Taste of Home’s “Ultimate” Pot Roast Recipe Is as Good as Promised (2024)

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Recipe Review

Alexis deBoschnek

Alexis deBoschnek

Alexis deBoschnek is a recipe developer and video host based in the Catskills in upstate New York. Her first book To the Last Bite (Simon & Schuster) will be published in April 2022. You can find more recipes by Alexis on her Instagram and website.


published Apr 6, 2020

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Taste of Home’s “Ultimate” Pot Roast Recipe Is as Good as Promised (1)

When I think of a classic pot roast, I picture slow-cooked beef surrounded by melt-in-your-mouth carrots and potatoes, all deliciously glazed in the beef’s gravy. So when it came time to choose contenders for our celebrity pot roast showdown, I was surprised to see such a wide interpretation of the all-American dish —and that many of the internet’s most popular recipes don’t call for potatoes at all.

Maybe this is just personal preference, but I felt like at least one of the recipes I tested should include potatoes, which is how I landed on Taste of Home’s recipe. It looked to be fairly traditional but with a lot of smart flavor boosters, including tomato paste, garlic, and vinegar. It also included a step for reducing the leftover braising liquid into a sauce, which I was confident would make for a superior dish.

The recipe receives great reviews from Taste of Home commenters and is also “Test Kitchen Approved,” which means it was cooked, tasted, and reviewed by their professional kitchen team. Needless to say, I had high hopes. Here’s what happened when I tried it for myself.

How to Make Taste of Home’s Ultimate Pot Roast

This recipe is incredibly detailed, which I very much appreciate. You’ll start off by patting the pot roast dry with a paper towel. Tie the roast with kitchen twine in two-inch intervals, and season it with salt and pepper. Heat the canola oil in a large Dutch oven, sear the pot roast on all sides until browned, then remove it from the pan for later. Next, cook the onions and celery with salt until softened for 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic, tomato paste, and thyme and cook for one minute more. Deglaze the pan with red wine, scraping up any brown bits, then stir in the beef broth. Return the roast to the pan; arrange the potatoes, carrots, and parsnips around it; and then place the lid on and braise for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, until the meat is fork-tender.

Remove the roast and vegetables from the Dutch oven and reserve in a warm bowl, discarding the bay leaves. Bring the liquid to a boil and reduce by half. Once reduced, stir in the vinegar and parsley, and season the reduction with salt and pepper. Serve the roast with the vegetables and sauce.

My Honest Review of Taste of Home’s Pot Roast

There are few things that make me happier than a well-written recipe, and Taste of Home’s test kitchen did a stellar job with this one. From the visual cues to the timing, this recipe was nearly spot-on. I ended up braising my roast for 3 hours rather than 2 1/2 to ensure it reached that peak tenderness, but otherwise I followed it to the letter.

In addition to being easy to follow, the result tasted delicious —building flavor with every step absolutely paid off. The addition of tomato paste, garlic, thyme, and bay leaves to the softened onions added savory flavor from the get-go. The parsnips, which are added with the carrots, lended substance and sweetness. Reducing the sauce until it was slightly thickened and glossy intensified its flavors, and vinegar added brightness, which cut the fattiness of the beef. To me, this is one of the very best versions of this traditional dish.

If You’re Making Taste of Home’s Pot Roast, a Few Tips

  1. Increase the acid: After reducing the braising liquid into a sauce, you add one tablespoon of red wine vinegar to brighten all the other flavors. I thought another tablespoon would have made it even better.
  2. Decrease the vegetables, if desired: This recipe yields far more vegetables than it does beef. If you’re a veggie-lover like me, this isn’t a bad thing, but to make the dish more balanced you could reduce the vegetables by about one-fourth.
  3. Tying the roast: If you don’t want to bother tying the roast, don’t worry — the pot roast will still be delicious. If you want to give it a go but don’t know how, here’s a great tutorial.

Rating: 9.5/10

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Recipe Review


Taste of Home’s “Ultimate” Pot Roast Recipe Is as Good as Promised (2024)


What meat makes the best pot roast? ›

What Is the Best Meat for Pot Roast? The best meat for pot roast is a beef cut with abundant connective tissue, like chuck roast, beef brisket or bottom round roast. This connective tissue called collagen is what makes pot roast melt-in-your-mouth tender.

What can I add to pot roast for more flavor? ›

I opt for basil, thyme, paprika, dried bay leaves, and black pepper. These add a lovely, almost Italian-inspired flavor to this pot roast recipe. Veggies. Including onions, garlic, carrots, and potatoes (all of which are also in my beef stew!).

