What’s the secret to my mother’s pot roast?

Winter is finally settling in with all the cold, snow, and ice that we expect from it here in Maine.  With that in mind, I thought I’d share my mother’s pot roast recipe.  Her recipe is fall-apart tender and incredibly flavorful, but it doesn’t rely on a lot of fat to achieve that moist, tender perfection.  Instead, it relies on time.  This is not a quick meal, but it is delicious and well worth the wait.


  • 1 3 – 4-pound sirloin tip roast
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 medium onions
  • 1 packet onion soup mix (or 1/4 cup homemade onion soup mix)
  • 8 cups chicken broth or more as needed

Special Equipment: A large, heavy pot with a lid, like a cast iron Dutch oven

Brown the roast well on all sides.

Pour oil into the pot and place over medium heat.  Add the meat and brown well on each side.  This should take 15 – 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, slice the onions and heat the oven to 325º F.

Add onions, onion soup mix, and broth to the pot.

Once the meat has been thoroughly browned, add the onions, onion soup mix, and enough broth to come about halfway up the sides of the meat.  Cover and place in the oven.  Cook for 5 to 6 hours, checking on the meat every 2 hours or so, adding more broth as needed.

Pot roast on a plate with mashed potatoes, gravy, carrots, and corn

Serve with mashed potatoes and lots of veggies.  My favorite vegetable to have with pot roast is steamed broccoli, but the day this picture was taken, my family wanted carrots and corn.

I suppose, if you want to, you could do this in the slow cooker, as long as you brown it well, first.  I like it cooked in the oven, though.  It browns better and has a nicer flavor that way.

Enjoy and stay warm!

Catherine Hall

About Catherine Hall

Catherine lives in Bangor, Maine with her family. She gained her appreciation for food and cooking from her grandmother and learned most of her technical knowledge from watching the Food Network. When not in the kitchen, Catherine can be found outdoors attempting to grow vegetables (not always successfully), practicing yoga, and taking Capoeira classes in downtown Bangor. Catherine can also be found walking around town with her Guiding Eyes guide dog, Caleb.