easy fall apart pot roast with au jus

“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relatives.” 

-Oscar Wilde

Living two hours away from our family has its perks, although they are TWO WHOLE HOURS away, they are really only a short road trip away. Once we had decided we were not not moving back and had fallen in love with Columbus, we all had to embrace the two hour drive as being “really not all that bad”. Now we have all adjusted to one day visits of driving up in the morning, and driving back down after dinner. Although these visits are fun, we have a proclivity to try and fit in as many activities and fun stuff for the kids to do out and about- resulting in 2 tired toddlers that in no way could we expect to handle a sit down dinner in a restaurant and a need for a prepared meal as soon as we get back to our house. This pot roast is our solution to this problem, instead of picking up takeout for everyone. (which is still another delicious option… just sayin.)

So, before you go out to the zoo all day with your in laws, or a busy weekday- get this roast going and you will come home to a heavenly smelling home and a delicious dinner.

Easy Fall Apart Pot Roast with Au jus

mise en place (everything in its place)


  • 3 to 4 pound chuck roast
  • Generous amount of salt and pepper (enough to season the entire roast)
  • 1 tbsp of oil (for browning)
  • 1 ½ cups of low sodium beef broth
  • 1/2 cup of red wine (merlot or pinot noir)
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh garlic
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme (or 1 fresh thyme sprig-whole)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 (1 oz) packets of onion soup mix



  1. Heat your skillet with the oil on high heat, you want it to almost be smoking. While you wait for the pan to heat up, prepare the roast (step 2). 
  2. Prepare the roast: dry it with paper towels, then season it with salt and pepper. You will end up using approximately 1 ½-2 teaspoons of salt and about 1 teaspoon of pepper. 
  3. Once the pan is hot enough, carefully place the roast in the pan. Let it sit for 1-2 minutes, letting it brown into a nice crust. Once a good crust has developed, flip it to the other side, repeating this until you have brown it on all sides. Keep in mind the goal is browning the roast for flavor, not cooking it. 
  4. Transfer the roast to your crockpot, then return the hot pan to the stove. 
  5. With the same skillet on med high heat, add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
  6. Add the red wine, and let simmer for 2 minutes to cook off the alcohol, as well as, to deglaze your pan. 
  7. As, the wine simmers, scrape all the brown bits off the bottom of the pan and break them up into the wine. Pour cooked wine into the crock pot.
  8. Add the beef broth and the whole bay leaf to the crockpot.
  9. Dust the top of the roast with the dried thyme or add the whole thyme sprig to the broth.
  10. Rub the exposed parts of the roast with french onion soup mix, getting as much on the roast as possible, it is okay if some falls into the broth. 
  11. Cover your crockpot and set to low for 8-10 hours. You CAN cook this roast on high for 4-5 hours, but I do not recommend it. The beef will simply not be that tender. 
  12. The roast is ready when it is fall apart tender
  13. *Optional* The juices in the bottom of the crockpot can be eaten as is, but can be a bit fatty, so if you would like a more pure jus, carefully remove the roast to a cutting board or plate and pour the juices into a fat separator. Add the roast back in and then pour the separated jus back into the crockpot. Serve and enjoy!

Our favorite way to enjoy this dish is with Our Instant Pot Mushroom Risotto and sauteed veggies

plated with instant pot risotto

**You can make this a one pot wonder by adding baby potatoes to the bottom of the crockpot before adding in the roast, also you can add baby carrots about 3 hours before serving so they do not get over cooked.

**In a Dutch oven: Oven set to 275 F. Directions are same as about, except brown the roast in your dutch oven on the stove instead of in a separate skillet(less dishes!),when the roast is completely browned, simply place it to the side on a plate or cutting board, while you follow the steps to deglaze the pan with the wine. Once the wine has cooked, add the roast back into the dutch oven, and proceed with the instructions. Once you are ready to cook, put on the lid, then roast for 3 and ½ to 4 hours. The roast will be ready when it can fall apart with a fork.

**Another trick to make sure every one has a full day and a full stomach; I prepare a food board before we leave for the day, so we just pull it out of the fridge as soon as we arrive home.

***this post contains affiliate links

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