What onions are best for pot roast? ›

Though you can use white onions, sweet onions, or red onions, we recommend using yellow ones because of their unique flavor profile. Yellow onions are a widely used onion type in the US and is great with meat dishes such as pot roast, roasted chicken, lamb rack, stew, and more.

Do you put water in the pan when cooking roast beef? ›

How to Roast Beef Like a Pro. Don't crowd your meat in the pan – leaving some space around and under the meat allows it to heat evenly. To give your meat a flavourful crispy exterior, cook uncovered on a rack set in a shallow roasting pan. Don't add water!

What is the most flavorful roast? ›

What are the best beef roasts?
  • Chuck Roast. The boneless chuck roast is among the most popular roasts on the market due to its incredible beefy taste, fat content (it's well marbled), and effortless cooking process. ...
  • Rump Roast. ...
  • Bottom Round Roast. ...
  • Sirloin Tip Roast. ...
  • Pot Roast (Shoulder Roast) ...
  • Tri-tip. ...
  • Picanha.
Apr 22, 2023

Should pot roast be submerged in liquid? ›

Ultimately, it depends on your preferences and the flavor profile you're aiming to build in your roast, so have fun with it, and don't be afraid to be bold. Just remember there is no need to fully submerge your roast in liquid -- a little goes a long way to making a moist and fork-tender pot roast.

What makes pot roast taste good? ›

  1. Three ways: develop flavor on the surface of the roast, aromatics and good stock.
  2. Start by searing the roast on all sides until deep brown in color. ...
  3. Aromatics, like carrots, onions, celery, tomatoes, garlic, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce, wine, et al, add complexity to the flavor of a pot roast.
Apr 27, 2022

What not to do to pot roast? ›

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Cooking Pot Roast
  1. Using the wrong roast.
  2. Not browning the roast.
  3. Deglazing with just broth.
  4. Cooking the vegetables too long.
  5. Not thickening the gravy.
Mar 29, 2017

How would you enhance the flavor of a roast? ›

Here are some simple ways to add a lot of flavor to your next rib roast. Use mesquite, cherry or apple woods to enhance the beef by adding savory aromas and flavors. Season the outside of the roast with salt and pepper and a little olive oil. Or coat with any other seasonings that you enjoy.

When should I add potatoes to pot roast? ›

Place the roast on top of the onions and season with the salt and pepper. Add 1/4 cup of the broth or water and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer on low for 2 hours. Add the potatoes, carrots, and quartered onions and cover and slowly simmer for 1 hour longer.

How to jazz up a pot roast? ›

Boost your red wine with balsamic vinegar

Red wine is always going to be a solid pot roast ingredient. It tastes good on its own; you can sip it in between chopping onions, its acidity will break down some of the fat and muscle in the beef, tenderizing the meat, and it'll add depth of flavor to the overall dish.

Should I use sweet or white onions for pot roast? ›

While you can use any variety you want, there's one type that is the best for pot roasts, and that is yellow onions. The great thing about yellow onions is that they are not a specialty ingredient.

Is it better to cook a roast at 325 or 350? ›

When roasting meat and poultry, set the oven temperature to 325°F (163°C) or higher. Explore the charts below to learn how to get great results every time you cook.

At what temperature should you cook a roast in the oven? ›

While you're waiting, preheat your oven to the recommended temperature. You'll notice our chart selects low to moderate heat, in the range of 325 or 350 degrees, for larger roasts and higher heat, above 400 degrees, for smaller, tender roasts to produce the best results.

How long does it take to cook a 3 pound roast? ›

Common Names
Approx weightRare (125 °F)Medium (145 °F)
2 lb56 min1 hr 15 min
3 lb1 hr1 hr 21 min
4 lb1 hr 8 min1 hr 28 min
5 lb1 hr 15 min1 hr 36 min

What cut of meat makes the most tender roast? ›

Tenderloin. The most tender roast of all—it's under the spine— with almost no fat or flavor. It's tapered in shape, the middle being the "center cut." The labor involved and waste produced in trimming and tying a tenderloin drives up the price. Top sirloin roast.

What is the best cut of meat for pot roast in a crock pot? ›

There are many different cuts that can be used for crockpot roast from bottom round, to rump roast, to shoulder roast to chuck roast, but for the best crockpot pot roast, use the boneless chuck roast.

What is the most popular meat for a roast dinner? ›

Beef is the most popular meat option

Brits are heavily split on the ideal centrepiece meat for their roast. The most popular option is beef, at 33%, followed by chicken on 27% and lamb on 20%.

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