These Are the Best Cuts of Beef for a Pot Roast
You need more than just a good recipe to make a tender pot roast.
A savory and tender pot roast ranks high on the list of ultimate comfort foods, especially when it is served with homemade sides such as macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, and green beans. And, ohhh – don’t forget the homemade biscuits to sop up the gravy! A pot roast is also a serious multi-tasker – it is budget friendly compared to other cuts of beef, is big enough to feed the family, and it perfumes the entire house with a delicious aroma as it cooks. Scanning a recipe, you may think a pot roast is nearly impossible to mess up, but there is one factor that can make or break Sunday dinner: you need the right cut of beef. While outdoor grilling calls for the choicest (and most expensive) cuts of beef, you can make a fabulous pot roast out of the cheapest, toughest cut of meat. nice chuck roast is the classic choice for pot roasts, but there are other cuts you can use to achieve an exceptional roast.
The rule of beef is that the more a muscle is used, the tougher and more flavorful it becomes. The muscles clustered around the steer's shoulder, chest, belly and hip include familiar cuts such as the chuck, brisket and round. Surprisingly, it is the tough connective tissues in these cuts that make them choice options for a pot roast. After cooking for a long time at a low temperature, the connective tissue breaks down into natural gelatin, which moistens the meat the way that marbled fat does for other cuts. All three of the following touch cuts make a great pot roast.
Chuck Roast Cut
A chuck roast is cut from the shoulder and neck region of the animal and may be labeled chuck roast, shoulder steak, boneless chuck roast, or chuck shoulder pot roast. Slightly fattier than brisket or round, chuck has a richer taste but is higher in saturated fats. A chuck roast is hard to slice neatly because the shoulder muscles run in different directions.
The brisket is cut from the breast or lower chest and is sold as a wide, flat cut, with its fat primarily on the outside. Brisket is best sliced against the grain of the meat for maximum tenderness. While the long strands of brisket may easily fall apart when hot, the cooled leftovers can be sliced neatly into sandwiches.
Round Roast Cut
A round roast is cut from the rear leg area of the animal. Look for rump roast or bottom roundroast. The leanest of the three most common pot roast cuts, it has a fine grain which makes it great for slicing, but it lacks the big, beefy flavor of the other two cuts.