Pot roast is one of those dishes whose taste belies how much effort actually went in to making it. Beyond a little bit of chopping and searing the meat to build flavour, the oven takes care of most of the work. That low-and-slow braising method transforms lesser cuts of beef into a fork tender and flavourful meal. And, with the meat and the vegetables all cooking in the same pot, there’s even very little to clean up.
This recipe is infinitely adaptable: swap out the carrots for parsnips, or do both, substitute a yellow onion for the shallots, add more or less garlic, whatever you like or have on hand.
Preheat the oven to 300ºF.
Season the roast generously, all over, with the salt and freshly ground pepper.
Set a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat and warm the oil until it shimmers. Brown the roast on all sides, caramelizing it to build flavour. Be patient; this step should take about 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove the roast and set aside on a plate, then add the shallots and saute them until they start to turn translucent, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the garlic and cook until just fragrant, about a minute.
Pour in the Balsamic vinegar and red wine, stir well and let it simmer until reduced by about half, then add the Dijon mustard and stir again until well combined.
Set the roast back in the pot and pour over the beef broth. Add the sprigs of thyme and rosemary, cover the pot and place in the oven.
Cook the roast for about 2 hours, then add the carrots and potatoes, spooning some of the sauce over the meat and the vegetables. Put the lid back on and continue cooking it all for another hour until roast is tender.
The roast should be tender – enough that it could be shredded like a pulled pork – when finished. Slice or shred and serve with the vegetables and some of the cooking sauce poured over.