Set a comfort food favorite on the table in a fraction of the time with this Instant Pot Pot Roast recipe! That familiar braised flavor you remember from grandma’s house can be yours in less than two hours, and the leftovers will have you making extra every time!
INSTANT POT POT ROAST RECIPE
One of my fondest memories of childhood is Sunday dinners. My great-grandmother raised me, and Sundays were sacred for two reasons – mass and a family meal. She was Polish-American, and though she held more than a handful of jobs in her 90 years, she was first and foremost a homemaker, wife, and mother. Her family came first, meaning sit-down dinners were normal in her house. The family unit shrunk to just her and me as she got older, but she insisted on making dinner nightly. Sundays were reserved for “the good meat.”
It usually meant a pork or beef roast, or meatloaf, and was generally whatever she found on sale at the grocery store. She raised me on her social security earnings, but I never complained, especially when it came to meals.
Her pot roasts were out-of-this-world delicious – the kind that roast for hours until they fall apart and melt in your mouth. I still haven’t found a way to replicate her homemade pan gravy exactly, and I doubt I ever will. While my favorite way to do pot roast is in the oven, low and slow, I have come around to using my Instant Pot for it in a pinch, when I’ve got the craving but not the time or patience to wait half a day.
This particular Instant Pot pot roast is ready in about 1 1/2 hours, and comes complete with a veggie side! The carrots and potatoes are cooked to perfection, not too mushy or firm, and they’re bathed in a delicious red wine-based gravy that can be thickened to your liking once the cooking stops.
HOW TO MAKE INSTANT POT POT ROAST
It’s really simple to make a pot roast in your pressure cooker. There are a few steps to follow but they don’t take long, and in less than two hours you have a gorgeous, melt in your mouth delicious Pot Roast dinner! Be sure to scroll down to the printable recipe card for the full recipe, but here are the basics:
- Heat your Instant Pot and sear chunks of beef on all sides. Searing seals in the flavor and creates a golden crust that just looks beautiful. When you sear the meat, do so in batches so the air can circulate around; the meat will steam instead of sear if it is crowded in the pot.
- Remove the beef and set it aside, then saute chopped onions, then garlic with some tomato paste. It will become fragrant and make your kitchen smell amazing, and we’re not even close to finished!
- Next you’ll add some red wine to deglaze the pan and scrape up all those lovely brown bits of flavor on the bottom of the pot. This is the start of the gravy for your pot roast to which you will add beef broth, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and a bay leaf before adding the chunks of beef back in.
- Place potatoes and carrots on top of the beef and seal the pressure cooker, setting it to manual, then high, and cook for an hour. While you wait, drink some of that open wine, or prep any sides or dessert that pairs with dinner. I like to make some crispy Garlic Bread and a big green salad.
- When the cook time is up, allow a 10-minute natural pressure release, then open the quick-release valve. The remaining steam will probably take a while to release. While it releases, whisk together cornstarch and cold water in a small bowl if you’d like a thicker gravy.
- Remove the Instant Pot lid carefully, then transfer the beef to a cutting board and allow it to rest for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, arrange the potatoes and carrots on a serving platter, then tent it with foil to keep them warm. Slice or shred the beef, then add it to the plate with the veggies and cover with foil.
- Press the Saute button on the Instant Pot. Allow the liquid to come to a boil, then stir in the cornstarch slurry. Cook the gravy for 2 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until you are happy with the thickness. Serve the gravy alongside the pot roast and veggies, and enjoy!
Best cut of beef for pot roast?
Pot roast cuts typically tend to be the tougher parts of the cow – shoulder and chuck roasts. Also known as the most flavorful ones! Look for a well-marbled roast, but trim off any chunks of excess fat before cooking to make straining the gravy less messy. The fat between the muscles helps keep the beef moist and prevents it from drying out as it cooks.
How much liquid do you need to cook a pot roast in the Instant Pot?
That depends on how much gravy you want! Beef is 60% to 70% water, and it lets off liquid as it cooks. It really only needs about 1 cup of liquid to cook. This recipe uses 1/2 cup of red wine (to deglaze the pot after searing the beef). I add 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 cups of beef broth as the base of the gravy. If you really like gravy, go heavier, but know that the Instant Pot will take longer to come up to pressure as well as depressurize after cooking.
What kind of wine should be used?
I used a drier Cabernet in this recipe, but any kind of red wine that you like to drink will be fine. If you have just a bit left at the bottom of last night’s bottle, that will work!
Also, you don’t have to use wine if you don’t want to – you can substitute in more broth or water instead, or just leave it out completely.
More Beef Recipes:
More Instant Pot Dinners:
Instant Pot Pot Roast
- 3 pounds beef roast cut in half
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ cup red wine
- 1 ½ cups beef broth
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 ½ pounds potatoes
- 3 large carrots peeled and cut into thick slices
- 3 tablespoons cold water
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- Season beef generously with Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
- Turn Instant Pot to Saute and add oil to inner pot. When oil is shimmering and display reads "hot", sear roast for 3-4 minutes on all sides. When it easily releases from the pot, remove and set aside on a plate.
- Add onion and saute 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until translucent. Stir in garlic and tomato paste for 30-60 seconds, until fragrant.
- Add red wine and deglaze the pan, scraping browned bits from the bottom. Stir in broth, vinegar, Worcestershire, and bay leaf; bring to a boil, then return beef to pot. Press Cancel, and place potatoes and carrots on top.
- Secure and seal lid. Select Manual High and set the cook time for 60 minutes.
- When the cook time is up, allow a 10-minute natural pressure release, then open valve to release any remaining steam. This can take up to 20 minutes.
- Remove beef to a cutting board and rest for 5 minutes, Arrange potatoes and carrots on a serving platter and tent with foil to keep warm. Slice or shred beef as desired, then arrange it on the plate with the veggies and return foil to cover.
- In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and cold water. On the Instant Pot, select the Saute setting. Bring the liquid to a boil, then stir in cornstarch slurry and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened. Serve gravy with pot roast and veggies.