Delicious California Pot Roast Recipe – Easy to Make!

Are you looking for a hearty and comforting dish to serve at your next dinner party? Then look no further than my California Pot Roast recipe. This classic beef pot roast is slow cooked to perfection, resulting in tender chunks of meat that practically melt in your mouth. But what sets this pot roast apart from others is the addition of Burgundy wine, which gives it a unique flavor profile you won’t find anywhere else.

This recipe has been a go-to of mine for years, and I love making it for friends and family who always rave about its deliciousness. It’s a great option if you’re feeding a crowd since it can easily be made in large batches in a slow cooker, Dutch oven pot, stove top or even pressure cooker.

Not only is this recipe simple to prepare, but it’s also incredibly versatile. The ingredients are easy to find at any grocery store, and most can be substituted or varied based on your personal taste preferences. Whether you’re an experienced home cook or just starting out in the kitchen, this California Pot Roast recipe is sure to impress your guests and leave them asking for seconds. So let’s get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

California Pot Roast
California Pot Roast

Are you looking for a hearty and flavorful dish that’s perfect for a cozy night in or a dinner party with friends? Look no further than this California Pot Roast recipe.

What makes this recipe so great? For starters, it’s easy to make. With just a few simple steps and some basic ingredients, you can create a mouthwatering pot roast that will impress even the most discerning taste buds.

But what really sets this recipe apart is the combination of flavors and textures. The tender beef chuck roast is slow-cooked to perfection in a savory broth made from Burgundy wine, whole tomatoes, and a blend of herbs and spices. Add in the sweetness of carrots and potatoes, the crunch of celery and bell pepper, and the subtle tanginess of onion, and you’ve got a dish that’s bursting with flavor.

And let’s not forget about the versatility of this recipe. Whether you’re cooking for two or hosting a crowd, this pot roast can be easily adapted to fit your needs. Make it in a dutch oven on the stovetop, use an Instant Pot or Slow Cooker for hands-off cooking convenience or opt for oven-roasting to develop deeper flavor complexity.

So why not give this California Pot Roast recipe a try? Your taste buds – and your dinner guests – will thank you!

Ingredient List

 A melt-in-your-mouth pot roast that will have your taste buds dancing!
A melt-in-your-mouth pot roast that will have your taste buds dancing!

Meat and vegetables:

  • 1 (4-5 lb) pot roast, such as chuck roast, blade roast, or beef rump
  • 2 tbsp oil (vegetable or olive oil)
  • 2 carrots, sliced into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 1 bell pepper, seeded and sliced into strips
  • 2 cans whole, peeled tomatoes
  • 4-5 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks


  • 1 tbsp seasoning salt
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar


  • 1 cup Burgundy wine or other dry red wine
  • water or beef broth to cover

Optional add-ins:

  • Lipton onion soup mix
  • Cream of mushroom soup (use in place of the wine)

Note: For a slow cooker version, reduce the liquid by half as it won’t evaporate during cooking.

The Recipe How-To

 A hearty, comforting meal perfect for those chilly nights.
A hearty, comforting meal perfect for those chilly nights.

Now that we have our ingredients ready, it’s time to start cooking! Follow these easy steps for a delicious California Pot Roast Recipe.

Step 1: Preheat and Brown

Preheat the oven to 350°F or 176.66°C. In the meantime, heat your Dutch Oven with oil (3 tbsp.) over medium-high heat. Season your pot roast (2-4 lbs.) liberally with some seasoning salt (about 1 tbsp.) and black pepper (1 tsp). Once the Dutch Oven is hot enough, sear both sides of the pot roast until it develops a nice crisp exterior. After achieving desirable crispiness, remove the pot roast on a plate for a while.

Step 2: Sauté

Add one diced onion, two sliced stalks of celery, two sliced carrots, one seeded and chopped bell pepper, and two cloves of minced garlic in your hot Dutch oven with some more oil (2 tbsp.) and sauté them for two minutes or until the onions become translucent.

Step 3: Add Liquids and Seasonings

To the vegetables, add one cup of good quality Burgundy wine (or any other red wine you have on hand) and scrape the brown bits stuck at the bottom of Dutch Oven. After two minutes, add one can of whole peeled tomatoes with their juices, beef stock (optional: beef bouillon) – one cups is enough – and seasonings like seasoning salt (1 tsp), black pepper (¼ tsp), some chopped fresh herbs like thyme and rosemary (also optional).

Step 4: Add Pot Roast and Vegetables

Place back the pot roast into dutch oven along with previously cooked vegetables. Then, add a can of drained whole potatoes from a store or fresh potatoes cut into chunks that fit your preference. Cover the Dutch Oven with a tightly fitting lid.

Step 5: Cook Slowly

If using an oven or slow cooker method, cook it for about three to four hours or until tender. If you’re using Instant Pot mode or Pressure Cooker process, cook for about an hour with the High setting then use natural pressure release after five minutes for about ten minutes.

