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This easy Italian Pot Roast has flavorful and juicy, fork-tender beef smothered in a deep rich gravy.

Italian Pot Roast

Now that the holidays are over, all I really want when the weather outside is cold, dark and stormy is delicious comfort food!

This Italian Pot Roast sure fits the bill when I’m craving something warm and filling – and I also love how easy this meal is to make. About half an hour of prep – then your oven will do all of the work to transform an inexpensive cut of beef into a wonderful family feast!


In Italy, a pot roast is called “stracotto di manzo” – which translates to “overcooked beef.”  But all that really means is that the beef is cooked until it is fantastically, fall-apart tender.

Italian Pot Roast

How do you make Italian Pot Roast?

You want to buy a three-pound chuck roast – which is not an expensive cut of beef, but it does have a lot of flavor. You’ll want to roll and tie the roast (or ask your butcher to do it) so it cooks evenly. Pat it dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.

Next, sear the roast on all sides in a large dutch oven – or other large, heavy-bottomed oven-safe pan with a lid.

Once the roast is seared, remove the roast to a plate to rest – then sauté carrots, celery and onions that have been cut into one-inch pieces. After about five minutes, add tomato paste and garlic cloves to the pan, and sauté some more.

Next, deglaze the pan with a deep, dark red wine – such as merlot or burgundy – and simmer until the wine evaporates. Then add a can of crushed tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, beef broth, and herbs including bay leaves, fresh thyme sprigs, and dried oregano and basil.

Nestle the seared roast back into the pan among the vegetables – also pouring in any juices that may have seeped out of the roast as it rested.

Italian Pot Roast

Cover and place in the oven to roast for three hours – turning the beef over once in the sauce about half way through the cooking process. After three hours, your Italian Pot Roast will be super tender and ready to come out of the oven.

Gently and carefully move the cooked pot roast to a platter – and let it rest for about ten minutes, covered loosely with a piece of foil. After the ten minutes, cut the string from the roast and slice into thick slices. Lay the slices on a platter.

Remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs from the sauce in the pan, then spoon over the slices of beef on the platter.


Italian Pot Roast

How do you serve Italian Pot Roast?

You have so many delicious options! Italian Pot Roast is wonderful served over mashed potatoes or creamy polenta. Or – serve it with some of our Italian Fried Pasta on the side.

What cuts of beef do I use for Italian Pot Roast?

While a chuck roast is our preferred cut of beef for this recipe, you can also use short ribs or 7-bone roast.

Italian Pot Roast

Can I make this in a slow cooker?

Yes – but you’ll get the best caramelized flavor, as well as the best roasted texture by making this Italian Pot Roast in the oven, rather than a slow cooker (which essentially steams the food).

If you do decide to make this Italian Pot Roast in a slow cooker, you’ll still want to do all of the initial searing and sautéing steps in a skillet first.

You might like these other beef recipes:

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Italian Pot Roast

Italian Pot Roast

  • Author: A Family Feast
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Category: entree
  • Method: roasted
  • Cuisine: Italian


¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

3 pound chuck roast, rolled and tied

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 cups carrots, cut into one-inch pieces

1 ½ cups celery cut into one-inch pieces

2 cups onions, cut into large dice

4 tablespoons tomato paste

4 whole garlic cloves

¼ cup dark red wine, such as merlot or burgundy

2 bay leaves

8-ounce jar sundried tomatoes in oil, oil drained

1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

2 cups beef broth

4 sprigs fresh thyme

1 tablespoon dry oregano

1 tablespoon dry basil


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium high heat.

Pat roast dry and sprinkle on salt and pepper. Once the oil is shimmering hot, sear the meat on both ends and all the way around the outside. Total time about 15 minutes to sear the whole roast.

Remove the roast to a plate and add the carrots, celery and onions and cook for five minutes, stirring often.

Add the tomato paste and garlic and cook for two more minutes.

Add wine to deglaze. Cook until the wine evaporates.

