Wine Braised Pot Roast for the Crock Pot or Dutch Oven

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Heather says:
This recipe is one of my favorites, there’s no kitchen bravery to be found only a meal that whispers comfort drenched in red wine.

Split a hoagie roll, top with leftover roast and cheddar. Broil until melted and enjoy.
Split a hoagie roll, top with leftover roast and cheddar. Broil until melted and enjoy.

A good friend of mine once asked what cut of beef should I use for a pot roast? There are several to choose from, but my favorite is the chuck roast also known as a chuck shoulder roast and I prefer bone-in. Alternately, look for bottom round or flat cut brisket. Expect about three servings a pound for each of these roasts. If you’re feeding a family of four, you’ll need at least two pounds to expect any leftovers. There are many wonderful things to create from leftover pot roast, so quit sniffing and think about these beef and cheddar hoagies for a moment.

Let’s get started.

This meat recipe can be made in the oven or slow cooker with a minimum of ingredients. The whole family will love it and there are many wonderful things to create from leftover pot roast.

How To Make Pot Roast In A Slow Cooker


  • 1 pot roast preferably 3 – 4 lbs
  • 1 tsp salt, divided
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 2 cups of drinkable red wine, divided (it doesn’t have to be super fancy, but nothing you wouldn’t touch in a glass)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • fresh ground pepper
  • optional 2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce

Kitchen utensil that isn’t necessary but sure makes life easier:

Make sure your roast has thawed completely before beginning. Set it on a plate, sprinkle both sides with a pinch of salt. You’ll still have 1/2 tsp reserved to add to the sauce.

Sprinkled and resting comfortably
Sprinkled and resting comfortably

Slice your onion and peel the garlic cloves. It’s ok to use the flat of the knife to smash the clove for peeling. The garlic doesn’t need to be completely intact for this recipe, but it should be mostly whole. Part of garlic’s charm is the range of flavors that develop depending on how many cells are broken prior to cooking. When garlic is left mostly whole and slowly cooked it has a rich, almost sweet flavor, very different from the sharp flavor of quickly cooked minced garlic. If you are using a dutch oven preheat the oven to 350.

Heat a skillet over medium heat. It’s very important that your pan is hot before the roast is added. This step is crucial to the maillard reaction, which is the difference between ho-hum and please, please make this again, I’ll do the dishes, just make it again. Yes, that important. I promise, this step is worth the dirtied pan.

seared roast Once the pan is hot, add the roast and sear for two minutes. There should be some sizzling when the roast is added. If not, remove roast quickly and let the pan heat a little more. Peek after 90 seconds to make sure it’s not getting too dark. Do not wimp out and turn the roast while it’s still gray. Hang tight just a little longer. Once there is significant browning, turn the roast and let it go for another two minutes.

If you are using a slow cooker for this recipe, place the browned roast in and turn it to low. Cover. If not, remove the roast from the dutch oven and set aside for just a few moments.

Ignore the diced onion, one of the kids was talking to me and auto-pilot took over, you really only want sliced for this recipe.
Ignore the diced onion, one of the kids was talking to me and auto-pilot took over, you really only want sliced for this recipe.

Add the onion and garlic cloves to the pan and give a good stir to loosen some of the browned bits.

add the wineThen slowly add, 1 cup of the wine to the pan. You’re going to witness a lot of steam and sizzle. Don’t be scared, just stir and finish scraping up those browned bits.  *Important note* Only use plastic or wooden utensils in your pans. Don’t scratch them, it just makes everything that much harder to clean later. Add a few turns from a pepper grinder or about 1/4 tsp black pepper.

in the crockpotAdd the bay leaf and pour everything in the pan over the roast in the slow cooker. If you are going the dutch oven route, return the roast to the pot and turn it once. Scoot the onions and garlic to one side, to spoon over the top of the roast. In a slow cooker, allow this roast to cook 8 – 10 hours on low. Going the dutch oven route, you’ll let this cook for 2 to 2.5 hours at 350F. This cook time assumes the roast is 1 to 1.5 inches thick. If your roast is thicker, it will need to cook longer in the dutch oven.

Once the roast has finished cooking, set it aside and pour all of the pan juices into a fat separator. This handy device can be found in most big box stores, like Wal-mart or Target and should only run a few dollars. They are extremely handy. If you do not have one, pour the pan juices into as narrow a jar as possible and spoon off the fat. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the pan juices. Add the 1/2 tsp salt, unless you decide to add the Worcestershire sauce which contains plenty of its own salt. Add the second cup of wine and cook down, stirring occasionally until the liquid’s volume has been reduced by half. This takes between 5 & 10 minutes. Do not abandon it and turn the heat down, if using a thin pan or if it is at a roiling boil. We just want to simmer it, not scorch the bottom.

Spoon the sauce over the pot roast and serve with your favorite sides. This meal begs for oven roasted root vegetables and mashed or baked potatoes.


Like roast? Here’s some more recipes for you.

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23 thoughts on “Wine Braised Pot Roast for the Crock Pot or Dutch Oven”

  1. I’m not sure if I missed anything. I will be using a dutch oven, so by “cook for 2 – 2.5 hours” you mean in the oven at 350 right?

    So excited about this recipe. Thanks!

  2. Girls, you’ve got a great blog going. I received my degree in Home Ec in 1980 when they still offered it. I think what you’re doing is wonderful. My main area of study was clothing & textiles, but I’m an all-around homebody, so anything that has to do with homemaking is my kind of place. Your pot roast looks and sounds delish. I will be adding this recipe to my “gotta make” list and hope to fix it soon. Keep up the good work. I’ll be visiting often.

  3. Thank you, Sharon. Your kind words mean a lot to us. In all honesty, I probably would have turned my nose up at the idea, but real life has shown me the need for this branch of education. I’ve been having fun poking through the archived public domain Home Economics videos on the web. Sure they are dated, but there is still a lot of valuable content.

  4. I finally made this, with one change. I cooked it on the stove top. Actually, on a hot plate – because my oven (a countertop model that used to be a convection oven til the fan died) is too small to hold a decent size pot with a lid.

    The flavor was amazing. My husband has always said he's never had good HOME MADE roast beef, only at restaurants. This was the first time he said my roast beef was "really good". I will so be making this again. Just bought a box o' wine so I have plenty of burgundy on hand.

    The leftover meat got put into tupperware with the rest of the juices, then pulled out over the next couple days and sliced thinly for roast beef sandwiches, which get topped w/ ketchup & horseradish at this house.

    Thank you for helping me to (finally) make decent roast beef 🙂

  5. My friend made this and said it turned out great. I was wondering if you could substitute pork loin for the beef, I have a pork roast in need of a good slow cooker recipe!

  6. I made this for Christmas with my family (pot-luck for huge gathering) and even my 6-year-old niece scarfed it down! The whole family loved it, and even the ones I expected to hear grumbles from were asking for the recipe! Thanks so much for sharing. Delish!!!

    • I will be this weekend. Thinking of adding a can of cream of mushroom soup. I would think you would need to add either A more wine or B some beef broth. I will also use two hole onions and some thyme.

  7. Made this a year ago for the guy I was dating – now we’re moving in together. This recipe is magic – and no, you don’t need to add a single extra thing to it. Make it as is before you try adding cream of mushroom or extra veggies – it’s worth it. I promise (and so does my boyfriend).


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