The RV Chronicles — Eating at 7 with a 2 (Recipe: Italian-style Pot Roast)

I had a car once — my first car, in fact — a hand-me-down 1973 Datsun 610 station wagon.

The ‘Blue Bomb,’ as I called it, was a four-cylinder beast … as in it looked like a beast. Sure, the white vinyl interior was stylish back in the day and the uncontrollable shimmy that occurred between 40-43 mph could be dangerous on wet roads. Such was the automobile for a 16-year-old with a terrible work ethic.

But this car had more than 400,000 miles on it and was still running relatively strong — aside from needing new points and a quart of oil every month.

I bring this all up simply to illustrate that ugly doesn’t always equate to bad. The Italian-style pot roast we eat here at the Jimmy Rockford is another fine example.

What is an Italian-style pot roast?  Quite simply, this recipe includes a few ingredients commonly found in Italian sauces. It’s very much like the stuff you ate on Sunday after church, except this version awakens a few extra taste buds.

As is illustrated below, I’m not skilled enough to produce or photograph an Italian-style pot roast worthy of the pages of Saveur or Food & Wine. But one thing’s for certain: this slow-cooked main and side takes you from famished to full with little effort on your part. And it’s no sexier the next day in the lounge at work, but it’s a hell of a lot tastier than the turkey wraps that are forced upon themselves by your co-workers.

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Italian-style Pot Roast

Italian-style Pot Roast — From famished to full with little effort

Italian-style Pot Roast — From famished to full with little effort

5.0 from 2 reviews
Italian-style Pot Roast
Italian-style Pot Roast — From famished to full with little effort
Recipe type: Main
  • 1 - 3lb Chuck tender roast (my preference) or chuck, top sirloin or bottom round (my least fave)
  • 2 TB - All-purpose flour
  • 2 TB - Extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 - Medium onion, quartered
  • 1 cup - Baby carrots
  • 3 - Celery stalks, cut into pieces
  • ½ cup - Sliced mushrooms*
  • 3 - Garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp - Dried thyme
  • 1 tsp - Dried basil
  • 2 cups - Beef stock
  • ½ cup - Dry red wine (Merlot, Pinot Noir or Syrah)
  • 3 TB - Tomato paste
  • 1 cup - Fresh or frozen English peas (Yes, I know they're not Italian. Stick with me here.)
  • 1 cup - Fresh or frozen green beans.
Sear the roast
  1. Salt and pepper the roast liberally (about 3 TB Kosher salt and 1 TB pepper); coat the roast with flour.
  2. In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over a medium-high burner.
  3. Cook roast on all sides until nicely browned.
  4. Add the onion and garlic and cook until garlic is fragrant and edges of onion are caramelized, about 2 minutes.
Dutch oven stove top/oven method
  1. Add beef stock, wine, thyme, basil, mushroom and carrots.
  2. Cover and simmer (stove top) for about 3 hours; Or cover and place in a 350°F oven for about 2 hours.
  3. Remove the roast and vegetables to a platter; cover.
  4. Place Dutch oven over a medium-high burner and bring stock to a boil, skimming as it cooks.
  5. Add tomato paste and lower to a simmer; cook until liquid is reduced by about one-third, continuing to skim the froth — about 30 minutes.
  6. Add peas and green beans**; add the roast and vegetables that are set aside.
  7. Bring everything back to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes, uncovered.
  8. Allow to sit about 10 minutes prior to serving.
  9. Serve with roasted or mashed potatoes, or white rice.
Slow cooker method
  1. After searing the roast, place it in a slow cooker. (If your slow cooker has a browning function, just leave it where it's at.)
  2. Add beef stock, wine, thyme, basil, mushroom and carrots.
  3. Cover and cook on low setting for about 6 hours.
  4. Add the tomato paste, green beans and peas**.
  5. Prop the lid on the slow cooker so that it's not entirely sealed; increase heat to the high setting.
  6. Cook for another hour.
  7. Serve with roasted or mashed potatoes, or white rice.
*- I prefer porcini mushrooms, but any variety will work.
**- Adding the green beans and peas later is a personal preference (I like them crisp tender). You could certainly add these when you add all other vegetables.



  1. OK, two points today:
    1. I think your photo could be F&W worthy.
    2. I think we all of a certain age can reminisce fondly about our first car. Mine was a 1967 Buick Riviera. I thought it was the coolest b/c I could outrun most of the boys in their farm trucks.

    Thanks for making me smile today!

    • adamjholland says:

      You are very kind about the photo, Debra. Thanks. As for your Buick — I think those cars came stock with a 400 cubic inch V8. Of course you were outrunning those farm trucks. 🙂

  2. Kathryn @ anotherfoodieblogger says:

    I think that is a lovely photo too, Adam. My first car was a 1970 Ford Torino with a severe case of acne on the hood (rust). She drank a quart of oil a week, but hey she was mine for a hundred bucks!

    • adamjholland says:

      One hundred dollars? That was like $1,000 not so long ago (I won’t ask when you owned it.) The Torino had an outstanding bench seat in the front. And it was unsuspecting. 😉

  3. Kathryn @ anotherfoodieblogger says:

    Ha I was 16 too. 😉

  4. Looks great to me! Very stylish and I bet it was mouth watering delicious!

  5. As hungry as I am right now, that roast looks like a Super Model to me. Good stuff Adam.

    • adamjholland says:

      Does it look like the old school (Twiggy) supermodel? Or the 80s (Gia) supermodel? Or nowadays? Just curious. 😉

  6. I think it looks way better than a ’73 Datsun 610. And I bet it tastes better, too! My first was a Toyota Corolla that had to have wooden blocks on the pedals because Icouldn’t adjust the seat close enough, to drive it! Plus it had been owned by a vet and I was constantly cleaning it of animal hair!


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