A boneless beef chuck shoulder pot roast offers both good taste and good nutrition for a family dinner. A 3-oz serving of lean beef -- about the size of a deck of cards -- provides protein for healthy weight management along with essential nutrients such as B vitamins and iron. The best way to cook a chuck roast is found in its name – pot roasting, also known as braising, whose long cooking time helps break down the meat's connective tissue for a tender result.
A Roast by Many Names Is Still Chuck
Choose a roast weighing between 2.5 and 4 pounds to feed 4 to 6 people. Select a roast that is bright red in color with little marbling from fat. Recognize that a chuck roast goes by many names: chuck seven-bone pot roast, chuck blade pot roast, chuck arm pot roast, shoulder pot roast and chuck pot roast. They're all the same cut.
Place a small amount of oil in a heavy pan over medium heat. A mildly flavored cooking oil such as canola is best. Brown the beef slowly on all sides, then pour off the drippings. Season the roast with salt, pepper and/or garlic, as desired.
Add enough liquid -- water, broth, wine, beer or juice can be used -- to rise about one-third of the way up the side of the roast.
Cover the pan tightly and allow the contents to simmer gently on the stovetop or in an oven preheated to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. To cook vegetables with the roast, let the meat cook alone for 2 hours. Then, add the vegetables and cook an additional 30 to 45 minutes.
Cook 2 to 3 hours until the meat is fork-tender. To determine beef's doneness when braised, insert a two-pronged meat fork into the chuck roast's thickest part. The meat is done when the fork goes in without resistance and comes out easily when pulled. If desired, use the pot liquid to make gravy or sauce.
Things You'll Need
Large pot with tight-fitting lid
Two-pronged meat fork
2.5- to 4-pound boneless chuck roast
Salt, pepper or other seasonings such as garlic
Cornstarch to make gravy, if desired
Vegetables, such as carrots, onions, celery or potatoes
For gravy, skim the fat from the braising liquid, then measure 1 cup of liquid, adding water as needed. Thicken the liquid with a slurry of 1 tablespoon of cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon of water. To make sauce, skim the fat, transfer liquid to a small pan and reduce.
Don't overcook chuck roast. A properly cooked chuck roast can be separated into chunks with a fork. An overcooked roast will pull apart in "strings" of meat when separated with a fork.