Are you craving a lip-smacking Italian Pot Roast? Well, you came to the right place. Beef chuck roast is slow cooked in red wine with tomatoes, carrots, onions, and herbs until it melts in our mouth. This is recipe takes simple ingredients and turns them into an extraordinary dinner.
Italian pot roast is referred to as “stracotto”, which translates to “over cooked” in Italian. It is not actually overcooked, but braising the beef in low even heat for 4 hours, results in meat that is incredibly tender and moist.
Ingredients for making this recipe
The deep rich flavors of this pot roast come from cooking the beef in red wine and tomatoes. ¾ of the cooking liquid is your favorite red wine. I love to use cabernet sauvignon for the bold fruity flavors that it imparts into the broth. I have also used Chianti, but any good red wine will do. The remaining liquid is beef broth or stock, which blends beautifully with the wine.
Aside from the wine, the ingredient that elevates this pot roast to company status is tomato. A 28 oz can of plum tomatoes in juice or puree adds more depth to the broth and the meat. Most Stracotto is made with tomatoes of some kind. After all this is Italian pot roast! And of course, we also add in the classic carrot and onion combo that we are used to in the American version of pot roast.
How to make this recipe
Brown the meat
Sautee the vegetables, stir in the wine, tomatoes, broth, herbs and seasoning.
Add the meat back in and cook in the oven for 3-4 hours.
What is the best cut of beef pot roast?
Pot roast is made by slow cooking meat in moist heat or cooking it in a liquid. This is an excellent way to take an otherwise tough cut of meat and tenderize it so that it falls apart easily. The best cuts of meat for a pot roast are:
- Chuck, such as a chuck roast or a shoulder steak, which comes from the front of the animal,
- Round, such as a bottom round or rump roast. This comes from the rear leg area and,
- Brisket, which comes from the lower chest region of the animal.
When braised, low and slow, the connective tissue in the tough muscle meat softens and turns into collagen, which gives the meat a moist tender texture.
Why isn’t my Pot Roast tender?
Pot Roast needs to cook for several hours to become melt in your mouth tender. If the meat is still chewy then it needs to cook longer. A 3-4 lb. chuck roast will need to cook from 3 ½ – 4 hours to get to a point where it falls apart when you pierce it with a fork.
How much liquid should Pot Roast cook in?
To braise the meat properly, at least half of the roast should be submerged in the liquid. By layering the vegetables on the bottom of the pan and placing the meat on top of them, you will ensure that the liquid does not completely cover the roast.
What do you serve with Italian Pot Roast
There are so many sides that compliment Italian Pot roast. One of our favorites is a loaf of fresh homemade crusty bread. Nothing is as good as a warm loaf of bread to help sop up the savory broth from this pot roast. Cornbread goes with anything in my opinion, but it really pairs nicely with a pot roast. I served it over egg noodles this week. This is my husbands favorite way to enjoy pot roast. And of course this would be delicious served over a bowl of cheesy polenta.
Italian Pot Roast – Stracotto
- 3-4 lb Chuck Roast
- 3 tbs Pan Searing Flour
- 3 tbsp Olive Oil
- 4 Carrots cut into 2 " chunks
- 2 Onions large diced
- 3 cloves Garlic diced
- 3 cups Red Wine
- 1 cup Beef Stock
- 28 ozs Whole Plum tomatoes in liquid
- 3 stalks Rosemary fresh, finely chopped
- 1 tsp Thyme fresh, finely chopped
- 1 tsp Oregano dried
- Salt and Pepper
- Preheat the oven to 325°.
- Pat dry the chuck roast. Salt and pepper the meat on both sides. Sprinkle with pan searing flour and pat it on with your hand so that the seasoning is sealed in.
- Heat 2 tbsp. of olive oil in a oven safe dutch oven. Add the roast and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes per side. When all sides are nicely browned, transfer the roast to a plate.
- You may need to add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Add the carrots onions and 1 tsp of salt to the pan and cook the vegetables stirring often for 5-10 minutes.
- Add the garlic to the vegetables and cook for one minute.
- Stir in the wine, scraping up the bits on the bottom of the pan. Add 1 tsp. of salt and 1/4 tsp. of pepper to the pan and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, beef stock, rosemary, thyme and oregano. Return the roast to the dutch oven and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and place in the oven.
- Cook the pot roast for 3½-4 hours. The meat should be fork tender.
- Transfer the roast to a serving platter. Spoon some of the vegetables on the platter. Using a potato masher or a hand held blender, mash the remaining vegetables in the pan to create a thick sauce. Serve the roast and vegetables with the sauce.