Serve hot with creamy mashed potatoes or crusty bread on side together with some steamed green beans or roasted carrots!

Substitutions and Variations

 A California twist on a classic dish.
A California twist on a classic dish.

One of the best things about cooking is that it’s adaptable and can be adjusted based on your preference, dietary needs, or availability of ingredients. This California Pot Roast Recipe is no exception. Here are some substitutions and variations to consider:

1. Meat: The recipe calls for 4-5 lb of chuck roast or beef rump pot roast, but you can use other cuts of meat as well. Blade roast or round roast are great alternatives if you prefer leaner options.

2. Wine: Burgundy wine is suggested for this recipe, but you can also use other types of red wine such as merlot or cabernet sauvignon.

3. Vegetables: Feel free to swap any of the vegetables listed in the recipe with your favorites. You can substitute bell peppers with poblano peppers, use sweet potatoes instead of regular ones, or add more celery for a more aromatic flavor.

4. Seasonings: If you don’t have seasoning salt on hand, you can create your own by mixing regular salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika together. Also, adjust the black pepper amount according to how peppery you want your dish to be.

5. Cooking method: While the recipe suggests oven-roasting, there are different options you can choose depending on what equipment you have available. You can slow cook using a crockpot or an instant pot for convenience or a stove-top Dutch oven pot for a classic feel.

Experimenting with substitutions and variations is part of cooking creativity and fun. So, don’t hesitate to tweak this California Pot Roast Recipe to your liking!

Serving and Pairing

 Tender beef and flavorful veggies come together in this one-pot wonder.
Tender beef and flavorful veggies come together in this one-pot wonder.

When it comes to serving and pairing the California Pot Roast, there are plenty of delicious options to consider. This savory dish can be served with a variety of sides, from buttery mashed potatoes to roasted carrots and green beans. You can also enhance its flavor even more by pairing it with the right beverage.

To create the perfect meal, I recommend putting together an easy salad of mixed greens with a tangy vinaigrette dressing. The freshness of the salad will nicely balance out the richness of the pot roast, creating an ideal flavor combination that everyone is sure to love.

If you are looking for a more substantial side dish, you could also serve your pot roast with a creamy polenta or some hearty stuffing made from whole-grain bread. For those who enjoy a bit of heat, consider adding some pickled jalapenos or hot peppers on top.

When it comes to beverages, I recommend serving this pot roast with a glass of full-bodied red wine such as Burgundy or any other red wine that you prefer. The deep flavors of the beef will pair nicely with the bold notes of the wine, creating a dining experience that is indulgent and satisfying.

No matter how you decide to serve and pair this dish, one thing is certain: it is guaranteed to be a hit at your next dinner party or family gathering.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A feast for the senses that will make your dinner guests say
A feast for the senses that will make your dinner guests say “Wow!”

The California Pot Roast recipe is a great meal to prepare ahead of time. This dish actually tastes even better the next day, as the flavors have had ample time to meld together. The leftovers are perfect for lunch the following day, or you can also freeze them for later.

To make this pot roast ahead of time, cook it as directed in the recipe, then transfer it to an airtight container once it cools down. You can store it in the fridge for up to three days or in the freezer for up to three months. Make sure to use freezer-safe containers or bags if freezing.

When reheating, you can either reheat it in the oven or on the stovetop. To reheat in the oven, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and place the pot roast in an oven-safe dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake until heated through, usually about 20-25 minutes for a single serving or up to an hour for larger portions.

If you prefer to reheat on the stovetop, place the pot roast in a saucepan and heat gently over medium heat until heated through. Be sure to stir occasionally so that it doesn’t scorch on the bottom.

Whether reheating on the stovetop or in the oven, be sure to add some liquid if needed, such as beef broth or tomato juice, and cover the dish tightly with foil or a lid so that it doesn’t dry out.

Overall, this dish is easy to make and even easier to reheat and serve later on. With this recipe, you can have a delicious and hearty meal ready in no time whenever you’re craving some comfort food.

Tips for Perfect Results

 A dish that will make you want to break out the good silverware.
A dish that will make you want to break out the good silverware.

Cooking a perfect pot roast requires patience, attention to detail, and some handy tips. Here are some tips that you should keep in mind when making this flavorful California Pot Roast.

Firstly, be sure to season the beef pot roast generously with salt and black pepper. The seasoning not only adds a wonderful flavor but also helps create a savory crust on the meat as it browns.

Secondly, consider using a Dutch oven. A Dutch oven is an excellent tool for slow-cooking pot roasts because of its thick walls and heavy lid, which help maintain a constant temperature in the pot. Alternatively, you can use a slow cooker or an instant pot if you prefer.

Thirdly, sear the roast before cooking. This step not only locks in the moisture but also adds an additional layer of texture and depth of flavor to the meat. Heat some oil over medium-high heat and then add the seasoned pot roast to brown it evenly and crusty.

