Pressure Cooker Pot Roast

Pressure Cooker Pot Roast

This is a classic, comforting pot roast, rich with red wine and onions. A pressure cooker works wonders on tough cuts of meat like the chuck roast called for here; the roast is braised to tenderness in a fraction of the time it would take in the oven. The trick to this perfectly cooked meal is timing: Pop the vegetables into the pressure cooker just for the last few minutes of cooking, so they are tender but not overly softened. The optional quick-pickled onions give the mellow beef and sweet vegetables an appealing tangy pop. If you’re short on time, you don’t need to thicken the cooking liquid to make a gravy; just drizzle some pan juice over the top and call it a day.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 6 persons



  1. Step 1

    Season the beef generously all over with about 1 tablespoon salt. Using the sauté setting, warm the oil in a 6- to 8-quart electric pressure cooker. Add one chunk of the beef and sear one side until deeply browned, about 5 minutes. Remove the first chunk and repeat with the remaining chunk, searing one side. (You can brown more than one side of each chunk, but one side is enough to build flavor without spending too much time on this step.) If the pressure cooker gives you a “hot” error, simply turn it off and use residual heat to cook. When it cools, turn the sauté setting back on.
  2. Step 2

    Add the pearl onions and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the garlic is softened, about 2 minutes. Pour in the wine, vinegar and 1/2 cup water; season generously with black pepper and lightly with salt. Using a metal or wooden spoon or spatula, scrape up all the browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Turn off the sauté setting. Add the herbs and nestle the beef into the liquid. Cook on high pressure for 1 hour.
  3. Step 3

    Make the pickled onions, if desired: Bring the vinegar and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the pearl onions and a generous pinch of salt and cook, stirring, to dissolve the sugar and warm the onions through, about 1 minute. Remove the mixture from heat and set aside at room temperature to pickle for at least 1 hour. (You can make the pickled onions up to 5 days ahead; store them in a sealed container in the refrigerator.)
  4. Step 4

    Allow the pressure to reduce naturally for 10 minutes, then release the remaining pressure manually. Add the vegetables to the pot, tucking them below the liquid. Cook on high pressure until the beef and vegetables are both tender, an additional 4 minutes. Quick-release the pressure by twisting the pressure knob to vent, then open the lid. Using tongs and a slotted spoon, remove the beef and vegetables to a serving platter. Break the beef into large chunks to serve. At this point, you can simply drizzle some cooking liquid over the top of the beef and vegetables, and top with the drained, pickled pearl onions to serve. Discard the remaining cooking liquid or strain it, refrigerate it, discard the layer of fat and freeze the remaining liquid as beef stock.
  5. Step 5

    If you’d prefer a thicker gravy, strain the cooking liquid and return it to the pot. Using the sauté function, bring it to a boil. Meanwhile, combine the butter and flour in a small bowl and knead it together with your fingers until it is uniform, almost like a dough. Once the liquid is boiling, drop the butter-flour mixture into the pot, whisking well to combine. Let it bubble until it is lightly thickened, about 5 minutes, then drizzle some gravy over the pot roast and vegetables, and top with drained, pickled onions. Serve extra gravy on the side.