Tuscan Pot Roast

30 Comments

I’m not an avid cooking show watcher. Mostly because I don’t watch TV to speak of, but i think I’m also just picky. If a show’s host has an irritating voice, then there’s no way I can watch. Or listen.

Now, Rachael Ray (did you guess it?) is a little ball of fire who became successful because she worked hard, and is extremely passionate about food and cooking. Her parents owned restaurants, so she came by the cooking thing naturally. With all of her experience, she still considers herself a self-taught cook.

Ms. Ray supports many charities, loves dogs, and seems nice enough, but I just can’t watch her show.

Recently, a fellow blogger, Jennifer Guerrero, posted on Rachael’s new cookbook, called Rachael Ray 50 – Memories and Meals from a Sweet and Savoy Life. It coincides with her turning 50.

As a side note, if you don’t want to keep finding out about cookbooks, don’t follow Jennifer’s blog, because she’s constantly posting on cookbooks that I must buy!

Rachel Ray 50 is a sweet book, in my humble opinion – part memoir, part recipes – written by a truly accomplished human being. There’s a lot of redundancy in Ms. Ray’s writing, but that part, isn’t why I bought the book. I wanted to know what recipes she chose for this particular book.

A funny part in RR’s writing is when she discusses a website created by her non-fans. #ihaterachaelray. Goodness, I had no idea that she had to endure such hatred. People can really be crazy. I just don’t like her voice! And, she talks over people a lot, which also bother me.

The reason I chose her Tuscan pot roast recipe to make is that I’ve never made a pot roast. Did you choke? I really have never ever. I’m not sure why, it’s probably because of seeing it at my college cafeteria or something. But it’s time!

Tuscan Pot Roast
Serves 6-8

6 pounds meaty chuck roast, well trimmed, about 3 – 3 1/2” thick, at room temperature (mine was 5 pounds)
About 3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 onions, root end intact, cut into wedges
3 ribs celery with leafy tops, thick cut on the bias
2 parsnips, thick cut on the bias (I had to sub potatoes)
4 medium carrots, thick cut on the bias (aobut1 pound total)
2 bulbs garlic, end cut off to expose the cloves
4 generous sprigs of rosemary
2 large, fresh bay leaves
1 small bundle of fresh thyme, parsley, and carrot tops, tied with string
10-12 juniper berries
1/2 cup sun-dried tomato paste
1/2 bottle Italian red wine, such as Rossi di Montalcino
3 cups beef stock
Charred bread or roasted potato wedges with olive oil and rosemary, crushed garlic, and salt

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. In a large Dutch oven over medium high heat, heat the olive oil. Pat the meat dry and season with salt and pepper.


Brown the meat on both sides and the edges and remove the meat to a platter.

Add the butter to the pot and melt it. When it foams, add the onions, celery, parsnips, carrots, garlic bulbs, rosemary, and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper

Add the herb bundle and juniper berries. Reduce the heat to medium and partially cover the pot. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes to soften the vegetables, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the tomato paste, then add the wine and bring to a bubble. Scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pot and add the beef.

Add stock just to come up to the meat’s edge. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and place in the oven.

Roast for 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours, until the meat is tender.

Remove the pot roast to a carving board and let it rest for 15 minutes.

Slice the meat against the grain. Remove and discard the bay leaves, herb bundle, garlic skins, and rosemary stems.

Serve the sliced meat on a platter or in shallow bowls with the vegetables alongside. I put everything on the same plate, and dabbed some of the jus on the meat.


Use the charred bread or roasted potatoes for mopping the sauce.

Okay, so it turns out I don’t like pot roast.

My husband liked it.

But, he suggested making a gravy for the pot roast, so I strained the vegetables from the really lovely tomatoey-wine-broth, and made a light gravy from it. And he said it was perfect. I haven’t tasted the meat with the gravy yet…

Next time I’ll just sous vide the chuck roast!

30 thoughts on “Tuscan Pot Roast

  1. I actually like pot roasts, and this one looks quite good. I like the gravy you’ve made.

    From the little I’ve seen from her show, she has decent recipes, though it still made me cringe. Too much artificial “spontaneity”, and the cheering audience….But I also don’t get the hatred. So ridiculous!

  2. I actually love Rachael Ray! I used to watch her show every day when my first son was born and I had nothing but time to kill while nursing. Now it’s not quite as easy to fit it in, but her recipes are always great when I try them. The post roast sounds perfect!

    • Well obviously a lot of people do! I think her show has been around ten years?!! She just annoys me, but i think it’s horrible that she has to explain to people why she chose to not have children. Crazy.

