How to make a classic sliced (not shredded!) pot roast for that tender, succulent braised beef of your dreams. This is the ultimate meal for comfort food lovers.
sliced pot roast vs shredded pot roast
Pot roast is beef (usually a tougher cut) that is braised low and slow in a pot with added liquid, which eventually becomes the gravy. The end result is so tender it literally falls apart, so it’s most often served shredded because it cannot be neatly sliced. But it doesn’t have to be that way!
I grew up with sliced pot roast, it’s how my mom always made it and I came to love it that way. Plus, I think it’s a little nicer presentation on the plate. I’ll share with you my tips and tricks to getting those perfect slices that fall apart at the touch of your fork, not your knife!
sliceable pot roast starts with the right cut of beef
For sliceable pot roast you’ll want to pay attention to the meat you buy. Don’t listen to your butcher, he’ll probably steer you to a brisket or chuck roast. All good cuts for pot roast, but because they are very fatty they’ll tend to shred, not slice.
Meaty shreds have their charm, but if you’re yearning for thin slices of impossibly tender meat, look for an eye of round cut of beef. It’s an inexpensive, lean cut that works perfectly for sliceable pot roast. The whole eye of round is usually about 8 pounds, but it’s usually cut in half for sale in supermarkets so it’s usually 3 1/2 to 4 pounds, or enough to feed eight people.
the rest of the ingredients
The additions are minimal and that’s because a great pot roast makes its own flavor, first as it browns in the pan, and then as it braises for hours.
- onions, shallots, and garlic ~ the aromatics that will cook down with the meat.
- Sherry ~ I use it a lot because I love the flavor, but you could also use wine.
- beef broth ~ from a can or carton: skip the dried cubes.
- apple cider ~ lends a fall flair and a hint of sweetness to the gravy.
- fresh herb bundle ~ I used bay, thyme, sage, and parsley
- vegetable oil or shortening for browning the meat
- Wondra flour ~ a quick dissolving, no lump flour, perfect for gravy making.
- salt and fresh cracked black pepper
how to make pot roast that slices neatly
- This type of pot roast starts like any other, by browning the meat well, on all sides. Remove meat to a plate.
- Add onions and other aromatics to the pot and saute.
- Deglaze the pan (scrape up all the brown flavor bits) with alcohol and/or broth of your choice.
- Put the meat back into the pot and braise in a low oven for 3 hours until the meat is super tender.
- Remove the meat from the pot and let it rest for 15 minutes under a foil tent.
- Thicken the pot gravy.
- Slice the roast with a sharp carving knife into thin slices. Serve with plenty of hot gravy.
- At this point you can cool it and refrigerate overnight if you like. Pot roast really improves overnight!
- Note: to reheat the meat the next day, I slice it while cold, and then heat it in a low oven, covered with foil until warm. Reheat the gravy on the stove.
best knife for slicing pot roast
A good sharp carving knife with a slight serrated edge is best for slicing roasts. If you don’t have one, now is a good time to outfit yourself, you’ll use it for slicing everything from crusty loaves of bread to your best layer cake.
can you cook this pot roast in a crock pot?
Yes, cooking in the low 325F oven is very similar to cooking in a crock pot, so both will work. See instructions in the recipe card.
can you cook this pot roast in an Instant Pot?
Yes, that will work, and the process will be much faster. I’ve included instructions in the recipe card, below.
can I add carrots, onions, and potatoes to the pot roast?
If you’d like to cook your veggies right in with the pot roast you can, but I’d add them about an hour before the end of the cooking time. That way the veggies get cooked without becoming mushy.
more beef for dinner
- Sauerbraten (German pot roast)
- How to Roast Beef Tenderloin
- Easy Korean Beef Rice Bowls (30 minutes!)
- Beef Barley Soup ~ crock pot and stove top recipe
- Instant Pot Short Ribs with Rosemary and Polenta
- Crock Pot Beef Bourguignon
Classic Sliceable Pot Roast
- Dutch oven
- 3 1/2-4 lb eye of round beef roast
- salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil or shortening
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 large shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 2 Tbsp sherry
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1 cup fresh apple cider
- herb bundle
- 1 1/2 Tbsp Wondra flour (a quick dissolving, no lump flour), Find it here
- Preheat oven to 325F
- Season your roast on all sides with salt and fresh cracked black pepper.
- Heat the oil or shortening in a heavy Dutch oven until quite hot, but not smoking, and brown the meat on all sides over medium high heat. If it has a fatty side, start there. Be sure to let it get good color on all (6!) sides. This should take about 8-10 minutes. Remove the meat to a plate.
- Lower the heat and add the onion, shallots, and garlic to the pan. Sauté, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes, scraping up all those browned bits from the pan as you stir.
- Add the sherry and stir, scraping up any remaining flavor from the pan.
- Add the beef stock and cider, along with the herb bundle.
- Bring up to a simmer, nestling everything down into the liquid. Cover, slide into the oven and let it braise for 3 – 3 1/2 hours.
- Remove the meat to a plate to rest for 15 minutes, loosely covered with foil (it will have shrunk down a bit.) Remove the herb bundle and discard. Put the pan on the stove and bring back to a simmer. Note: I don't strain out the onions, etc., but you can if you like. Sprinkle in 1 1/2 tablespoons of Wondra flour (a quick dissolving flour) or make a slurry of regular flour plus a couple of tablespoons of water. Stir until the gravy thickens a bit. Taste to adjust the seasonings.
- Thinly slice the pot roast and serve with plenty of hot gravy and a sprinkle of parlsey.
- To cook this pot roast in a crock pot, follow the recipe up to step 7, then transfer to a crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Remove the meat and then thicken the gravy.
- To cook this pot roast in your Instant Pot, follow the recipe up to step 7 right in your IP using the sauté setting, and then set it to high pressure and cook for 60 minutes. After that let it sit for 20 minutes to allow the pressure to come down, and then release the pressure valve manually. You will need to thicken your gravy, so remove the meat before you do that.
- To reheat leftover pot roast arrange sliced meat in an oven proof pan and top with some of the gravy. Cover loosely with foil and heat at 325F until hot, about 20 minutes.