The English Roast is one of my favorite cuts of beef for pot roast. The way the meat just falls apart in to stringy shreds, so full of flavor and so tender….YUMM! It is frequently on the menu at our house. We love that it is so simple to make and the shredded leftovers can easily fit into so many different recipes.
The English Roast is also known as the “Shoulder Pot Roast” and is cut from the front shoulder of the beef, the “Chuck Shoulder”. This is a well used muscle for pasture-raised cows, which means the roast can be tough if it isn’t cooked right. There are 2 key factors needed to get this roast to fall-apart tenderness; moisture and time. Traditionally, you’d want to slow cook this roast for hours making it a popular “Sunday Dinner” because you could start the roast in the crockpot before you head off to church and it would be perfectly done by the time you got back home. I remember this happening countless times growing up at Mom and Grandma’s house! These days we have fancy gadgets like the Instant Pot that can turn out a perfect roast in a fraction of the time. I am definitely a fan!
You can cook your roast from fresh or frozen, but fresh is best for flavor. If you are like me and forget to thaw it out ahead of time, it’ll be fine! Just throw it in there and consider if you may want to add a little more cooking time depending on the size of the roast. The best scenario is when I can cook the roast fresh as soon as it’s delivered from the farm!
First, I’ll rub the roast down with a generous amount of sea salt, black pepper, and sometimes I’ll add a favorite seasoning blend or cinnamon to the rub, and then set the roast aside. You can sear the roast in a skillet at this point if you’d like, however my family doesn’t care for it prepared that way and I’m all about saving time and dishes, so we skip right to veggies!
You’ll want an assortment of aromatic vegetables to help flavor the roast. Any combination of onions, garlic, carrots and celery will give a nice aroma. Just coarsely chop them up, enough to cover the bottom of your pot. Pour in about a cup or two of beef broth or water. Moisture is one of the keys for tenderness, remember? Place your roast up on top of the vegetables so that it is mostly above the liquid, the veggies acting as a trivet for the roast to rest upon. This will help the seasoning rub stay locked onto the meat while it essentially steams above the vegetables.
The only thing to do now is set the cook time! For an Instant Pot, about 90 minutes at high pressure is perfect for a 3lb roast, even from frozen. You want to estimate the cooking time at about 30 minutes per lb. I prefer to let the roast rest in the Instant Pot while waiting for it to natural release, but it can be rushed a little towards the end without bothering the roast too much. If you’re cooking in a crock pot, set it at med/high for about 6 hours, or 2 hours per lb. Then wait. It’s worth it! When dinner is ready, serve up the roast with the stewed vegetables and a batch of mashed potatoes on the side!
This cut of meat lends so many variations and recipes, we’d love to hear how you prepare an English Roast for your family or how you use the leftovers! Leave us a comment below and Happy Cooking!