Dutch Treat: Beef, Italian Style

From bland to grand — cooking the perfect pot roast.
Styling by Angela Yeung

Everything tastes better in a Dutch oven. That’s not my opinion—just a simple fact. Maybe it’s the weight of the lid, which serves as a low-level pressure cooker. Maybe it’s the taste of the cast iron. Or, maybe, it’s just because cooking in a Dutch oven is usually done outdoors and the surroundings are so beautiful that anything tastes good.

Take a classic dish like pot roast. Most folks cook it with a dry, onion-soup mix. Same way, time after time—it gets kind of bland. Not at our house. A few years back, our two oldest sons, Joseph and Hyrum, took the good ol’ pot roast and gave it an Italian spin for a Mother’s Day dinner. They eliminated “bland” when it comes to pot roast. We all loved it, and I think you will, too.

H. Kent Rappleye, president of the International Dutch Oven Society, is an Eagle Scout and Vigil Honor member of the Order of the Arrow.

Kalamata Roast

First, you’ll need to preheat your 12-inch Dutch oven to about 275 degrees. That means you’ll want to place 13 coals on top and 7 coals on bottom.


  • 3- to 4-pound beef chuck roast, bone in or boneless
  • ¾ cup beef broth
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1½ teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, sliced into thin strips
  • ½ cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
  • 1 (10-ounce) jar or 1 cup fresh or frozen pearl onions (not pickled)

Brown roast on all sides in Dutch oven. Pour beef broth over entire surface of roast. Evenly sprinkle remaining ingredients on top in the order listed. Cook low and slow for 3-5 hours. You can maintain this low simmer by placing two additional coals on top and two below every hour or so, depending on the weather.

Note: If you have any leftovers (fat chance), chunk up the meat, pour your favorite marinara sauce over it, heat, and serve with pasta. Amazing!



  1. I am new to cooking with a dutch oven, I will be trying some of these dishes the next time I go camping.

  2. I’ve made this twice. The second time was incredible. It is well worth the effort. Just go low and slow.

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