Southern Pot Roast

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If you’ve been looking for a Southern Pot Roast recipe that’s well seasoned and produces a meaty, melt-in-your-mouth dish with a gravy that’ll have you licking your plate. You’ve found it!

Southern Pot Roast

My dad didn’t cook a lot of different things when I was a kid. As a matter of fact, he pretty much made the same stuff years later. One of my favorite things to eat as a kid was pot roast.

It’s the reason rice and gravy is my favorite thing to eat, but since I’m a Chef, I have to say something fancier. However, I’m a true southern man at heart. Give me a plate with some tender braised beef, rice, gravy, and peas, and I’m in heaven.

My dad taught me the importance of cooking thick cuts of meat low and slow to develop as much flavor as possible. It’s also the key to making sure you struggle with removing the pot roast from the dutch oven, slow cooker, or instant pot because it’s that tender.

So tender that it falls apart as you remove it from the pot! I know you don’t want those types of problems. So, let me show you how to make a Southern pot roast the way I grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana.

I made this pot roast recipe different than my upbringing by cooking it in an instant pot.

Southern Pot Roast Ingredietns

History of Pot Roast

Pot roast is a beef dish, usually made with a chuck roast, round, or blade, cooked in liquid in a pot or Dutch oven. The pot roast is first browned on all sides with some type of fat (usually oil) to sear the meat, which helps develop a meaty flavor. Then, vegetables such as onions, carrots, celery, and potatoes are added to the pot, along with some beef broth or red wine. The meat is then simmered until it’s tender and falls apart when poked with a fork. Pot roast is a classic comfort food that can be enjoyed on its own or served over mashed potatoes, pasta, rice, or even biscuits.

Why is it called a pot roast?

The term “pot roast” means a dish of browned meat and vegetables cooked in a covered pot, such as a Dutch oven. Braising is a cooking technique that cooks food low and slow in liquid. Pot roasts began appearing in cookbooks in the late 1800s.

Key Ingredients

Before you start cooking up this pot roast recipe, look at this list of ingredients to make sure you have everything you need for some succulent southern pot roast.

Pot Roast Seasoning

I know that store-bought pot roast seasoning is tempting to use, but after you try my homemade version, you’ll never look back.

Beef chuck roast

I’m older enough to remember when chuck roast had a bone in it. Boneless chuck roast still makes an incredible pot roast.

Flour

A little flour is needed to dust the pot roast, which will help with our gravy later.

Vegetables

My go-to vegetables are onions, celery, and garlic.

Worcestershire

I love adding Worcestershire sauce to my pot roast. It brings out some much umami (meaty) flavor.

Beef Stock

I only use low-sodium beef stock for this recipe because as the gravy cooks down, the salt will concentrate and get stronger.

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How to Make

The key to cooking is technique, patience, and confidence. That’s how I’m going to teach you how to make my pot roast recipe.

Pot Roast Seasoning

  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon granulated onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Keep in an airtight container in a cool dark place for 6 months.

Pot Roast

Season chuck roast with ½ cup of pot roast seasoning evenly on all sides. Add oil to a 5-quart pot over medium heat. Oil is hot when flour bubbles when sprinkled in; add flour evenly over roast and shake off excess flour. Set aside 4 tablespoons of this seasoned flour.

I like to control my fire, and that’s not an option on the sauté function on the instant pot.

Cook roast for 3 minutes on every side until golden brown. Set roast aside and stir in the seasoned flour until flour turns peanut butter brown. Add onions, celery, and 2 teaspoons of pot roasting seasoning, and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic and bay leaves until fragrant. Stir in beef stock and 1 teaspoon of pot roast seasoning, and bring to a boil.

Add gravy and pot roast to the pressure cooker, cover, and cook on high pressure for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Release the pressure, add carrots, cover, and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Release the pressure, place the roast on a platter, and tent it with foil if eating immediately.

For a thinner gravy, serve immediately. For a thicker gravy, turn on sauté for 15 minutes, and cook until the gravy has thickened. Serve with mashed potatoes and green beans.

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Pro Recipe Tips & Tricks

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FAQs

Here are the questions

How long does a 5 lb roast take in an Instant Pot?

A 5lb roast can take up to 1 hour and 30 minutes in an instant pot. You can ensure it’ll be fork tender in that time by cutting the roast in thirds before adding it to the pressure cooker.

Why is my roast tough in Instant Pot?

Your roast may be tough for a couple of reasons. First, did you have enough liquid to come up halfway to the roast? Secondly, the size of your roast may require more cooking time. Start with 15-minute increments until your roast is fork tender.

Can you overcook roast in Instant Pot?

No, as long as you have the “keep warm” button on, cooking will stop once your timer goes off, and your instant pot will naturally release the pressure after 30 minutes.

What is pot roast vs. chuck roast?

A chuck roast is the cut of beef typically used for pot roast, meaning that these two terms can be used interchangeably.

How long does a 3 lb roast take to cook?

The time to cook a 3 lb roast will vary depending on the cooking vessel. For a Dutch oven, 3-4 hours, slow cooker or crockpot, 7-8 hours; and an instant pot, 45 minutes-1 hour.

When is pot roast done?

Your pot roast is done when you can easily pierce it with a fork, and the best way to know is to try to pull a piece off with your fork. You should have minimum, if any, resistance once it’s done.

How do you make pot roast tender?

The best way to add flavor to your pot roast starts in the beginning with your seasoning and then your aromatics. Searing the pot roast adds flavor, and beef stock or red wine boosts flavor too. If you follow the recipe below, you’ll have a flavorful and succulent pot roast.

How can I add flavor to my pot roast?

