast (I live in Dubai – maybe that’s why?). I want to try it with a “topside roast” but comparing it to your pictures, I don’t know if there’s enough fat on it to make it turn out. Thoughts/suggestions?? Thanks!

    1. Just these crazy spam comments I seem to have attracted this month! I don’t moderate comments — they publish immediately — so I sometimes miss them. Anyway, now removed. (But if you’re looking for a spellcaster, I have a folder of hundreds of verified leads!)

  129. well.. sad to say the “topside roast” didn’t turn out. waaaay over-cooked. will be on the lookout for a chuck roast!

  130. I wanted to let you know that the next day we turned the leftovers into chipotle laced tacos with chipotle yogurt sauce, guacamole, carrot & cabbage slaw, and gas charred corn tortillas! Stupendous!

  131. hi..just made it and ate it ALL!!..i dont think i seasoned it enough…but it was very tender…sauce got watery..any suggestions how to thicken it?? tomatoe paste?? i wont use flour

  132. You can reduce the sauce on the stove to thicken it. Watery is common in braises and pot roasts; at restaurants the sauce is usually reduced to give it more body.

  133. I love almost all of your recipes but this one also fell flat with me. 3 lb roast for 3.5 hours 300 and meat wasn’t flavorful (at all) or particularly tender. Had high hopes for it given how easy it was to put together and leftover potentials so was disappointed. Glad to see it worked for others though, which leads me to think I somehow messed up a 3 ingredient meal!

  134. Also works great with rolled & tied pork loin. Both dishes were a huge hit!

    Peeled garlic is a lot easier to deal with.

    Brown the roast (either pork or beef) before adding the tomato & garlic.

    You may like the results even more with a longer braise at lower temp (5 hrs, 250F).

    If you leave the lid slightly uncovered, it reduces and wateriness isn’t an issue.

  135. Maybe this has already been suggested, but I decided to see what would happen to the sauce if I applied my favorite kitchen tool to it — the immersion blender. The results were an amazingly silky, rich gravy. My husband and I ate the beef on toasted sourdough bread and dipped it in the gravy. Highly, highly recommend.

  136. Thanks for this recipe! I have made this twice and came out great both times. I season the beef with salt and pepper and brown. Deglaze with red wine. Add one whole chopped onion and some baby carrots to roast along with the garlic and canned tomatoes. I serve it over creamy polenta – Emerils recipe. Its a hit with my in-laws.

  137. I have made this about a zillion times since you published it. I was pining hard for fall yesterday and made it, then realized there is no way I can just eat nothing but three pound of beef by myself this week. I used it as the base for a beef and barley soup…it made the best soup base ever and all the work was basically done. Onion, carrot, celery…cut up the beef, throw in the tomatoes and juices and barley, cook, done. This is the about the best recipe ever.

  138. I’ve made this twice now, so good! I’m only cooking for two so it makes about 3-4 dinners for both of us, so I make shepherd’s pie from the leftovers. After the first night, I shred the remaining beef and thicken the sauce slightly, mixing in the squeezed roast garlic . I then top this with mashed potatoes, breadcrumbs and some grated parmesan. Bake in the oven until the top is crispy – it’s even better this way!

  139. In case it’s helpful for anyone: If your chuck roast is a different size, my experience is that 1 hour per 1 pound of meat works well. (My grocery store sells a lot of 2.5lb chuck roasts.)

  140. I’m late to the party here but better late than never. I made this for my family last week and it was a huge hit! Absolutely delicious! Thank you so much for bringing this to your blog. I added an onion cut in half (like Marcella Hazan’s pasta sauce) and then just fished it out before serving the beef with cheesy polenta. We will definitely be having this again!

  141. Thank you, thank you for publishing this! I was looking frantically for my (paper) copy of this recipe, which I’d torn out of *Gourmet* many years ago and made several times, and couldn’t find it. Voila, a google search turned it up smittenkitchen. I could’ve defaulted to Laurie Colwin’s book but I can see the picture accompanying the Gourmet recipe in my mind’s eye.

  142. I have been a fan of this recipe for years, since one of my BFFs made it for me on a frigid Indianapolis evening, served it with creamy polenta and a heady red wine. I most recently made it on Monday for a huge dinner party on Tuesday — cooked 15 pounds of meat in 3 separate pots, separated the meat from the chewy bits, strained the juices and added back the solids to the meat, let the liquid chill so I could defat it, then warmed it all the next day in my crock pot insert in the oven and kept it warm in the crock pot while the rest of the meal took over the oven.

