Perfectly Adequate Pot Roast

I like to cook. I do.  I like trying new recipes and cooking for company.  But the task of cooking dinner for my family night after night, week after week, can be daunting.  I get stuck in recipe ruts, and nothing breaks me out of a rut like getting a recipe recommendation from a friend.  Even if it’s a common recipe.  A new try to and old way is sometimes just what my ho-hum weeknight cooking needs. The recipes I’m interested in are other moms’ tried-and-true recipes.  The workhorse recipe.

So, I thought I would do a little trading.  I’ll share one of mine with you, and (if you feel like it) you can share one with me!

This is my Perfectly Adequate Pot Roast recipe.  When you’re reading a recipe online do you ever get that “used car salesman” feel?  All these crazy words being thrown around like “Wold’s best!”, “Best Ever!”, “Most Addictive!!”, “It’s like crack!” (really? how is that appealing).

I will make no such claims.  It’s a pot roast, it’s easy, it tastes good.

This recipe is based on this pot roast recipe.  Over time I have changed it and tweaked it.  I start with a large pot roast in the 3 lb. range.  I use my dutch-oven to cook my roasts.  I know people love their slow cookers but I prefer my dutch-oven, hands down!  The meat can be browned and cooked all in the same pot.  When the roast comes out, it is falling apart and it has a lovely golden brown color.  When I cook a roast in the crock pot it’s always a little on the tough side, and tends to be an unappetizing gray color.

First, I put my beloved dutch-oven on the stove and turn the heat up to medium-high.  I add about 3 tablespoons of oil to the bottom of the pan and let the oil heat up.  Meanwhile I liberally coat the roast with salt.  Then I peel a handful of garlic cloves, and I roughly chop 1 yellow onion.  I rarely use herbs but in this case I had some leftover so I also added some rosemary and thyme sprigs (EDITORIAL NOTE: the rosemary turned out to be a bad idea. It was over-powering.  I won’t be including it again)

Perfectly Adequate PotroastOnce the oil is hot I brown the roast on all sides.

Perfectly Adequate PotroastAt this point I remove the roast from the pot.

Perfectly Adequate PotroastUsing a paper towel I wipe out any leftover oil.

Perfectly Adequate PotroastNow I add my wet ingredients.  1 cup of Dr. Pepper, 1 1/2 cups of low sodium beef broth (this particular day I used chicken broth because it’s all I had in the house), and a few good sloshes of Worcestershire sauce.  If you’re worried about the roast tasting sweet, don’t be.  The Dr. Pepper adds great flavor but it doesn’t taste sweet.

Pefectly Adequate PotroastAs I’m adding the liquids I use my whisk to scrape up all those lovely brown bits in the bottom of the pot.

Perfectly Adequate PotroastNext I throw in the roast, onion, garlic, and herbs into the pot.  (Note to self: next time put the herbs in a cheese-cloth so you won’t be fishing chewy herbs out of the broth).

Perfectly Adequate PotroastPlace the pot in the oven set for 200 degrees, and let it cook all day long.  Now you can go do the 7,439 things you need to do today, and let dinner take care of it’s self.  All day your house will be filled with that fantastic pot roast smell.

About 3 hours before you plan on serving your roast, gather up any root veggies you have lying about.  This time I happened to have carrots, russet potatoes, a few red potatoes, and some sweet potatoes.

Perfectly Adequate PotroastPeel (or don’t), and chop.

Perfectly Adequate PotroastYou don’t have to have and adorable blue-eyed baby sitting on the counter, but it’s fun if you do.

Adorable counter babyAt this point I take out my roast and remove the herbs and onions.  They served us well but it’s time to vacate and make room for the veggies.

Perfectly Adequate PotroastToss in your vegetables and return to the oven for another three hours.

Perfectly Adequate PotroastRemove the roast, pull it apart, and heap the vegetable around it. Be sure to have a pitcher of that liquid gold sitting on the table. Serve to your adoring family who will spend the duration of the meal signing your praises.  Right? You mean your family doesn’t do that?  Mine either.  But I do get the occasional “good dinner mom!” and that’s pretty close in my book.

Okay, I shared mine; now your turn!


Perfectly Adequate Pot Roast

1 3-5 lb. pot roast

1 8 oz. can of Dr. Pepper

1 1/2 cups of low sodium beef broth

3 T of Worcestershire sauce

1 yellow onion roughly chopped

5 garlic cloves

Herbs (optional)

An assortment of root veggies chopped and peeled if you prefer.

Liberally coat roast with salt, brown on all sides in oil, remove roast and any leftover oil.  Add Dr. Pepper, beef broth, and Worcestershire sauce.  Place the roast back in the pot and add the onion, garlic, and herbs.  Three hours before serving, take out the roast out the oven, remove the onion and herbs, and add veggies.  Return to oven and finish cooking for the remaining three hours.  Total cooking time: about 8 hours (I’ve been known to stretch it to 9 hours with no ill affects).  Serves: a family of 6 plus leftovers for the next day.


18 thoughts on “Perfectly Adequate Pot Roast

  1. Laura K

    That sounds really yummy! Thank you for sharing!

