If you look up the definition of comfort food, we’re pretty sure you’ll see this roast.
This roast has the classic pot roast taste and texture but goes even further with the red wine and vegetable sauce that it braises in. You can do this in the slow cooker or in the oven. Serve over our best-ever mashed potatoes for a meal that is sure to make its way into your family-favorite rotation.
How To Make Italian Pot Roast
You are probably thinking you’ll need hours upon hours to make a braised roast such as this one.
You’ll need to set aside some time (maybe 20 minutes) to prep the ingredients. But the entire braising process takes less than 2 hours in the oven!
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The Ingredients You Will Need
There are certainly no exotic components in this dish. Most are very pantry-friendly, but be sure to plan ahead before you get started.
Here’s What You’ll Need
Beef roast – Rump or eye of round are both fantastic. Chuck is a fine choice, too.
Salt and pepper – For the roast and the sauce
Butter and oil – For sauteing
Pancetta – Cubed, usually found near the deli section in your supermarket
Mirepoix – Chopped onions, carrots, and celery
Garlic – Minced
Mushrooms – Sliced buttons are perfect
Red wine – Robust – such as Cabernet or Zinfandel
Stock – Beef, of course
Whole tomatoes – Canned San Marzano are excellent
Herbs – Fresh basil and rosemary
Tips for Perfect Italian Pot Roast
Sear the Roast – After you’ve seasoned the roast with salt and pepper and then dredged it all over in flour, it’s a good idea to sear the roast in olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. This will form a slight crust on the exterior of the meat and help to lock in the flavor. It also will form a layer of bits on the bottom of the pan that you’ll deglaze for added flavor.
Watch the Internal Temperature – This roast is meant to be one that can easily be sliced, when finished, but not so overly tender that shreds with a pair of forks. A meat thermometer will ensure your roast is cooked perfectly. 145°F will yield a perfectly cooked roast with a slightly pink center.
Concentrate the Sauce – This isn’t 100% necessary, but once the meat is finished roasting, it will need a little time to rest. This is important for allowing the juices to re-distribute throughout the roast. During this time, we recommend bringing the sauce to a strong simmer on the stove for about 10 minutes. This slightly thickens the sauce to a gravy consistency and also concentrates the flavors.
EXPERT TIP: A 4 lb roast can be somewhat challenging to flip around in your skillet when searing. Use two large wooden spatulas or a large carving fork to help you move it around in the skillet. Using a separate large skillet to brown is recommended for this reason rather than trying to do it in your Dutch oven or roasting pan.
How To Serve
We recommend grabbing your largest platter and then ladling several cups of the sauce into it.
Carve the roast either on the platter or on a cutting board. (Personally, I think carving on the cutting board is easier. Then simply transfer to the platter).
Pour at least 1 to 2 cups of the sauce over the slices on the platter. Pass extra sauce at the table. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley for a beautiful presentation.
EXPERT TIP: It is truly amazing when served over our best-ever mashed potatoes, but cooked buttery egg noodles are great for serving over as well.
Other Classic Roast Recipes to Try
If you think you’ll like this dish, you will probably love these, too:
But for now, aren’t you craving a huge serving of this right now?!
This roast is truly special. So comforting and delicious.
And just wait until you try the leftovers the next day. Talk about the best open-faced roast beef sandwich in the world! Be sure to have some fresh sliced bread on hand.
This is a roast that Sundays were made for!
Ready to make a roast that even your grandma would be impressed with? Go for it!
And when you do, be sure to take a photo of it, post it on Instagram, and tag @HowToFeedaLoon and hashtag #HowToFeedaLoon!
Italian Pot Roast
- 1 Large skillet/saucepan
- 1 large Dutch oven or roasting pan You'll need an oven-safe vessel that can be covered
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 4 lb rump roast or eye of round
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 oz pancetta cubed or roughly chopped
- 1 cup onion chopped
- 1 cup celery chopped, about 3 ribs
- 1 cup carrots chopped, about 2 medium
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- ½ lb fresh mushrooms an assortment is nice
- 2 cups red wine
- 1 cup beef stock
- 1 28 oz can whole tomatoes drained, preferably San Marzano
- 2 tbsp basil fresh, chopped
- 1 tbsp rosemary fresh, chopped
- Sprinkle salt and pepper all over the roast.Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, 1 4 lb rump roast
- Add the flour to a large platter and dredge the roast through it until fully covered with flour. Shake off excess.½ cup all-purpose flour
- In a large skillet, heat the butter and oil over medium-high heat.2 tbsp unsalted butter, 2 tbsp olive oil
- Add the roast and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 8 - 10 minutes.
- Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add the pancetta to the pan and cook over medium-high heat until the fat is rendered and has just become crisp. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a paper towel-line plate. Set aside.4 oz pancetta
- Add the onion, celery, and carrots and sauté until soft, about 6 minutes.1 cup onion, 1 cup celery, 1 cup carrots
- Add the garlic and cook for another 1 minute.3 cloves garlic
- Add the mushrooms and cook until they begin to release their liquid, about 8 minutes.½ lb fresh mushrooms
- Pour in the wine and scrape up the brown bits stuck to the pan with a wooden spoon.2 cups red wine
- Stir in the stock, tomatoes, rosemary, and basil, and bring to a boil for 3 minutes.1 cup beef stock, 1 28 oz can whole tomatoes, 2 tbsp basil, 1 tbsp rosemary
- Stir in the pancetta and season with 1 tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper.
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Transfer the roast to a large Dutch oven (or another oven-safe vessel).
- Pour the sauce over the top of the roast.
- Cover and cook for about 1½ hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 145°F for medium. (You can also do this in your slow cooker, set on the low setting, for 10 hours).
- Transfer the roast to a cutting board and cover it with aluminum foil to keep it warm.
- If the sauce is too thin, pour the cooking liquid into a saucepan, bring it to a boil over high heat, and cook until it thickens slightly.
- Taste and add salt, if desired.
- Cut the roast into thick slices with a sharp knife.
- Arrange the slices on a large platter, or serving plates, and top with with sauce.
POST UPDATE: This dish was originally published in March 2018, but was updated with improved tweaks to the recipe and new tips and photos, and a fabulous new video in January 2023!