My Grandma Bunny’s Pot Roast is the pot roast that all other pot roasts are judged by. It almost made us look forward to fasting on Yom Kippur because we knew her Pot Roast would be waiting at the end of the day. Pot Roast in Yiddish is Gedempte Fleisch which roughly translates to “well cooked meat” and Ashkenazic Pot Roast is braised for a long time in a liquid that typically has tomato paste. The secret to my grandma’s recipe is that her braising liquid triples the tomato flavor by including tomato juice and ketchup. This extra liquid made it easy for me to convert her recipe to the Instant Pot without having to change her original recipe much at all. I did add a little extra liquid, but to counter act this I created a simple cornstarch slurry that I mixed in to the gravy at the end to thick it up. However, you can omit this step and it will be just as delicious.
I do want to take a minute to talk about the cut of beef used in this recipe. My Grandma always used the Chuck, typically a whole Chuck-Eye Roast. This cut comes from higher up the shoulder which means that even though it is tougher then other cuts, it has much more fat making it more flavorful and more tender than cuts from the lower Brisket or the Round, which is at the other end of the steer. It also means that it is less susceptible to being tough and dry.
Instant Pot Jewish Pot Roast with Potatoes and Carrots
Recipe by Lana Horruitiner Perez adapted from Bunny Abrams
- 3-4 lb Boneless Beef Chuck-Eye Roast (The Chuck is the shoulder area. You can use just about any roast from this area, chuck-eye, chuck tenderloin, or even 7-Bone Chuck which has the bone in it.)
- 3 Tbl Vegetable Oil
- 5 Red Potatoes, peeled and halved
- 4-6 Carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 1 large Yellow Onion, cut into large chunks
- 1/2 Tbl Kosher Salt plus extra for sprinkling on beef
- Ground Pepper
- 2- 5.5 oz cans of Tomato Juice (if you don’t use cans, then just measure out 12 oz or 1 1/2 cups of tomato juice)
- 1/4 cup Ketchup
- 2 Tbl Tomato Paste (In this recipe I use leftover tomato paste that I freeze and store in 1 Tbl portions, but you can use paste fresh from the can.)
- 1/2 Tbl Garlic Powder
- 1 1/2 cups Water
- 1 Chicken Bouillon Cube (you can substitute chicken broth for the bouillon and water)
- 1 Tbl Cornstarch + 1/4 cup Cold Water (This is for the slurry to thicken the sauce at the end. This step is optional and you can omit it.)
Prepare the braising liquid first.
In a microwave safe measuring jug or medium sized bowl, add 1 cup water and the Chicken Bouillon cube. Microwave for 30 seconds to help dissolve the cube. (if you are using chicken broth you can skip this step and just measure out 1 cup broth.) Set aside.
Cut the Chuck-Eye Roast into large 3-4 inch pieces. This will cut down on the cooking time and allow you to cook the roast and vegetables at the same time. If you are using a 7-Bone Chuck you can keep that whole since it is probably less than 3 inches thick anyway.
Sprinkle all sides of the beef liberally with Kosher Salt and Ground Pepper.
Press the “SAUTE” button on the Instant Pot then press the “ADJUST” button until the display reads “MORE”. Add 3 Tbl of Vegetable Oil to the Instant Pot and once the oil is hot add the pieces of beef and sear for 3 mins on each side. (Depending on the size of your Instant Pot, you may have to brown 2 pieces at a time. Don’t crowd the pot or else the water won’t be able to evaporate out which will cause you to just boil your meat instead of brown it.)
Once each side is browned, remove the beef and add 1 Tbl of Vegetable Oil and the Onions to the pot. Stir the Onions and allow them to saute for about 5 mins, stirring occasionally.
Pour 1/2 cup of the chicken Broth Liquid into the Instant Pot and using a wooden spatula, scrap the brown bits from the bottom of the pot. (It is very important to scrape up all the brown bits from the pot or else you will get a BURN notice during the cooking process. I find if you add just a 1/2 cup of the liquid, you can see the bottom of the pot better and this way you can make sure you get all of the brown bits off.)
Turn off the Instant Pot.
To the rest of the chicken broth in the measuring cup, add the 2 cans of Tomato Juice, 1/4 cup Ketchup, 2 Tbl Tomato Paste, and 1/2 Tbl Garlic powder.
Pour the tomato broth liquid into the Instant Pot.
Add the beef to the pot. Then add the Potatoes on top of the beef and then the Carrots. It’s ok if the vegetables are not completely submerged.
Lock the Instant Pot Lid into place and make sure the valve is set to the “SEALED” position. Pressure Cook for 50 mins on High. Once it’s done, allow to Natural Release completely. This will take about 20 mins.
At this point you can serve it as is and it will be delicious. However, if you would like a thicker sauce, remove the beef and vegetables to a serving dish and cover with foil. Press the “SAUTE” button on the Instant Pot to heat up the liquid.
In a small mixing bowl add 1 Tbl Cornstarch and 1/4 cup Cold Water. Whisk until the cornstarch is dissolved.
Add 1/2 cup of the hot liquid in the Instant Pot to the cornstarch slurry and whisk. Then add this mixture back to the Instant Pot and whisk fro about 3-5 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken a bit and can coat the back of a spoon. As it cools it will thicken more.
Ladle the sauce over the Pot Roast and Vegetables and serve. Enjoy!