    • Thanks, Tandy. I will definitely sous vide a chuck roast next time. It has to be better! I don’t like the texture of brisket, either, but after 48 hours in the sous vide it like butter! Buttah!

  3. I love roasts of all kinds and your version looks like a perfect example of “comfort food” in my family, but only during the cooler months.I’m with you on Rachel Ray about the voice and talking over her guests – I rarely watch her show and don”t own a cookbook of hers. But to join a “hate fan club” how absolutely childish.

  4. You’re not truly successful in America until somebody hates you. We have spawned such an ugliness to our culture. But I firmly believe that there’s something better that is waiting for the right opportunity to blossom. But enough of that … you’ve never made pot roast? That does come as a ahock. Well, it turns out that you picked a really good one as your first!

    • That’s probably true. Ugliness indeed. And so unnecessary. Just don’t buy her cookbooks or watch her show! Nope, never made a pot roast. And I never went to cafeterias, either. But I have a vision of slices of pot roast with grey gravy from somewhere in my history. Maybe that was roast beef. Is there a difference? Anyway, I guess I don’t like pot roast texture, but the gravy was flavorful!

      • I’ve had many, many pot roasts. When they’re good, they’re quite something. But a good one is hard to find. Roast beef, on the other hand, is something I’ve never deeply cared for.

  5. I love a nice Pot Roast, and this one looks gorgeous and delicious, Mimi! I’ve cooked some of RR’s recipes and they are all delicious! She certainly knows her way around the kitchen. It is disappointing such a self-made successful woman gets so much hate.

    • That is definitely true. She’s truly a powerhouse. People are somehow threatened by the fact that she chose to not have children. So strange. Her bio is really impressive and she seems to be a wonderful human being.

  6. Wow Mimi, you certainly chose a good recipe. This looks really, really rich with flavor. I’ve never watched her show, but now I must hear her voice to hear when you mean. ;-) ~Valentina

    • Ha! Well, it might not bother you… but it does me. She really is a powerhouse. She stands up for causes, and has a great outlook on life. I just can’t watch her show. Her bio is pretty impressive, though. It’s like actors who people think “made it” overnight, yet they’ve been working for years!

  7. Oh you’re so funny Mimi. I literally had just turned the tv off from behind me because I couldn’t stand the screaming voices on the Ellen Degeneres game show. It was driving me crazy. I had to chuckle!
    As for pot roast as long as it’s flavorful and tender it’s pretty darn good in my opinion. Believe it or not, my favorite way of having it is one I actually tried at Sams Club. OMG it’s one of those semi-homemade recipes using onion soup mix and Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce. Mix together and spoon over the meat. Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours. It’s delicious!

    • My friends told me about that recipe! Hey, I’m sure it’s good. I really think the meat texture is what I don’t like. Just like how I never liked brisket. Regarding voices, I’m worse now than I ever was, and I was bad when I was young!!! I like quiet! And soft!

  8. Well, Mimi, this was a fun read! I find RR quite adorable, although I haven’t had time to watch a cooking show in years. I’m curious to know how the texture changes with the sous vide method.

    • I’m sure it’s a huge difference, as it is with most “inferior” meats. Once I served sous vide brisket and I’d forgotten to announce what it was, and people thought it was ham.

  9. I’m afraid I haven’t heard of Rachael Ray before Mimi but I do like her pot roast that you’ve cooked up here. This would be perfect for today here in the UK as we’re being battered by yet another storm. And it would also go well with the red wine I’m currently enjoying. Ha ha!

    • I actually wasn’t sure if her shows played around the world or not because she is that popular. I’m sorry your weather has been so terrible. At least you have wine!

  10. The internet really can be a brutal place. I don’t watch cooking shows, either, Mimi…but I also don’t engage in bashing cooking show hosts. Geez. I had no idea! I’m shocked that you’ve never made a pot roast before though! Talk about a classic rustic comfort food. The Italian twist on this sounds awesome, too!

    • It was okay, I just think I don’t love the texture of pot roast, but that’s not RR’s fault! People are brutal. They really need lives.

  11. Oh my gosh! I’ve been out running and look what I missed! Thank you so much for your sweet shout out! It made my day! I’m shocked that you’d never made pot roast before either, but now it sounds like that was meant to be!

    • I just think I don’t like the pot roast texture, similar to my first experience with brisket. I’ll sous vide it neat – I can follow the same recipe basically by using the same ingredients, but just do the sous vide step. I might like it better.

      • Oooh, that’s interesting! I haven’t loved sous vide steaks I’ve tried, but found one last week that’s a sous vide braise and loved how the flavor penetrated the meat. Can’t wait to hear how it works with pot roast!

Leave a Reply to Ronit Penso Tasty Eats Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.