    Here is my Chunky Chili recipe, it’s a mild-medium spiciness level. My sister usually about doubles the chili powder. I have a Minnesota pallette, what can I say. ;)

    1 lb ground beef or turkey
    1 (29 oz) can tomato sauce
    1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
    1 (16 oz) can red beans
    1/2 small white onion chopped
    1/2 small green bell pepper chopped
    1/4 cup chili powder
    1 tsp ground cumin
    1 tsp garlic powder
    1 tsp black pepper

    Toppings: sour cream and/or shredded sharp cheddar cheese

    Brown hamburger with chopped onion & bell pepper, drain. Meanwhile, combine all other ingredients into large stock pot & heat on low (do not allow to boil). Once browned, add hamburger, onions & bell pepper to pot. Bring mixture to boil for 2-3 minutes, then simmer on low to med-low for 30 minutes. Top with cheddar and sour cream and consume. :)

    This makes about 6 servings and freezes really well so I normally make a double batch, but it in a heavy duty freezer ziploc bag and lay it flat in my freezer. I hope you try it out!

    1. April Post author

      Thanks so much Laura! Chili is a great winter meal! Served with some warm corn bread… my mouth is watering right now.

  2. Thelma

    Roast!! i do mine similiar. I think it was Pioneer woman who taught me how. But it’s basically the same. we love roast here at this house, I make one every couple weeks throughout the winter. We alway have to have carrots and either sweet or mashed potatoes w/ it and then, (don’t gag) applesacue. Daryl brought that strange tradition of roast and applesacue into the marriage, and now we all eat it that way:-)

    A recipe to share back?? eek. I don’t konw!! I am in this horrible cooking funk as well. We do love a roast chicken meal on occasion, also cooked in a dutch oven.

    1. April Post author

      I’m probably going to need that roasted chicken recipe. That’s one of those staple meals that I’ve only made once and I undercooked it. Yea, we ate rice and salad that night. I followed the recipe to the letter but I think there must have been a typo on the time or temp.

  3. Beth

    I’m gonna do that roast.

    Meatloaf: 2lbs ground beef, 1&1/2 cups quick cooking oats, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, and one store bought jar of salsa. The best ones for meatloaf are Pace chunky salsa or Tostitos brand. Mix it all together (I use my stand mixer-no messy hands) and bake in a loaf pan at 350 for an hour to 1hr 15 minutes. I’ve used homemade salsa before but I actually like the jar kind better in the meatloaf.

    1. April Post author

      I’ve been looking for a good Meatloaf recipe Beth! Meatloaf is such a family friendly meal. Good one lady!

      1. Laura K

        My friend from MOPS just shared this meatloaf recipe with me which is very kiddo friendly and easy to put together!

        BBQ Meatloaf Minis

        1 lb. ground beef
        1 box Stove Top stuffing mix (chicken flavor)
        3 tbsp. bbq sauce (sweet baby ray’s is what I use)
        2 tbsp ketchup
        1 egg
        1 c. water
        1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

        1. in mixing bowl, combine stuffing mix, water, bbq sauce, ketchup and egg. Mix well. Add thawed ground beef and mix in.
        2. Grease muffin pan and put ~1/3 c. beef mixture into each cup. (I just eyeball it…fill cup 3/4 full with beef mixture). Smush down slightly.
        3. Bake at 350 for 20 min. Remove, sprinkle each mini loaf with cheese, and bake additional 2-3 min or until cheese is melted.
        4. Serve with sides of choice (we like green beans or peas) and enjoy!

  4. Yvette

    Chile rellenos

    Make a mixture of cotija cheese and oregano.

    Using las palmas or Ortega brand whole chiles, take the chiles out of the can and dry them with a paper towel.

    Fill the chiles with the cheese mixture.

    Beat 2-3 egg whites really well using an electric mixer (should be pretty foamy) then add yokes from the eggs and beat again to mix them in.

    Coat the chiles with flour and then dip in the egg. Make sure the chile is well covered with egg.

    Using low heat fry in olive oil until golden brown.

    Top with favorite red salsa.

    1. April Post author

      Yvette thanks for sharing your Chile Rellenos recipe. I’ve never made them before but they sound good!

  5. Jon Cover

    Garlicky Baked Butternut Squash


    - 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
    - 2 tablespoons olive oil
    - 2 garlic cloves, minced
    - 1 teaspoon salt
    - 1/2 teaspoon pepper
    - 3 1/2 lbs. butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
    - 1/4-1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese


    1. In a large bowl, combine the parsley, oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Add squash and toss to coat.

    2. Transfer to an ungreased shallow 2-qt. baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees F for 50-55 minutes or until squash is just tender. Stir in Parmesan cheese.

  6. Shannon

    We love pot roast and this looks good…. except for the rosemary. I once cleaned for a lady whose Chef loved Rosemary. To this day I can not eat the stuff after smelling it all the time.

    A recipe… Well my guys like the leftover roast shredded and turned into BBQ beef sandwiches with a thick slice of cheese on top. That’s about as far as this brain goes in the morning. :)

    I think your blue eyed baby should come meet my blue eyed baby! :)

    1. April Post author

      Yeah, the rosemary was not a good addition. I think I’m going to use my leftovers to make sandwiches for dinner tonight. Thanks Shannon!

  7. Luci

    This post is fun the roast looks wonderful. We eat lots and lots of beef, so I’ll have to try it. A meal I make that is super easy and fast is to take stewing beef and put it in a crockpot with one can of mushroom soup and one package of onion soup. Cook it all day on low and eat it over noodles or rice. This is something I make when I don’t want to fry or bake or brown anything. :) I should really be smart and give you a recipe for something really good, like ginger beef. But it it’s almost midnight and I am up with a cough and I am just.too.lazy at this point. Ask me another day and I will gladly type it for you. :) And then there’s the bean soup recipe that I got from Shanda that we just love. Oh my. Maybe I’ll just have to creep out to the kitchen and start cooking…..


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