Instant Pot pot roast recipe with hearty root vegetables and delicious gravy. The secret to amazing flavor is to first brown the chuck roast before pressure cooking. Then all the ingredients braise in a fragrant red wine sauce until tender.
This pot roast recipe easily makes comfort food using two functions on the Instant Pot, saute and manual high pressure to create a delicious hearty braise. The built-up pressure and increased boiling point of the liquid, around 247ºF (219ºC), significantly cuts down the cooking time compared to traditional methods like stovetop, oven, or slow cooker.
To bring everything together, a delicious sauce to accompany the roast is a must. This red wine sauce is thickened with a roux, and by reduction as the meat rests before serving. Under two hours for a gourmet home-cooked meal from start to finish.
How to make Instant Pot pot roast
After the roast is generously seasoned with salt and pepper, it’s browned in olive oil until a dark crust forms. A rich braising liquid is made in the pot and then the meat and root vegetables pressure cook on high for just over an hour.
Instead of doing quick-release of the pressure, it’s naturally-released giving the beef about an extra 15-minutes to sit in the elevated temperatures to complete cooking. The roast is transferred to a cutting board to rest while the sauce is degreased and reduced to a thicker consistency on the saute function.
Making a pot roast is a great way to utilize lean, tough, value cuts of meat like chuck, round, or brisket. For this recipe I use chuck roast, also called chuck eye, chuck pot, or chuck roll. It comes from the shoulder region of the steer that’s loaded with connective tissue and fat.
The structure of the chuck roast makes it a great candidate for braising in liquid. Make sure to cut the meat into two long pieces and trim any excess fat. This ensures that the roast will cook efficiently in the pressure cooker and not make the liquid too greasy.
Brown the beef for surface flavor
When making a braise, the first thing to do is to sear the surface of the chuck roast to add more flavor and contrast. This can be done easily using the saute function of the Instant Pot which is a major advantage compared to a slow cooker.
Once the metal insert and oil are very hot then sear each of the wider sides of beef until deep brown. About 5 minutes per side. Sear the edges for 1 minute each.
Make a sauce out of the braising liquid
To make the braising liquid rich in beef flavor and aromatics, prep the sauce before pressure cooking the meat. Start by sauteing the onions to add natural sweetness, then add in garlic and thyme for herbaceous aromatics. Tomato paste and flour adds viscosity to the sauce as they cook.
A full-bodied red wine like cabernet sauvignon is used to deglaze the pan and create some oaky notes. Beef broth or stock, Worcestershire sauce, and balsamic vinegar thins the liquid while adding complexity and some acidity to brighten the taste.
Can you make the sauce without flour?
Cassava flour or cornstarch can be substituted for all-purpose flour. Another method is to forgo the thicken agents altogether, skim the fat off the surface of the liquid, and then reduce until the sauce thickens. This will yield less, but the flavor will be concentrated and rich due to the dissolved gelatin from the meat.
Add root vegetables for a complete meal
Another perk to cooking in an Instant Pot is that you can cook thick root vegetables like potatoes and carrots at the same time as the roast. Place them on top so they can steam in the moist environment and not get soggy on the bottom of the pot.
Keep them in large pieces because the extended cook time could easily turn them mushy if too small in size. They should be easy to pierce with a knife when removed from the pot. I like to drizzle a little of the sauce on top and sprinkle with salt and pepper before serving.
Storing and freezing
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Store the sauce in a separate container as it will thicken into a paste once cooled. Reheat the sauce in a pan over medium heat and add more beef stock to thin it out, and reseason.
For longer storage, you can place leftovers in resealable bags in the freezer for up to 1 month. Defrost and then reheat in the microwave until the meat and vegetables are warmed through. The sauce can also be frozen and reheated.
Serve with these side dishes
How to tell when the beef is ready
Slice the beef against the grain and check for tenderness. Tough bites are a sign that more time is needed. There’s a lot of connective tissue that runs throughout the muscle and the roast needs to reach 210ºF (99ºC), for about 1 hour so that the collagen in the connective tissues can convert and soften into gelatin which adds body and depth to the sauce.
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Instant Pot Pot Roast
- 3 pounds boneless chuck roast or chuck eye roll
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- ¾ teaspoon black pepper, divided
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup diced yellow onion, ½-inch dice
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup dry red wine
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup beef stock
- 2 cups sliced carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch long pieces
- 1 pound baby red potatoes, cut in half, about 2-inches in size
- 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
- Cut the roast into a minimum of 2 pieces (3 to 4 pieces reccomended for better texture). Trim any excess fat and dry the surface with a paper towel.
- Evenly season the beef on all sides with about 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper.
- Select "Saute" on the Instant Pot. Allow to heat, it will indicate "Hot" on the display when ready.
- Add olive oil to the pot. Once hot, add beef and brown each side for 5 minutes. Sear each edge for 1 minute. Transfer to a clean plate.
- Add onions to the pot, saute until tender and lightly browned, scraping the bottom for any browned bits, about 2 minutes.
- Add garlic and thyme, saute until fragrant, 30 seconds.
- Add tomato paste and flour, stir and cook for 1 minute.
- Add red wine to the pot, stir until the liquid is evaporated and a paste is formed, about 1 minute.
- Stir in balsamic vinegar and Worcestershire sauce.
- Slowly stir in the beef stock, scraping the bottom of the pot to deglaze the pan. Cook until the sauce thickens, about 2 minutes.
- Press "Keep/ Warm/Cancel" on the Instant Pot.
- Add the previously browned roast to the pot. Add carrots and potatoes on top of the beef. Sprinkle ½ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper on top of the vegetables.
- Make sure that the release valve is in the "Sealing" position.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot, turn and lock.
- Press the "Manual" button on the Instant Pot on high pressure, and then set the timer to 65 minutes using the "+" or "-" buttons.
- It will take about 10 minutes for the pot to heat up and build pressure. You will see some steam release from the lid, and then the time will start on the display.
- Once cooking time is complete, allow the pressure to naturally release for 15 minutes.
- Use an oven mitt or towel to slowly and carefully twist the steam release handle on the lid to the "Venting" position. The initial release will spray some moisture around so be careful.
- Carefully remove the lid, opening the top away from you as steam will be released from the pot.
- Transfer the beef to a cutting board, allow it to rest for at least 10 minutes. Spoon the carrots and potatoes on a serving platter or bowl, cover to keep warm.
- Let the sauce sit for 10 minutes in the pot, then skim and discard the excess grease from the top. There should be about 2 ½ cups of sauce.
- Select "Saute" on the Instant Pot. Once the sauce begins to simmer, allow it to reduce until slightly thickened or the desired consistency is reached 5 to 8 minutes. There should be about 1 ¾ to 2 cups of sauce.
- Taste and season with more salt and pepper as needed.
- Slice the pot roast against the grain, or shred with a fork.
- Serve the pot roast with vegetables, gravy, and parsley for garnish.
- It’s important to have the meat submerged about halfway in the liquid for proper braising. I noticed that the liquid doubles in volume after pressure cooking, that’s why only a small amount is added in the beginning.
- If the beef texture is still tough, it most likely needs more time to cook under pressure.
- If the meat is not done but the vegetables are ready, transfer them to a separate bowl and continue to cook the beef.
- The sliced beef and vegetables can be rewarmed in the thickened sauce.
- MAKE IT GLUTEN-FREE: Cassava flour or Cornstarch can be substituted for all-purpose flour. If using cornstarch, dissolve 2 tablespoons in a ¼ cup of water. Add to defatted sauce and then stir and cook on the saute function until the liquid has thickened.
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