This braised red wine pot roast is the definition of cool weather comfort food. The chuck roast breaks down into slightly crispy and super tender shreds, and the resulting red wine braising liquid becomes a subtlety sweet, complex sauce. Perfect over buttery, rich mashed potatoes. This is an easy, no frills one pot meal that’s perfect for a cozy fall dinner.
This weekend I’m headed up to NJ with all of my boys to attend the wedding of a family friend. She’s younger than me by…enough…that I used to babysit her and her younger brother as children.
It’s crazy weird to attend the marriages of kids I used to babysit. It means I’m getting freaking old. Le sigh.
Anyway, it’s a barn wedding – YAS! And if I know her and her style (which I’d damn well better after all these years) it will be the quintessential rustic nuptial affair. Looking forward to her big day has launched me into the feeling of fall coziness.
Adding to my festive mood was the arrival of legit fall weather for like one whole day this week, so I went whole hog (cow?) into feelin’ fall and made this red wine pot roast. Because beef. And wine. And autumn herbs. Lots of the foodie cozy stuff. Check, check, checkity check.
Red Wine Pot Roast Recipe Tips
I make my red wine pot roast the classic way – seared, then slow braised in a dutch oven with mirepoix, lots of red wine, lots of herbs, and lots of time. I also add a little balsamic vinegar for sweetness and funsies.
This recipe is not hard. In fact, it’s pretty super duper easy, but it’s a time investment. For that effort, you shall be rewarded with a home that smells so good you’ll want to lick the walls and a bone-warming meal that will make you feel all of the feels inside (one of those feels being a fully happy belly).
Let’s start at the very beginning. I use chuck roast. It’s cheap and readily available, and packed with lots of fat (flavor) and connective tissue (gelatin). This article from The Kitchn is a most excellent resource for selecting a cut for pot roast.
I start the process by tying up the chuck roast with a bit of kitchen twine. A few reasons: (1) the twine holds the roast together and makes it easier to turn when browning; (2) a (mostly) uniform shape ensures even cooking throughout; (4) your roast won’t fall apart towards the end – makes for chunkier shreds; (4) it looks pretty.
Okay fine, #4 doesn’t count for most reasonable people, but it works for me. I’d normally tell you that you should always do you, but in this case I share urge you to pay attention to points #1 – #3 and tie up your roast.
Once it’s tied up, you’ll rub the whole thing down with some good sea or kosher salt and cracked black pepper. This isn’t a job for “sprinkling”. This is a job for rubbing. So wash your hands and get ready to get dirty, because you’ll want to really rub and pat the salt and pepper into the meat.
The next logical step is to brown that baby up in bacon fat. Browning doesn’t actually lock in the juices (see this article from Serious Eats), but it does serve the purpose of releasing lots of flavor into the fat, which will then flavor the braising liquid, which will in turn flavor the sauce. It also enhances the finished texture by giving the roast a nice crust. So, brown yo’ roast.
Up next? It’s veggie-time. Set the browned chuck roast aside on plate and sauté up some mirepoix (onions, carrots, and celery) in the leftover bacon and beef fat.
You’ll sauté the vegetables just until they’re soft, and then deglaze the whole mess with some red wine. I also add a few glugs of balsamic vinegar for extra complexity. A few herbs and a cup or so of beef broth later and it’s party time.
Return the chuck roast to the dutch oven, cover, and slowly roast at 275 for anywhere from 3-5 hours depending on the size of your beef cut.
I typically select a 3-ish pound cut when I’m cooking for my little family, which is enough for dinner plus at least one round of leftovers, and it takes about 3-3.5 hours. Larger cuts will take longer.
The meat is ready when you can insert a fork into the roast and meat pulls away with absolutely no resistance.
I use the remaining braising liquid to create a sweet, savory sauce for topping the chuck roast.
After setting the roast aside to be shred just before serving, I strain the vegetables from the liquid, squishing them with the back of a wooden spoon to extract as much flavor as possible. Then I add another half a cup or so of beef broth, give it a good simmer, and then finish it off with a couple of tablespoons of good quality butter for richness.
And…we’re done! Red wine pot roast my friends. It’s totally what’s for dinner (on the weekends).
Braised Red Wine Pot Roast
This braised red wine pot roast is an easy one pot recipe the entire family will love! It's perfect over buttery mashed potatoes, smothered with savory jus.
- 3-4 lb chuck roast
- kosher salt
- cracked black pepper
- 2 tbsp bacon fat or butter
- 2 carrots peeled and diced to 1/2"
- 2 celery stalks diced to 1/2"
- 1 large onion diced to 1/2"
- 4 cloves garlic peeled and smashed
- 2-3 c. dry red wine divided
- 1.5 c. beef broth divided
- 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
- 1 spring fresh rosemary
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp butter cold
Preheat the oven to 275. Pat the chuck roast dry with paper towels or a cotton kitchen towel. Truss the roast by tying pieces of cotton twine at 2-3" intervals along its length. Sprinkle the chuck roast with salt and pepper, patting down the seasoning into the flesh.
Heat a dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the bacon fat and heat until it shimmers. Place the roast in the dutch oven and sear until golden brown and crisp, 4-5 minutes per side. You may need to use a pair of long tongs to hold up the roast on the shorter edges. Transfer the seared roast to plate and set aside.
Add the carrots, celery, and onion to the dutch oven and sauté, stirring occasionally, until soft, 6-7 minutes. Add the garlic, stir into the mirepoix, and sauté another minute or two until the garlic is fragrant.
Add 1 cup of red wine to the pan to deglaze. Stir continuously, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until the wine stops bubbling, then turn off the burner heat.
Using tongs, place the roast back into the dutch oven and nestle into the vegetables and braising liquid. Pour 1 cup of beef broth and the balsamic vinegar into the braising liquid. Then add enough additional red wine so that half of the roast is submerged in braising liquid (I used an additional 1.5 cups; you may need more or less depending on the size of your roast). Place the herbs in the braising liquid.
Cover the pot and transfer to the oven. Braise for 3.5-5 hours, depending on the size of the roast. My 3 pound roast took about 3.5 hours. Starting testing for doneness around the 3-hour mark if closer to 3 pounds, and the 4-hour mark if closer to 4 pounds. The roast is ready when you can insert a fork into the flesh and it shreds without resistance.
Remove the dutch oven from the oven. Remove the pot roast from the dutch oven with a pair of tongs and set aside onto a platter.
Place a mesh strainer over a bowl, and pour the braising liquid and vegetables through the strainer. With the back of a wooden spoon, gently press on the vegetables and extract as much liquid (and flavor) as possible from them. Discard the braising vegetables. Next you'll need to skim off the fat, which will have settled to the top of the liquid. I do this using paper towels. Simply lay a paper towel over the liquid until it just touches the surface. The paper towel will absorb the layer of fat on top of the jus. Discard the paper towel once it's saturated and repeat as needed until the fat is skimmed.
Add the skimmed braising liquid to the dutch oven and place on a burner over high heat. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of beef broth to the braising liquid. Bring it to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat. Add 2 tablespoons of cold butter to the jus and whisk until emulsified.
Cut the trussing twine with scissors, remove from the pot roast and discard the twine. Shred the pot roast into large chunks using 2 forks. Dress with the red wine jus and serve as desired. We love this over buttery mashed potatoes.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means we receive a small commission if you make a purchase using these links. Rest assured, we only endorse products we own and truly love!