  143. I have a 3.9 lb boneless chuck roast. I’m going back and forth as to weather I should do this in my crockpot or my dutch oven. I think I’m going to do the oven but I’m not sure for how long to keep it in. I’m horrible at determining doneness. I’m serving to others so I want to make sure its not too overcooked (I personally don’t mind I like my meat all shredded up and well done). You did a 3.2 for 3.5 hours, but I saw someone else comment that have a 3lb and they did about the same and theirs didn’t turn out well. I’m guess I should do it a full 4 hours… do you think shorter/longer will be necessary?

  144. okay, i finally made this! and it was wonderful.

    i asked awhile ago about the different styles of chuck roasts, as the ones here (boston) tend to be of the “giant steak” variety and not a log like the one in your (deb’s) photos. so i did wait until i saw one that was less wide and more tall (just so it wouldn’t cook totally submerged in the sauce) and it was tied once around the middle. (basically mine was wearing a belt, vs. deb’s that is wearing a series of headbands, if that makes a better mental illustration, lol.)

    anyway, i cooked mine in a regular ol’ glass baking dish covered tightly with foil. i didn’t peel the garlic cloves, i did add a bay leaf, and i didn’t bother the meat at all (no searing, flipping, etc). i cooked it tuesday night before bed (10:30pm – 2:30am) and we actually didn’t end up eating it until friday (i heated it for an additional 1.5hrs only because time got away from me and i forgot, lol). it had a nice crust and shredded up so easily, and the garlic which i was the most skeptical of was so easy, the cloves that didn’t come out of their peels in the oven popped right out with a little pinch. (and since it was cold from the fridge they were easy to handle.) since i like smooth sauce, i put the roast on a cutting board, removed the bay leaf and then immersion blender-ed the rest. i did add a little salt and a pinch of crushed red pepper at that point.

    we had it with “little ears” pasta. the roast i got was a little under 3lbs and it fed the two of us one big dinner and then another two portions of leftovers. if you had it with bread and salad this could easily feed 6, i think.

  145. any thoughts for a vegetable to go with this? I made it once with spaghetti squash in place of orzo, which was wonderful, but now trying to think of the best veggie side and making it w orzo.

    1. candice — I always like a green vegetable (broccoli or sauteed greens or green beans) and/or sauteed mushrooms with something like this.

  146. Made this tonight with a 3.15 lb roast that was quite a bit wider and more stout than Deb’s, but this didn’t impact the cooking time at all.

    I did sear the roast off beforehand and then removed it from the pot. I used the same pan to caramelize a sliced half onion in the same pan. I threw in sliced mushrooms (maybe 10?) with some red wine and then deglazed the pan. It was a bit backwards, I know, but it worked! Put the roast back in, poured in the tomato and the garlic (which were peeled). Added two bay leaves, a pinch or two of dried thyme (all I had), two glugs of Worcestershire, and a glug of balsamic vinegar.

    I cooked it at 300 for 3.5 hours, and then another 30 or so at the 170 Deb suggested to keep it warm. It was BEYOND tender and just fabulous.

    We had it over Michael Chiarello’s polenta recipe, with the braising liquid overtop. That liquid was reduced down for about 10 minutes (I also added a bit more salt, a pinch or two of sugar, and another glug of balsamic vinegar) before serving.

    We had a simple salad (sliced radishes, cucumbers, pine nuts over butter lettuce) and some crusty bread on the side.

    I still can’t get over how good this was and how cheap! The whole roast was $19 so my family of three ate only $10 worth of meat tonight with enough left over for another meal. I did shred the leftover meat and added it back to the reduced braising liquid, which I will probably add some stock or more tomatoes to when we use it as a pasta sauce in the next few days.

    Thank you SO MUCH, Deb! This is a huge winner and will be perfect for special occasions or even the odd Tuesday.

  147. I followed the directions, but also added lots of mushrooms (10-12ish, sliced) and serrano peppers (3-4, sliced) for a little burn! I didn’t sautée the mushrooms or anything; the tomatoes, garlic, and the beef (+ salt and pepper) seem to season them well. My friends and I really enjoyed it (I think the roast was just shy if 3.5 lbs and it was enough for 5 ppl, with leftovers). Made it again tonight for another dinner thing tomorrow… mostly bc I wanted to taste it again lol. Thank you for this post!

  148. Made this yesterday with short ribs. Wow, so tender. I had also added a handful of quartered cremini mushrooms which I really liked. Left overs made into taco’s. Definitely a recipe that has so many uses and I know that the side of beef I just put in my freezer will be visiting often!

  149. CI has a method to raise a roast (slightly) above the braising liquid, for those who don’t care to tie the chuck roast. Cut a whole onion in circles one inch thick, place on the bottom of the pan and proceed with the recipe.

