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Amazing Pot Roast with Balsamic and Dijon (Chuck Roast)

Chuck roast just out of the oven with carrots and potatoes on a wooden table

This pot roast recipe uses a chuck roast, then adds balsamic and Dijon for an amazing flavor twist. Make it in the oven, your slow cooker or the Instant Pot!

Chuck roast is one of life’s pleasures that we get in exchange for having to say goodbye to summer.

It’s what makes winter worth every shovel of snow.

What kind of meat is chuck roast?

A chuck roast is used to make pot roast and chuck is the type of cut. Chuck is used because it’s rather tough having come from the shoulder and neck area, which means it needs a long, slow cooking time in order to make it fall apart tender. It’s also fairly cheap which means you can buy a good bottle of red to go along with it. Winning!

How do you cook a pot roast?

First, you’ll saute chopped onion. Then you’ll add some balsamic vinegar, reducing it down until it’s thick and adding a few tablespoons of Dijon for rich flavor. I used a boneless chuck roast for this recipe but bone-in will do the job just as well. In fact, the bone will contribute to its flavor. You can braise it in the oven, use a crockpot or an Instant Pot.

For the pot roast vegetables, I like to use carrots with their tops. I leave just a smidge of a stem before adding them to the pot; they make an otherwise ugly pot roast something pretty to look at and serve. I recommend using the teeniest, tiniest potatoes you can find. They not only cook quickly but you can leave them whole and they, too, help make a pretty pot roast.

And, really, who doesn’t need a pretty pot roast in their life?

You can also use baby carrots or new potatoes that have been cut in half or quartered, depending on their size. Or make mashed potatoes and serve the roast on the top with gravy drizzled all over it. It is so good and makes the ultimate comfort food!

If I haven’t convinced you to make your own fabulous pot roast at home (yet), then what if I told you that this is a recipe for which you really have no need to measure?

I typically shoot for a roast around 4 pounds because that’s enough for significant leftovers (and pot roast only gets better with time and I’m sure I don’t even need to mention the Pot Roast Sandwich as further evidence). Then I’ll just throw in however many potatoes and carrots I’m in the mood for. Which, just so you know, is normally a lot.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I’ll earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Chuck roast just out of the oven with carrots and potatoes on a wooden table

How long should you cook a chuck roast?

You’ll need a large dutch oven and a few hours of cooking time. My preferred method is braising in the oven, but you can also slow-cook it in a crockpot. If you prefer the Instant Pot, it will significantly cut down on cooking time. This recipe is so beloved that it was the first recipe I put in my cookbook, Weeknight Cooking with your Instant Pot.

How do I make chuck roast in the Instant Pot?

To make this chuck roast recipe in the Instant Pot, you’ll want to use the saute function to sear the roast, cook the onions and reduce the balsamic vinegar. Add the beef stock and take care to get all the browned bits from the bottom of the pot (that’s especially important to do in an Instant Pot to ensure it comes to pressure). You’ll follow the directions in the recipe below, setting the time on the Instant Pot to 50 minutes on high pressure. Do a natural release and your pot roast will be perfect!

How do I make pot roast in the slow cooker?

For the slow cooker, you’ll follow the directions in the recipe below through step 3. Then transfer the ingredients to the slow cooker and cook for 8 hours on low, adding the potatoes and carrots halfway through the cooking time.

Whichever method you choose to cook it, I’m confident this will become your new favorite pot roast recipe!


It’s going to rain this weekend here in Northern VA and I’m going to be cookin’ up a big ol’ pot roast and sitting in front of my fireplace, watching Breaking Bad and sipping that red wine I mentioned. Cheers to your weekend being that relaxing and happy, too :)

Chuck roast just out of the oven with carrots and potatoes on a wooden table
pot roast just out of the oven with carrots and potatoes on a wooden table

Chuck Roast with Balsamic and Dijon

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes

If making in a crockpot, follow directions through step 3 then add to crockpot. Cook 8 hours on low and add the carrots and potatoes halfway through. For the Instant Pot, cook on high 50 minutes, QPR.

Ingredients

  • 2-3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 4 pounds Chuck Roast
  • 1 medium to large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2-3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 2 bunches small carrots, with tops (cut off tops leaving a small stub)
  • 1 pound very small baby potatoes, white or red
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300F.
  2. Heat oil in a large dutch oven over high heat. Season chuck roast well with salt and pepper, add to pan and brown well on all sides (a few minutes a side). Remove roast and set aside.
  3. Add chopped onion to drippings in pot and reduce heat to medium. Saute onions until soft, about 5 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar, increase heat to medium-high and boil until reduced and slightly syrupy, about 4-5 more minutes. Stir in Dijon.
  4. Set roast on top of onions in pot. Pour in 2 cups beef broth and add thyme sprigs. Cover and place in oven for 2 1/2 - 3 hours or until very tender.
  5. Add carrots and potatoes to pot and return to oven. Continue cooking until carrots and potatoes are tender, 30-60 minutes more. Season well then serve and enjoy!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 630Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 188mgSodium: 501mgCarbohydrates: 17gNet Carbohydrates: 15gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 59g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix.

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Mimi

Tuesday 18th of February 2020

I just made my first pot roast. And I’ve been cooking for almost 40 years! So I made one, and then realized I think I knew that I didn’t really like pot roast. Not the flavors, but the meat texture. But my husband does, so I should definitely make this recipe. Love those carrots!

Anne

Saturday 8th of February 2020

Anyone make this in an Instant Pot?! If so, did you slow release after the 50 minutes of high pressure cooking or quick release?

Kristy Bernardo

Wednesday 6th of May 2020

Either will work, but I usually do a QR.

Denise

Saturday 5th of January 2019

This is a fantastic recipe! Two of my teenaged sons raved about this... “best pot roast you’ve ever made mom!” My husband was quite pleased as well. I’m sure this will become a much asked for dish. Thank you!

Kristy

Tuesday 5th of February 2019

Wow, that's fantastic! Please tell your gang that I'm thrilled they're enjoying it! Cheers - Kristy

Audria

Wednesday 5th of December 2018

I was gifted your instant pot book and made this recipe and accidentally forgot to reduce liquids since I had half the size roast the recipe calls for. I had some broth left over and IT. IS. SO. DELICIOUS. I am looking forward to doing my next batch and intentionally making more broth for a proper round of french onion soup.

Kris

Sunday 4th of November 2018

My roast is only 2.2 pounds. What is the suggested cooking time for a roast that size? Would I cut it in half as well?

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