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The Secret to Tender Pot Roast

If you think that purchasing a beef tenderloin is the only way to be sure you'll cook up a tender roast, then I've got good news for you.

Other cuts of meat can be just as flavorful and tender as the most expensive cuts.

Roasts such as rump, chuck or brisket are considered to be less tender than tenderloin or sirloin because they are leaner and have less marbling (layers of fat that occur evenly distributed in the meat). Marbling makes the meat tender, juicy, and flavorful after cooking. To compensate for marbling, such roasts can be braised (cooked in a small amount of liquid, covered with a lid, for an extended period of time over low heat). The result is moist, tender and delicious.

Labels on beef cuts at the meat counter are often confusing. For example, chuck roast is a common cut for use in pot roast recipes and definitely should be cooked by braising. Boston cut, a specific type of chuck roast, is generally easier to tenderize. The name of a specific cut of beef may vary regionally and with the grocery store or meat market. If you're ever in doubt, ask your butcher to identify specific cuts of beef for you and to specify the best method of cooking for each particular cut. However, follow the simple steps and guidelines given here, and you will enjoy a delicious, tender pot-roasted meal everytime!

Three Easy Steps To Cooking a Pot Roast (Braising or Pot Roasting):

1. Lightly coat with seasoned flour, if desired. Slowly brown meat on all sides in a small amount of oil in heavy pan. Pour off drippings. Season as desired.

2. Add 1/2 to 2 cups liquid, such as broth, water, juice, beer and/or wine, to pan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. (If doing corned beef brisket, add enough liquid to cover.)

3. Cover tightly and simmer gently over low heat on top of the range, or in a preheated 325°F (160°C) oven, according to timetable below or until beef is fork-tender. (It is not necessary to turn pot roast or steak over during cooking.) The cooking liquid may be thickened or reduced, as desired.

Cooking Guidelines For Beef Pot Roasts

Beef Cut


Approximate Total
Cooking Time
(covered over
low heat)
Chuck Pot Roast, boneless (Arm, Shoulder or Blade)

2 1/2 to 4 pounds

2 to 3 hours

Bottom Rump Roast

3 to 4 pounds

2 1/2 to 3 1/4 hours
Brisket, Fresh

2 1/2 to 4 pounds

2 1/2 to 3 hours
Beef Brisket, Corned

2 1/2 to 3 1/2 pounds

3 1/2 to 5 pounds

2-1/2 to 3 1/2 hours

3-1/2 to 4 1/2 hours

Delicious & Comforting Pot Roast Recipes:

Source for cooking guidelines and tips courtesy of www.Beef.Org.

Article by Hope Cantil. Copyright © Hope Cantil; property of

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