Add the bay leaves, sundried tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, broth, thyme, oregano and basil and stir. Add the beef back in along with any liquid on the plate, cover and place in the oven for three hours, turning the beef over once about 1 ½ hours into the roasting time.

After the full three hours, remove the meat, let it rest under a sheet of loose foil for 10 minutes.

Remove and discard bay leaves and thyme sprigs then slice the beef and serve with the sauce.

The string should be left on while slicing to hold the roast together. OK to cut off after sliced and plated.

Keywords: Italian Pot Roast, beef


Italian Pot Roast

Italian Pot Roast

Italian Pot Roast

Italian Pot Roast



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  • Diana Stark wrote:

    I made this dish last night for our family Sunday dinner. It was delicious & a big it with the entire family,
    even the 3 year old granddaughter. I served it with garlic mashed potatoes & green beans. Five stars for sure!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Diana!!

  • Kathie wrote:

    This was absolutely delicious. I am so glad I tried this recipe.

    • Martha wrote:

      We’re glad you tried it too Kathie! 🙂

  • Yolanda Staten wrote:

    Don’t see recipe, so can’t try it.

    • Martha wrote:

      If you click on Jump to Recipe at the top of the post – it’s right there…

  • Grant wrote:

    What can we use as a substitute for the red wine to deglaze?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Grant – You can use beef or chicken stock instead.

  • Stephanie wrote:

    You may have mentioned a crock ppott but you never said what heat, hi, med, low or for how long…don’t leave us neophyte crock pot cookers in the dark!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Stephanie – My apologies – we haven’t made this recipe in a slow cooker ourselves (and prefer not to) – but SO many readers write us to ask the question if it’s possible on recipes like this, so I was trying to be proactive. I’d start on high and guesstimate 6 to 8 hours, but that’s just a guess. Let us know how it comes out!

  • Brian wrote:

    My wife made this meal for the first time and man it was A+. I asked her to make sure she saved it because this will be a very frequent serving. The sauce is unbelievable and will be used as a sauce for eggplant parmesan and other Italian style meals. I make a great pasta sauce but now I’ve dropped to #2.

    • Martha wrote:

      Aw…sorry to bump you down a spot Brian! 🙂 Glad the recipe was a hit!

  • Susan wrote:

    This was amazing. My husband doesn’t care for roasts but he absolutely loved this. Made fryer pasta with only olive oil and seasoning Very easy and carefree to make

    • Martha wrote:

      So glad the recipe was a hit Susan!

  • Janet Bradley wrote:

    Can I use a Cab Sav wine? Sooooo want to make this, but the only Red wine we drink is Cav Sav.
    Thanks, Jan

    • Martha wrote:

      Sure Janet!

  • Liz wrote:

    Hi Martha. I have a beef rump roast in my freezer. What do you think about trying that out with this recipe? I still plan to sear the roast on all sides. There is a 1/2″ fat cap on one side of it. Trim it off? What adjustments do you think I’ll need to make for temp? Should I chuck it (pun intended) and try a different recipe for my rump roast?

    • Jack wrote:

      Hi Liz, this is Jack

      Chuck comes from the shoulder and Rump, also called Bottom Round roast, is three of five muscles that run along the rear hind quarter. You can use a rump roast, however it may require a little longer to break down the connective tissue. It is very similar to chuck, just from the other end of the animal (front legs get worked differently than the rear legs so different structure of connecting tissue). The flavor however will be excellent. As far as fat, yes, I would trim off any large pieces but a little is OK.

      Good luck,

  • Tim Daugherty wrote:

    Can I do this in a crockpot?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Tim – We answered this exact question in the post, right above the recipe. Here’s what it says:

      Yes – but you’ll get the best caramelized flavor, as well as the best roasted texture by making this Italian Pot Roast in the oven, rather than a slow cooker (which essentially steams the food).

      If you do decide to make this Italian Pot Roast in a slow cooker, you’ll still want to do all of the initial searing and sautéing steps in a skillet first.

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