The best way to spice up a bland pot roast is to beef up the gravy. Taste your gravy and adjust the seasonings with salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin, and Worcestershire sauce. If that does not work, I recommend keeping some flaky sea salt on hand because a few sprinkles can help wake up any flavor.

What is pot roast seasoning made of?

Store-bought pot roast seasoning is made of corn starch, salt, soy protein, wheat gluten, onion, brown sugar, garlic, caramel color, beef fat, and other ingredients. This is why making a homemade recipe is best. The recipe below does wonders for a beef roast.

What is the best way to add flavor to roast meats?

The best way to add flavor to roast meats is to season with a great seasoning blend. Also, using aromatics like onions, celery, carrots, garlic, and bay leaves will make your roast flavorful.

What is the most tender roast for pot roast?

A chuck roast is the most tender roast for pot roast because it’s the perfect blend of beautiful marbling (white streaks of fat running through the meat) and lean. When a chuck roast is braised low and slow, it creates food memories that last for generations.

How do you keep pot roast moist and tender?

The best way to keep your pot roast moist and tender is to have enough liquid in your pot. The liquid should come halfway up to your beef roast. Also, make sure you’re patient and let it cook low and slow until it’s fork-tender.

Why is it called a Mississippi pot roast?

It’s called Mississippi pot roast because, unlike a classic pot roast recipe, they use ranch dressing mix and pepperoncini peppers.

How to store leftover pot roast?

Pot roast is excellent the day it’s made but even better the next day. Store leftovers in an airtight container for 7 days in the fridge. Freeze in an airtight container for 3 months. Thaw before serving.
 
Reheat pot roast in a medium pot over medium heat until hot. Time will vary depending on the amount being reheated.

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Before You Begin

Before getting started, here are the steps I use to get organized. 

Step 1: Get all ingredients for the pot roast out on the counter.

Step 2: Measure everything out.

Step 3: Follow the recipe and get ready for the best southern pot roast you’ve ever made.

I hope you enjoy my recipe for southern pot roast! If you do, please leave a comment and rating. I love hearing from you guys and getting your feedback.

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Southern Pot Roast

Kenneth Temple
If you've been looking for a Southern Pot Roast recipe that's well seasoned and produces a meaty, melt-in-your-mouth dish with a gravy that'll have you licking your plate. You've found it!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr 35 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Southern
Servings 12 persons
Calories 345 kcal

Ingredients
  

Pot Roast Seasoning:

  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon granulated onion
  • 1 teaspoon cumin

Pot Roast:

  • 3-4 ½ lbs. beef chuck roast
  • ½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped medium
  • 3 stalks celery chopped medium
  • 5 garlic cloves chopped fine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3-4 cups low sodium beef stock
  • 8 large or 10 medium carrots peeled, halved, quartered

Instructions
 

Pot Roast Seasoning:

  • In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients.

Pot Roast:

  • Season chuck roast with ½ cup of pot roast seasoning evenly on all sides. Add oil to a 5-quart pot over medium heat. Oil is hot when flour bubbles when sprinkled in; add flour evenly over roast and shake off excess flour. Set aside 4 tablespoons of seasoned flour.
  • I like to control my fire, and that’s not an option on the sauté function on the instant pot.
  • Cook roast for 3 minutes on every side until golden brown. Set roast aside and stir in the seasoned flour until flour turns peanut butter brown. Add onions, celery, and 2 teaspoons of pot roasting seasoning, and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in garlic and bay leaves until fragrant. Stir in beef stock and 1 teaspoon of pot roast seasoning and bring to a boil.
  • Add gravy and pot roast to the pressure cooker, cover, and cook on high pressure for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Release the pressure, add carrots, cover, and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Release the pressure, place the roast on a platter, and tent it with foil if eating immediately.
  • For a thinner gravy, serve immediately. For a thicker gravy, turn on sauté for 15 minutes, and cook until the gravy has thickened. Serve with mashed potatoes and green beans.

Notes

Pro Recipe Tips & Tricks
The best southern pot roast requires specific ingredients, methods, and flavor builders. Here are the greatest techniques, substitutions, and flavor enhancers you’ll need for the perfect southern pot roast.
  • Pot roast is amazing the day it’s prepared but even better the next day.
  • The larger the pot roast is, the longer it will take to cook, regardless if you use a slow cooker, crock pot, Dutch oven, or instant pot.
  • Use an oil that can handle high heat, like avocado, grapeseed, or canola.
  • You can use rump roast, eye round, or bottom round roast instead of chuck.
  • After you sear the chuck roast, you can slice it in thirds to help it get tender faster.
  • Before seasoning it, you can cut 1-inch pockets into the chuck roast and stuff it with garlic cloves. If you do, omit the chopped garlic from the recipe.
  • Add 1 cup of your favorite red wine to boost the meaty and sweet flavors of the pot roast.
  • Feel free to add potatoes with your carrots for a heartier meal.
  • Add fresh rosemary, thyme, and Italian parsley to your pot for more herb flavors. Wrap them in twine or cheesecloth to make them easy to scoop out later.
  • Dusting the beef roast with flour keeps you from using cornstarch to thicken the gravy.
Storage:
Pot roast is excellent the day it’s made but even better the next day. Store leftovers in an airtight container for 7 days in the fridge. Freeze in an airtight container for 3 months. Thaw before serving.
Reheat pot roast in a medium pot over medium heat until hot. Time will vary depending on the amount being reheated.

Nutrition

Calories: 345kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 28gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 91mgSodium: 2025mgPotassium: 794mgFiber: 3gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 8511IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 64mgIron: 4mg
Keyword best beef roast recipe, instant pot pot roast, pot roast, roast in instant pot, seasoning for pot roast recipe, southern pot roast, southern style pot roast
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