Recipe Review

Ina Garten’s Pot Roast Recipe Confirms She’s the Queen of Comfort

published Apr 7, 2020
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Ina Garten's pot roast in dutch oven
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Brett Regot; Design: The Kitchn

Ina Garten is the reigning queen of comfort food, and well, pretty much everything in my book, so I had high hopes for her pot roast recipe. I had good reason to be optimistic: The recipe has five stars and more than 680 reviews on Food Network’s website. Many commenters rave that it’s the best pot roast they’ve ever had.

Ina’s recipe has all the elements of a classic pot roast, plus two interesting upgrades. First, Ina dredges her roast in flour before searing it to get an extra crispy crust. Second, she purees and thickens half of the braising liquid. Would these two steps be worth the extra time and effort? I took to the kitchen to find out.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Brett Regot; Design: The Kitchn

How to Make Ina Garten’s Pot Roast

You’ll begin by patting the chuck roast dry with paper towels. Next, you’ll season the roast with salt and pepper and dredge it in flour, shaking off any excess. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven and sear the roast on all sides until nicely browned, then transfer the roast to a plate to rest. Add more olive oil to the pan along with the carrots, onions, celery, leeks, garlic, salt, and pepper, and cook until the vegetables are tender, but not browned. Add the wine and Cognac and bring to a boil, then add the tomatoes, chicken stock, bouillon cube, and more salt and pepper. Tie sprigs of rosemary and thyme together with string, then add those to the pan, too.

You’ll then add the roast back to the Dutch oven and bring the liquid to a boil. Place the lid on, and braise for 2 1/2 hours at 325°F. Reduce the heat to 250°F and continue to braise for one more hour. Remove the roast from the pan, discard the herbs, and add half the sauce and vegetables to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Transfer the puree to a pot and bring to a simmer. Mix together flour and butter in a small bowl, then add the mixture to the puree and simmer until thickened. Serve the roast with the sauce poured over it. 

Credit: Alexis de Boschnek

My Honest Review of Ina Garten’s Pot Roast

As soon as I took the first bite of Ina’s pot roast, I thought “she’s done it again.” After I transferred the roast to my Tupperware, I stood over the pot scooping up every last spoonful of sauce. The pot roast had all the familiar flavors I crave, but it was also complex.

The extra step of dredging the roast in flour before searing it gave it an extra-crisp exterior. But it was really the sauce that made this pot roast. Adding leeks to the mirepoix, using both red wine and Cognac to deglaze the pan, and creating a sauce with both chicken stock and bouillon all combined to boost the flavor of the dish. Adding butter to the sauce gave it a delightful creaminess, and pureeing half the sauce and vegetables ensured it was thick enough to glaze the meat.

Ina’s recipes are always easy to follow, as she includes visual cues and a range of time for every step. My roast took an extra 30 minutes to become fork-tender, but otherwise, the timing was spot on.  

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Brett Regot

If You’re Making Ina Garten’s Pot Roast, a Few Tips

  1. Turn down the heat: This step is easy to miss in the recipe, but you’ll want to turn down the heat after the first hour. Low and slow is preferable when it comes to braising big roasts. 
  2. Check that your meat is fork-tender: Every oven is different, which means your pot roast may take longer to cook than Ina’s recipe suggests. You’ll know the meat is done when it easily pulls apart with a fork without much give.
  3. Cook off the flour: The last step of the recipe is to add a mixture of flour and butter to the sauce, which acts as a creamy thickener. Taste the sauce to make sure the flour is cooked off before serving it.

Overall Rating: 10/10