Pot roast is a braised beef dish[1] typically made by browning a roast-sized piece of beef before slow cooking the meat in a covered dish, sometimes with vegetables, in or over liquid. Tougher cuts such as chuck steak, boneless chuck steak, and 7-bone roast are popular cuts for this technique. While the toughness of the fibers makes them unsuitable for oven roasting, slow cooking tenderizes the meat as the liquid exchanges some of its flavor with the beef. The result is tender, succulent meat and a rich liquid that lends itself to gravy.

In North America, where it is also known as "Yankee pot roast",[2] the dish is often served with vegetables such as carrots, potatoes and onions simmered in the cooking liquid. Pot roast is an American variation of the French dish boeuf à la mode that has been modified by influences from German immigrants.

The dish uses few herbs, like bay leaf, rosemary, and thyme, and spices, like black pepper.


French immigrants to the United States are known for a cooking method called à l'étouffée for tenderizing meats. Their influence through New Hampshire and Maine can be seen as reasonable evidence for this origin.

Later immigrants from Germany to Pennsylvania and the Mid West cooked sauerbraten and marinated roasts, larded and slow cooked for taste and tenderness.

In New Orleans, daube was a popular dish. An early cook book titled The Yankee Cook Book, by Imogene Wolcott, has a recipe for pot roast that includes raisins along with the traditional ingredients.

See also