A Perfect Sunday Supper

Nearly everyone has a favorite pot roast recipe. Pot roast begs for inspiration from the cook, roasted red peppers can be a delightful addition. Try mushrooms or whole green beans for a different twist.

Choosing the spices can be daunting, bay leaf or thyme, coriander or clove? Some recipes call for tomatoes, others for a brown gravy base. I even saw a barbecue style pot roast recipe recently; not to mention the cut of beef. There’s brisket, chuck, rump roast, to name a few.

Over thirty plus years of home cooking successes and disasters, I’ve tried many different pot roast recipes but always go back to page 127 of the Silver Palate Cookbook for the best and simplest example of “A perfect Sunday supper.” I follow the recipe closely though not exactly -- you might like my slightly fiddled with version. Starting with the basics is a good start but no excuse for boring – add your own special flair!

3 pound boneless chuck roast
1 teaspoon fresh coarsely ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups beef broth
1 cup dry red wine
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (1 teaspoon dried)
Dash of salt
3 whole cloves
9 whole peppercorns
1 small shallot (finely grated)
1 small bay leaf
2 cups baby carrots
6 medium sized red bliss potatoes, halved
1 cup canned tomatoes, with juice (I use my garden tomatoes from last summer but commercially canned is fine)
¼ cup chopped celery

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Rub roast with ground black pepper. Heat olive oil in a heavy flameproof casserole (My La Crueset French oven is ideal) and sear roast on all sides, browning well. Add remaining ingredients, starting with the stock and red wine. Stir each new ingredient in to mix well. Bring to a boil on top of the stove. Cover then put hot pot in the oven for two hours. Uncover, baste with the sauce and bake uncovered an hour longer, basting often. If you prefer a thicker sauce, dissolve 1 tablespoon cornstarch in ¼ cup of wine and stir into pot for the last fifteen minutes of baking.

Transfer roast to a cutting board or large platter for slicing and serve with cooked veggies. Pass additional sauce in a gravy boat. Popovers made earlier in the day can be warmed in the oven for a few minutes before serving. Pour glasses of the bottle of wine, Beaujolais Village or Cabernet is a good compliment for this casual home style meal. Feeds six.


  1. It must be something in the air: I'm planning to make pot roast myself this week! Enjoy yours...........

  2. What better way to chase the chill away than a hunk of meat slow-baked for three hours in red wine and root veggies? We had chocolate pudding for dessert -- the ultimate comfort food menu!

  3. This looks like the perfect dish for these cold days, chunky, meaty and saucy. Looks great!

  4. Mmm, I love a good pot roast. It's just heaven in a bowl. I also love that you used your own garden tomatoes in the braise.

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