Instant Pot pot roast recipe with hearty root vegetables and delicious gravy. The secret to fantastic flavor is to first brown the chuck roast before pressure cooking. Then all the ingredients braise in a fragrant red wine sauce until tender.
Table of Contents
This pot roast recipe uses 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 reduce the cooking time compared to traditional methods like stovetop, oven, or slow cooker pot roast.
A delicious sauce to accompany the roast is a must to bring everything together. 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 over an hour.
Instead of quickly releasing 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 beef like chuck, round, or brisket. I use beef chuck roast for this recipe, which is 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 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 quickly using the Instant Pot’s saute function, which is a significant advantage compared to a slow cooker.
Once the metal insert and oil are very hot, sear each of the wider sides of the 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 garlic and thyme for herbaceous aromatics. Tomato paste and flour add 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 thin 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 thickening agents altogether, skim the fat off the surface of the liquid, and then reduce it 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
Another perk to cooking pot roast in the Instant Pot is that you can simultaneously cook thick root vegetables like potatoes and carrots as the roast. Place them on top so they can steam in a moist environment and not get soggy on the bottom of the pot.
Keep them in large pieces because the extended cook time could quickly turn them mushy if too small in size. When removed from the pot, they should be easy to pierce with a knife. I like to drizzle a little of the sauce on top and sprinkle it 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, add more beef stock to thin it out, and reseason.
For more extended storage, you can place leftovers in resealable bags in the freezer for up to 1 month. Defrost and reheat in the microwave until the meat and vegetables are warmed. 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. A lot of connective tissue 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" 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" pieces
- 1 pound baby red potatoes, cut in half
- 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
- Prepare the Roast – Cut the beef into a minimum of 2 pieces (3 to 4 pieces reccomended for better texture). Trim excess fat and dry the surface with a paper towel. Evenly season on all sides with about 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper.
- Brown the Meat – 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 the beef and brown each side for 5 minutes. Sear each edge for 1 minute. Transfer to a clean plate.
- Cook the Aromatics – Add onions to the pot, and saute until tender, scraping the bottom for any browned bits, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and thyme, and saute until fragrant, 30 seconds.
- Make the Braising Liquid – Add tomato paste and flour to the pot, stir and cook for 1 minute. Add red wine and 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.
- Add the Beef and Vegetables – Add the previously browned roast to the pot. Add carrots and potatoes on top of the beef.
- Add Seasonings and Cover – Sprinkle ½ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper on top of the vegetables. Make sure the release valve is in the "Sealing" position. Place the lid on, turn and lock.
- Pressure Cook the Meat – 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.
- Release the Pressure – Once cooking time is complete, allow the pressure to naturally release for 15 minutes.
- Open Lid – 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 the pot so be careful. Remove the lid, opening the top away from you as steam will be released.
- Rest the Meat – Transfer the roast to a cutting board, allow it to rest for at least 10 minutes. Spoon the carrots and potatoes on a serving platter or bowl, and cover to keep warm.
- Strain the Cooking Liquid – 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.
- Reduce the 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.
- To Serve – Slice the roast against the grain, or shred with a fork. Serve with vegetables, sauce, and parsley for garnish.
- For Proper Braising: It’s important to have the meat submerged about halfway in the liquid. The liquid doubles in volume after pressure cooking, so only a small amount is added in the beginning.
- If Beef’s 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.
- To Reheat: 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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12 Comments Leave a comment or review
Maryalice O’Shaughnessy says
Wow! We really loved this dish! I had to adjust the recipe to a 2 lb. roast and used vegetable stock because it’s what I had in my pantry. It was easy and I will add this to one of our family’s favorite dish!! Thank you Jessica!
Really delicious! A crowd pleaser!!!
Rebecca Koski says
I have made many a pot roast in my life and hands down this one is the best I’ve ever tried. So delicious! I think the balsamic vinegar really makes it unique. I didn’t use any garlic as I have an allium sensitivity and even still it was absolutely finger lickin’ good. Thanks so much!
Jessica Gavin says
Thank you, Rebecca! Yes, just a little bit of balsamic vinegar adds so much dimension and an extra boost of flavor to the pot roast.
Valerie C. says
OMG this is, hands down, the BEST pot roast I’ve ever made! The roast was so tender that we literally ate it with spoons, no knives necessary. We used a mix of baby red potatoes and Yukon golds, they were tender but not mush. We did add some mushrooms at the end and I had to add additional broth because my insta-pot gave me a burn warning. Thanks again for another wonderful recipe Jessica! Everyone gave it 2 thumbs up.
Jessica Gavin says
Yay! I’m so happy that everyone enjoyed the pot roast dinner!
Valerie C. says
It was such a hit that I’ve been begged all week to make it again. Take a guess what’s for dinner ?
Jessica Gavin says
You’re welcome, Valerie!
Valerie C. says
This is the 3rd weekend in a row that I’ve made this roast! This time I made it for a birthday dinner for my neighbor who’s on a sodium restricted diet so we used unsalted broth. She absolutely loved it and kept asking how I made it so tender and flavorful. You rock Jessica! I even gave your recipe to a woman at the meat counter last week ?
Jessica Gavin says
Wow, Valerie, I’m impressed! Thank you for sharing the recipe with others. YOU rock!
Hi Jessica. Is there a way to make it without alcohol?
Jessica Gavin says
Yes, I would omit the wine completely.