Next, add enough liquid to your pot roast dish. Whether you are cooking on a stovetop or oven, make sure there is enough liquid to keep your chuck roast submerged halfway through cooking. You can use beef broth, red wine, or even water infused with your favorite herb blend. The liquid will help keep moisture in the meat and prevents it from drying out.

Furthermore, do not uncover the pot too often during cooking as this allows heat and moisture to escape leading to dryness over time. Once you place it into the Dutch oven or slow cooker, resist any temptation to peek until towards the end of cooking time.

Lastly, allow for plenty of resting time once your beef pot roast is done cooking. Tent short of wrapping with foil and allow your roast rest for 10-15 minutes after cooking. After removing from heat let it remain covered without disturbing it until before carving.

By following these tips and with some prudent planning ahead of time about cookware choice for example having or investing in essentials such as Dutch ovens or slow cookers or an instant pot ready for use can help you achieve juicy, tender meat each time you make this delicious California Pot Roast recipe!


Now that we’ve covered how to make California Pot Roast and all the necessary details, let’s delve into some common questions about this recipe. From cooking time to beef cuts, substitutions to crockpot usage, these FAQs will help you make the perfect pot roast without any doubts or confusion. So, read on for answers to frequently asked questions or any other qualms you may have before you start cooking.

What is a California chuck roast?

Chuck roast, a cut of beef derived from the shoulder region of the cow, is commonly prepared using braising methods, resulting in deeply flavored and tender meat. It goes by various names such as chuck roll roast, chuck pot roast, and chuck eye roast.

What makes the most tender pot roast?

Braising is a winning technique for creating a pot roast that is both succulent and tender. This involves cooking the meat in a covered pot at low heat with a small amount of liquid. By opting for stovetop roast recipes, you can have the freedom of personalizing your dish with the herbs, vegetables, potatoes, and liquid braising mixtures of your preference.

Does pot roast get more tender the longer it cooks?

The ideal time to cook a beef chuck roast is for an extended period, as this is what makes it incredibly tender. After cooking it for six hours and 20 minutes, I have consistently achieved a melt-in-your-mouth texture, along with perfectly cooked veggies in the same dish. This cooking method is a game-changer for any chuck roast recipe.

What causes a pot roast to be tough?

When cooking a pot roast or chuck roast, it’s important to give it enough time to become tender. If the meat is still tough, it simply needs more cooking time for the muscles and connective tissues to break down. Additionally, cooking the roast at high temperatures can lead to toughness, but that won’t be a problem with a slow cooker.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the California Pot Roast recipe is a dish that you should definitely incorporate into your cooking repertoire. With its mouth-watering flavors and easy-to-follow instructions, this recipe is perfect for those who want to impress their guests with a delicious home-cooked meal. The versatility of this recipe also allows you to experiment with different ingredients and variations to make it your own. Additionally, the convenience of being able to cook it in a slow cooker or oven makes it easy to fit into your busy schedule. So why not try out this recipe at your next dinner party and see how it can elevate your cooking game? Trust me, your guests will love it!

California Pot Roast

California Pot Roast Recipe

Delicious! Easy! Rich tasting! Even steak & potatoes men will enjoy this tasty twist on pot roast. I try to make this recipe weekly, and it's better the 2nd day. Can be made in Crockpot. Received this from a church member who is a Home Economics professor. I first made this for my boyfriend, who is married to me now...partially for my cooking, he jokes!
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 706.9 kcal


  • 3 tablespoons salad oil
  • 3 lbs pot roast
  • 2 teaspoons seasoning salt
  • 1 (30 ounce) can whole tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 3/4 cup chopped bell pepper (optional)
  • 1 cup Burgundy wine or 1 cup other red wine
  • 1 package spaghetti sauce mix
  • italian seasoning
  • 4 potatoes (optional)
  • 5 carrots (optional)


  • Heat the salad oil in a Dutch oven and brown the meat slowly.
  • Sprinkle with the seasoned salt.
  • Pour the tomatoes and wine over the meat.
  • Add the spaghetti sauce mix (McCormick's is good), Italian seasonings and stir until mix is dissolved.
  • Add celery and onion.
  • Add bell pepper, potatoes and carrots, if desired.
  • Cover and simmer until tender, about 2 hours.
  • Cook longer for more tender roast, I usually cook mine 4 hours.
  • Serve the remaining tomato-wine sauce as gravy; thicken if desired.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 443gCalories: 706.9kcalCarbohydrates: 14.3gProtein: 44.1gFat: 48.8gSaturated Fat: 17.9gCholesterol: 154.2mgSodium: 745.9mgFiber: 2.5gSugar: 5.1g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Beginner Cook, Brunch, Easy, Inexpensive, Meat, One-Dish Meal, Oven, Roast, Roast Beef
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