Italian Pot Roast

My mother made a great pot roast. I’m sure most of you feel the same way about your mother’s pot roast. Then again, some of you may not. A friend of mine told me a story the other day about his new bride making her mother’s favorite pot roast. She would take a London broil (right there a disaster in the making) and pour a packet of Lipton’s onion soup mix over it and wrap it in a piece of foil and bake it for three hours. She bragged on how it was one of her mother’s favorite dishes. What came out was a stringy piece of overcooked meat.  I’m happy to report this friend is still married to the same woman, and his wife, after about the third time making this family heirloom dish, has stopped making it.  No matter how much he loved her, three times was even too much for him.

I promise you, this pot roast recipe makes one of the most delicious pot roasts you have ever eaten. It might be a little different from your mom’s, but this dish has a wonderful sweetness from the onions and carrots and tomatoes and the meat is so tender you can cut it with a fork. My mom added peas with the vegetables. That  gave it a nice touch.  The gravy, or juice as I like to call it, is so beefy and delicious you can lap it up with a spoon. Bread dunking is allowed. If you cool this dish and skim off some of the fat, you can eat it like a soup. It’s that good. I like to cut up and shred the meat into bite size pieces and have a bite of everything together in a soup bowl. I sometimes eat it with a spoon so I don’t miss a drop. Some of you might like to eat it the more traditional way over a bed of mashed potatoes. It’s good however you decide to serve it.

I mentioned to my friend that I will be posting a recipe on pot roast. He was glad to hear it.

Italian Pot Roast

Italian Pot Roast

  • 3-4 pound well marbled chuck roast (the fat adds so much flavor)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 medium large onions, peeled and cut in quarters
  • 7-8 medium carrots, scrubbed, unpeeled and cut in large chunks, 
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 cups of cold water
  • 2 beef bullion cubes
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leafs
  • 1  8 ounce can of tomato sauce
  • One 8 ounce package frozen peas (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

Preheat oven to 275 degrees.

Take the roast out about a half hour before cooking to bring it to room temperature. It will cook quicker at this low oven temperature. A 3 pound roast should cook about 3 1/2 hours at 275 degrees. A 4 – 5  pound roast should cook about 4 hours.


Heat a large dutch oven on medium high heat. Add two tablespoons of oil. Pat the meat dry with paper towels. The meat will brown better if patted dry. Salt and pepper each side liberally.


Brown the meat about 4 minuets on each side. Once the meat is browned remove it and set aside.


Add the carrots and onions to the pot. Salt and pepper them. Let sit untouched for about 3 minutes. Stir them around and let sit another 3 minutes until nicely browned all over. Add the garlic and allow to cook while stirring for about a minuet.

De-glaze the pot with the red wine. Allow the wine to evaporate for about 2 minuets while stirring up any little bits stuck to the bottom of the pot.  Add the  meat back to the pot and arrange the vegetables around it.  Add the 2 cups of water, 2 bullion cubes, rosemary, thyme, tomato sauce and 2 bay leaves. Don’t add the peas until the last half hour of cooking. Bury all the herbs under the vegetables and stir to incorporate everything. Return to a boil. Cover and place in the oven for 3 1/2 hours.

The last half hour add the frozen peas to the pot and stir into the vegetables. Cover and cook the last half hour. Taste for salt.

Italian Pot Roast-Cooking Italian Comfort Food

The meat should be fork tender. It will probably break apart as you lift it from the pot. Slice it or shred it to your liking and serve with the carrots and onions.


About Peter Bocchieri

Peter was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and is a second generation Italian-American. He has a degree in Journalism from Long Island University and is an avid photographer, gardener and pet owner. Now that Peter is retired, he is relaxing at his home in North East Pennsylvania and cooking for his sons, Michael and Joseph, family and friends. Peter's passion for food was inspired by his Mother's and Grandmother's cooking, but at the age of 10 Peter felt he could do it better himself, so he did.
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14 Responses to Italian Pot Roast

  1. Susan says:

    My mothers pot roast was good, but a little different that yours. This recipe looks and sounds delicious and I just so happen to have purchased a pot roast for tomorrows dinner. I think with this recipe we will be having a fabulous Sunday dinner ! Thank you !

  2. Louise Calabrese says:

    HEY…. HELLO 😉 🙂 Now this has made my day.
    Never made a chuck roast, period. Love chuck steaks… and chuck cubed for stew… and yes… even chopped for my meatballs, but never bought a piece of chuck for a roast. Somethings tells me I’ve been missing missing so good like this for too long 😉 🙂 I CAN’T WAIT. The pictures have me drooling. It has to be wonderful… the ingredients are the best.
    So good to hear the sharing from back then… it helps to flavor the recipe even more.
    THANKS FOR POSTING …… sure made my day. Ciao, Louise
    p.s. can’t wait for you cookbook 😉

  3. Louise Calabrese says:

    BY-THE-WAY….. Made the peach cobbler………… DIDN’T LAST LONG :):) i HAD TO USE Bisquick… and had no corn meal…. but it was super. Next time I’ll work on using exactly what you suggested…. Want to see what the Corn Meal does to the texture. Has to be good.

    • Louise, you’re always too kind. I’m sure you will like this recipe. I think you will find when you make the peach cobbler according to my specifications you will be pleasantly surprised.

  4. Ellcor12 says:

    Looks good Peter. I will try very soon.

    Sent from my iPhone

  5. marianna ricci-wilson says:

    this is a homey dish but good enough to serve to guests. while i do eat meat, i’m not a carnivore so the vegetables are a welcome part of this dish. i like to mash down the potatoes & carrots on my plate adding a little of the gravy. i will try your version b/c it seems simple & it looks good. i don’t like the flavor of rosemary so i’ll leave it out. IMO, the long, slow cook time is the key to this dish. is your mom doing OK? i’ve been off your list for several months…glad to be back. m

  6. Susan says:

    Peter this turned out fabulous. Great flavors, we mopped up every last bit of sauce with some good crusty italian bread. I also made the peach cobbler since we were all in need of some serious comfort food with the cold weather. Another great recipe !

  7. Joan Trueman (Picarella) says:

    Hi Peter, I am from Brooklyn as well. It’s nice to see recipes I grew up with. I found you
    because I was looking for gagootz recipe. I was born in Bensonhurst, then moved to Bay Ridge…
    then Michigan, Seattle, Green Bay and now Phoenix. I do miss the ole neighborhood sometimes.

    • Joan, thanks for your kind comment. Those of us who left all miss the old neighborhood. It’s changed quite a bit since we lived there. But we all have great memories growing up in Bensonhurst Brooklyn. It was a magical time!

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