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Pot Roasting for Tenderness - Easy Recipes

Updated on September 3, 2011
Suitable cuts for pot roasting include boned and rolled shoulder of lamb, breast of lamb, fresh brisket of beef, breast of veal, forequarter joint of pork, rolled chuck steak, fresh silverside of beef, and topside of beef in one piece.
Suitable cuts for pot roasting include boned and rolled shoulder of lamb, breast of lamb, fresh brisket of beef, breast of veal, forequarter joint of pork, rolled chuck steak, fresh silverside of beef, and topside of beef in one piece.

Pot roasting is a method of cooking large pieces of meat very slowly in a tightly covered pot until the meat is succulent and tender. It is very successful with the less tender and therefore relatively cheaper cuts of meat.

The meat is first browned all over in hot butter or oil to seal in the juices and give a rich color, then a little stock or wine is added with seasonings and vegetables if desired. The pot is tightly covered and the meat cooked over a low heat in its own steam, allowing about 45 minutes per pound (500 g).

The lovely juices that remain in the pot are served as a gravy, so a pot roast is a very easy dish to cook and a complete meal in itself if you have added vegetables.

When choosing a cut for pot roasting, try to buy a minimum of 3 pound (1.5 kg). Ask your butcher to tie it into shape, if necessary, or to cut a pocket if you wish to stuff it.

To Pot Roast Poultry

Pot roasting is an excellent and easy way to tenderize a less than youthful bird, and also ensures tenderness in duck if you are not absolutely sure it is suitable for roasting. Truss the bird first into a good shape, then brown all over in a little hot oil, butter or bacon drippings. Turn the bird on its back and add a glass of wine, a cup of chicken stock, a chopped carrot and onion, and a bouquet garni. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Cover tightly, and cook over a low heat (or in a moderate oven) for 2 to 4 hours, until the bird is fork-tender. Serve with the juices poured over, or thicken them a little if desired.

Be Creative with your Pot Roasts

You can be as imaginative as you wish in your approach to pot roasting. The liquid can be wine, stock, canned consommé, tomato juice or a mixture. For pork and veal roasts (see recipes and links below), orange juice adds lovely flavor (and you can add grated orange rind as well). If you have fresh herbs in your garden, use them lavishly - but use a light hand with dried herbs. If the gravy seems too thin after cooking, stir in a little sour cream for thickening and extra flavor.

Pot-Roasted Vegetables

Vegetables can also be 'pot roasted' in the oven while the meat cooks to succulent tenderness. The general method is the same: sauté the vegetables of your choice in a little butter or oil, add seasonings and a small amount of liquid and cover tightly. Whole carrots, halved turnips, whole potatoes and sticks of celery are all delicious cooked this way. The liquid can be water, stock, wine or a mixture. Add snipped chives, fresh herbs or a little chopped ham as desired.

The Recipes

Pot-Roasted Beef with Vegetables - Serves 6

You will need:

  • 3 onions
  • 6 medium carrots
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 3 pound (1.5 kg) beef topside, rolled fresh silverside or flank
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • ½ cup red wine or beef stock
  • Bouquet garni (see link above)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 peppercorns
  • 1½ (750 g) old potatoes
  • A little extra stock, if necessary


  1. Peel and quarter the onions and scrape the carrots. Heat the oil in a heavy casserole or saucepan and brown the meat well on all sides, turning carefully to avoid piercing the flesh. Add the onions, garlic and carrots to the pan and turn over in the hot oil until lightly browned.
  2. Add the wine or stock, bouquet garni, salt and peppercorns to the pan. Cover tightly, and cook over a very low heat for 1½ hours. Peel the potatoes thinly and cut into halves or quarters if large. Arrange around the meat, replace the lid, and continue cooking for another 30 to 45 minutes until the meat is very tender. During this time, add a little more stock if the liquid has evaporated, but be sparing - there should never be more than half a cup. When the meat is cooked, place it on a heated platter and arrange the vegetables around it. Blot up any fat on the gravy with paper towels. Add extra seasoning if necessary, heat, and strain into a gravy boat.

Pot-Roasted Stuffed Beef

Serves 6 to 8

You will need:

  • 4 pound (2 kg) topside in one piece
  • 8 ounces (250 g) sausage meat
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram or ½ teaspoon dried
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 sticks celery, sliced
  • 4 carrots, scraped
  • 2 pound (1 kg) new potatoes, scrubbed
  • 1 cup red wine
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper


  1. Cut a pocket in the meat. Mix the sausage meat, chopped onion, parsley and marjoram together and stuff into the pocket. Secure the roast with string or skewers. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole and brown the meat on all sides. Add the garlic, sliced onion, celery, carrots, potatoes and wine, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover tightly and bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees F/180 degrees C) or simmer for 2 to 2½ hours, until the meat is tender. Serve with the pan juices.

Pot-Roasted Duck in Burgundy

Serves 4

You will need:

  • 1 duckling, about 5 pound (2.5 kg)
  • 2 ounces (60 g) butter
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup burgundy
  • 2 tablespoons redcurrant jelly


  1. Cut the duckling into quarters and pat dry. Heat the butter in a flameproof casserole and brown the pieces slowly on all sides. Add the onion, salt and pepper to taste, and the burgundy. Stir well to get the brown bits up from the bottom. Cover the casserole tightly and bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees F/180 degrees C) for 1 hour, or until the duck is tender. Remove the duck to a warm platter. Stir the redcurrant jelly into the cooking liquid and reduce by rapid boiling, if necessary, until the sauce is the right consistency. Serve the sauce over the duck.

Pot-Roasted Veal

Serves 6 to 8

You will need:

  • 3-4 pound (1.5-2 kg) breast of veal
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 4 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 cup chopped ham
  • 1 cup grated, well-flavored cheese
  • ¼ cup fine breadcrumbs
  • 3 ounces (90 g) butter, melted
  • ½ cup chicken stock or dry white wine


  1. Ask your butcher to remove the bones from the veal. Spread the meat out flat, skin side down, and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the spring onions, ham, cheese and breadcrumbs. Pour half the melted butter over the stuffing, then roll the veal up tightly and tie securely with string.
  2. Heat the remaining butter in a heavy flameproof casserole and brown the veal on all sides. Pour in the stock or wine, cover the casserole tightly and cook over a low heat for 2 to 2½ hours, or until the meat is very tender. It may also be cooked for the same time in a moderate oven (350 degrees F/180 degrees C). During the cooking time, check now and again to make sure the liquid hasn't evaporated. Add a little more stock or wine, if necessary.
  3. Remove the meat to a wooden board, cut away the string and slice thickly. Place on a heated serving platter and keep warm. Blot up any excess fat from the gravy with absorbent paper towels; taste for seasoning, and reheat. Pour over the meat to serve.

More easy and delicious recipes for pot roasts - includes Pot-Roasted Lamb, Veal Shanks and Pork with Madeira.


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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Well I really enjoyed reading it. This information procured by you is very practical for correct planning. dccdgakdbffk

    • tonymead60 profile image

      Tony Mead 

      7 years ago from Yorkshire


      useful hub, I always enjoy a good pot roast

      CHeers Tony

    • marisuewrites profile image


      9 years ago from USA

      the pot roast, stuffed looks yummy, well...they all do!! Great tips here! I'm getting hungry just reading them...


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