  150. I bought a pot roast from Freshdirect as soon as this recipe came into my email – I can’t believe I’ve never made a pot roast! I was a little skeptical by how three ingredients could wield such magic, but no longer – I’m totally converted. (I do confess that I did add a sliced small onion & some dashes of Worcestershire). It took the full 4 hours for my 3.27 lb roast, but it’s totally worth it. Planning to eat it with truffled gnocchi with spinach tonight :) Thanks for this incredible recipe! Definitely sharing it with everyone, and I’m sure it’s going to be a staple for me.

  151. Update: I am eating the pot roast on the second day and I can’t believe that it’s actually even more phenomenal than on the first day, as you promised. The fat was really easy to remove; next time, I’ll do as some of the other commenters suggested and make this the night before.

    Per another commenter’s advice, I made a cornbread to go with it (substituted manchego & asiago for cheddar because I didn’t have any – http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-bacon-cheddar-skillet-cornbread-recipes-from-the-kitchn-212070). Since I eat 1/4 lb serving of pot roast and I cut up the cornbread into 16 pieces, this literally feeds 13 people with my appetite.

    This is definitely my favorite savory dish on your site!

  152. Ooo…I’m bookmarking for future reference. We get a quarter share of grass-fed beef every year from a local farmer, and I’m always looking for easy recipes for all those roasts in our freezer! I absolutely love putting a pot roast in the oven on a lazy Sunday afternoon and then enjoying the lovely aromas as it cooks low and slow for several hours. Makes amazing leftovers for later in the week too!

  153. Just okay. Had high hopes. As mentioned in other post it did not “tress up” like the loaf shown. My roast was 3.15 lbs. Flavor was off. After two hours checked the sauce; weak. Dabbled a bit with my usual suspect; Worcestershire, Red wine. Bay leaf, onion & a squirt or two of tomato paste. Just ok. Left overnight in fridge hoping that would help & skimmed. Just not great. Back to my basics.

  154. We have four adult people working out of the house these days, so I am always looking for recipes that will provide great lunch leftovers. I made this on Monday and it fed us – deliciously – for three meals! That sauce was outstanding. I’m making the everyday meatballs tonight. As you suggested, I used a pound of pork and a pound of ground beef, so I’ve got a batch for tonight and a batch in the freezer. I will be thinking warm thoughts of you next week, when I just need to throw together some sauce to cook those little guys!!!

  155. I made this in the crockpot this week. When it was all ready to eat I found the sauce too bland and added a tablespoon or so of sugar and a minced, carmelized onion. That was all it took to bring it to absolutlely delicious. We ate it over pasta with parmesan cheese.

  156. i’m trying this tomorrow in the Crock Pot, fingers crossed! everytime i try beef in my crock pot it comes out dry or over salty or both……

  157. So easy and I can now attempt other braised recipes. Your explanation of liquid height finally clued me in on what I have been doing wrong.

  158. Fab.u.lous! I usually don’t make first-time recipes when company’s coming for dinner, so I was a bit apprehensive (I say bit because it’s an SK recipe – and her recipes are always dependably tasty). I was hoping for a home-run, and this recipe didn’t disappoint. My husband wanted to invite to dinner a few out-of-town co-workers who were coming to his office retirement party. Followed the recipe, and it was a huge hit. I made it the day before, Sunday, to serve on Monday evening. Got home from work at 4:30, and all I had to do was heat in the oven as Deb suggested. Served with polenta, salad, and roasted broccoli. This one is coming out whenever I want a do-ahead for a crowd. Doubled the recipe – two 3-1/2 pound chuck roasts fit perfectly in my 7-qt Le Creuset oval french oven.

  159. I have made this recipe so many times and it is always amazing. I live in Canada and the cut of meat I usually use is a blade roast but I have also used cubed stewing beef. I like to portion out and freeze the leftovers which I then turn into either a pasta sauce with a splash of wine and some fennel seeds or taco filling with some chopped up chipotles and maybe some onions and peppers.

    Thanks Deb!

  160. I see a few questions about using top round roast instead, but can’t find an answer. How successful do you think this would’ve?

  161. We love this! We had to ask the butcher here (Sydney) for a boneless beef chuck roast and he said he “hadn’t cut one of these since butchery school!” But he was tickled to cut something different, and very interested in our plans for it.

  162. I made this for our 29th wedding anniversary. Nothing says love like a beef roast, at least to my husband. I started this on the stove and browned the roast first, then added onions, tomatoes, garlic, red wine and yes, mushrooms. Put it in the oven and let it bake away. I was surprised you didn’t brown the meat first too. It was absolutely delicious, served over the orzo. Though mashed potatoes would have been my go to in the winter, this was July. It really was perfect, thanks for the recipe.