This is the perfect dish for a cold day: Italian-style pot roast. 

After simmering for hours in a rich tomato broth, this Italian-style pot roast is sure to be delicious. The prep time is surprisingly short for something that cooks for so long. When you find a nice chuck roast on sale, think of this method for cooking it and try something a little different.

Italian-Style Pot Roast Recipe:

Ingredients (serves 4-6):

  • 2 lbs. beef chuck roast
  • salt, black pepper, and garlic powder to season
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, peeled and quartered
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 1/2 cups beef broth or stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 T. tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 cup baby carrots
  • Zest of 1 lemon, separated into two portions
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped or snipped
  • grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

ingredients, vegetables


  • Season the chuck roast on all sides with salt and garlic powder. In a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot, heat the olive oil on medium-high heat. Sear the roast, 90 seconds on each side, then remove from the heat and slice into 5 thick portions. Return the slices to the pot and sear each cut side for 90 seconds. 
  • Add the onions and garlic, and deglaze the bottom of the pot with the red wine. Be sure to scrape up any browned bits. Add the beef broth, water, tomato paste, and oregano, then lower the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 90 minutes. Stir it occasionally, and top up the liquid with water if it looks like it's running dry.
  • Remove the 5 pieces of beef and slice it before returning it to the pot with the baby carrots and half of the lemon zest. Season to taste with salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. Continue to simmer for 30-45 minutes, depending on how tender you want the carrots and the meat.
  • Serve on a neutral base like polenta, rice, or pasta, garnished with the snipped parsley, reserved lemon zest, and grated Parmesan cheese. This would even be good with some buttered crusty bread.

pot roast


  • The inspiration for this dish is osso buco, the classic Italian delicacy made by braising tender veal shanks in red wine with tomatoes. By using chuck roast, you may have to fiddle with the cooking time to make sure it gets fork tender. Just be patient and keep tasting it after 2 hours on the stove.
  • The lemon zest and fresh parsley add a brightness to an otherwise heavy dish. Don't skip them, and don't substitute with dried parsley. If you can't find flat-leaf parsley, just use curly.
  • While you can certainly add additional vegetables to this to stretch out your portions, be sure to stick to neutral flavors. Go for mushrooms, diced potatoes, or even more carrots.
  • Using red wine adds a richness to the final sauce, but you can skip it if you don't have any on hand. Just use more broth or water.

*Photos by Sarina Petrocelly

Find more great pot roast recipes here. Do you have a favorite method for cooking pot roast? Share your ideas with us in the comments.