Perfect Pot Roast

20 Feb 2011

Category: recipes

A pot roast brisket is a very easy way to make the most of a good-value cut of beef.  Its also very simple to make, just pop everything in a pot and forget about it!   

Use a big enough piece of beef so that you will have leftovers, as pot roast brisket makes great cold sliced beef for sandwiches.  The brisket will shrink slightly, so calculate 250-500g per person, depending on how much you want for another meal.  The important thing is to cook the pot roast in a casserole dish with a tight-fitting lid - Le Creuset-style pans are great.  If you are unsure of the fit, place tin foil under the lid to help make the seal.


Serves 4 – Preparation time 15 mins – Cooking time 3 hrs



1.5-2kg beef brisket

2 tbsp olive/vegetable oil

2 carrots, cut into large chunks

1 red onion, cut into wedges

4-6 small turnips

Half a bottle of red wine or wine and stock equivalent volume

2 fresh bay leaves

1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

This recipe can use almost any root vegetable - parsnips, new potatoes, swede will work as well as turnip.  Some people like garlic, whole peppercorns, juniper berries - just add what you like.  The tastier the liquid for cooking - the better the pot roast will taste.



1. Heat the oven to 160C, Gas 3

2. Heat the oil in a frying pan and sear the brisket so that every side is browned.

3. Put the brisket in a pot with a tight-fitting lid, and place all the chopped vegetables and herbs around the joint.

4. Pour over the pan juices and the red wine or stock until it reaches half way up the side of the joint.

5. Put it in the oven and don't look at it for 3 hours!  Checking the pot will let the steam escape, which will let the meat dry out.  Resist and don't touch for 3 houres.  It will be worth it!

6. After 3 hours check the progress - the meat should be cooked through (juices run clear or very slightly pink) and the vegetables will be soft.  If the meat juices are still red, check there is enough liquid and put the lid back on and in the oven for another 30 minutes.

7. Once the meat is cooked, remove it onto a warmed plate along with the cooked vegetables, cover and keep warm.  

8. Reduce the cooking juices and thicken with a teaspoon of flain flour or cornflour if required.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

9. Carve the beef and serve with the pot roast vegetables and roast potatoes and the tasty gravy.