This Pot Roast Mac and Cheese is an old favorite of mine, in a new way. Tender, flavorful pot roast is tucked under a layer of creamy, stringy macaroni and cheese, then topped with more cheese and baked or broiled until golden brown on top.
It’s no secret to y’all that I’m not the biggest macaroni and cheese fan. I even prefer boxed mac – preferably Kraft’s Deluxe Mac and Cheese in the short fat box, not the tall skinny box – over “real” mac any day, but something about it in tandem with braised beef just does it for me! And this mac? It’s delicious. I would eat it, even without the Pot Roast part, which is saying quite a bit. Anyway, enough chit-chat let’s flesh out the recipe!
Pot Roast Mac and Cheese Ingredients
Feel free to jump to the full recipe, but here are useful notes about the ingredients you will need to make this Pot Roast Mac and Cheese recipe:
- Chuck roast: My preferred cut for pot roast. Bottom round or sirloin would work here, too.
- Celery, yellow onion, carrots, garlic: Mirepoix. For flavor. We’ll be tossing the vegetables to the dogs or the compost, so just cut them into big chunks.
- Tomato sauce: If you watch the TikTok you’ll see that I used tomato paste in it. That’s because it’s all I had. It worked in a pinch, and it will for you too, but tomato sauce is what I prefer. It’s easier to incorporate.
- Beef broth: This is what we’re cooking our pot roast in.
- Worcestershire sauce, red wine vinegar, onion soup mix: Flavor! I use my Homemade Onion Soup Mix, but you can toss in a packet of Lipton’s if you like. I don’t like using alcohol in the kitchen, save a bit of mirin here and there when making Japanese inspired stuff, but you can use red wine instead of red wine vinegar if you like. I just use a touch to help deglaze the pan but it does add a bit of zip. Worchesthire s
- Vegetable oil: For searing the roast.
- Flour: For the gravy. We combine it with the fat we lift from the cooking liquid to a make a roux, then we add the rest of the cooking liquid to it.
- Elbow macaroni: Or whatever your preferred short tube noodle is. You can see in the photos I went with cellentani for this batch because it’s what I had on hand, and it’s also easier to stab with your fork.
- Gouda, Colby jack, extra sharp cheddar: I use this 3 chili pepper gouda that I’m really fond of, but regular gouda or even smoked would be good here. I threw in extra sharp cheddar for the tang and pull, and colby to balance and add creaminess.
- Unsalted butter: Salted will work, too. We melt a whole stick for the macaroni portion of our Pot Roast Mac and Cheese.
- Heavy cream, chicken broth: You can substitute half-and-half or whole milk for the heavy cream if you like. If you do, I suggest reducing the chicken broth by about 1/4 of a cup.
- Seasoned salt, dry mustard, ground white pepper, cracked black pepper: Seasonings for the mac. We don’t need many, or much. The black pepper is cracked over the top, and is optional.
How to Make Pot Roast Mac and Cheese
Full instructions are included in the recipe below, but here is a basic overview of what you’ll need to do, along with some important tidbits to help you make the most of this Pot Roast Mac and Cheese recipe:
- Prepare the Pot Roast. Place a large dutch oven or another heavy-bottomed pan with a fitting lid over medium-high heat. Drizzle in the vegetable oil and let pre-heat while you season the roast. Season the chuck roast liberally all over with the seasoned salt, then add it to the pan. Press it down so that as much of the meat makes contact with the surface as possible, then let it sear undisturbed for 2-3 minutes. Flip the roast and sear the other side, then remove it from the pan and reduce the heat to medium. Add the red wine vinegar to the pan and use it to deglaze, scraping up any bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan. Next, add in the onion, celery, carrot, onion, garlic, beef broth, and a tomato sauce. Stir together, then add the roast back to the pan. Make sure it’s as submerged as it can be – put the vegetables on top of it, if needed – then add the Worcestershire and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cover with the lid. Cook for three hours, flipping the roast over once per hour, or until the meat can be stripped with a fork and it’s falling apart at the large lines of marbling.
- Build the gravy. Once the roast is cooked, remove it from the cooking liquid and set it aside. Pour the pot’s remaining content through a colander to remove the aromatics and other solids, then pour it into a fat separator or measuring cup and let sit for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes the fat should have floated to the top of the liquid. Now me, I made the Pot Roast on Saturday and the rest on Sunay. I stored the lqiudi and the meat separtely. The fat hardened on top of the liquid, so I just peeled that off and picked up with the recipe where I left of. Whatever method you use, pour or skim the fat off and add it back to the dutch oven. Set aside the remaining liquid. Sprinkle the flour over the fat and whisk together over medium heat to form a loose roux. Continue whisking as it cooks for 2-3 minutes, then slowly pour in the remaining liquid, whisking the whole time. Return the meat to the pot and stir to coat it in the gravy. Reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer uncovered while you prepare the macaroni and cheese.
- Start on the macaroni and cheese. Place a large saucepan over medium-high heat and to it add your stick of butter. In the meantime start boiling your pasta in salted water according to the package directions, then drain and set aside.Once the butter has melted, sprinkle the flour and stir together. Let it cook for 2 minutes, stirring the whole time, and continue stirring as you pour in the heavy cream and chicken broth. Reduce the heat to medium-low and whisk in the dry mustard, seasoned salt, and ground white pepper. Once everything is well combined let it simmer for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat completely.
- Complete the macaroni and cheese. Combine all of your cheeses together in a bowl. Grab a heaping handful and add it to the pot of cooked noodles. Take 2/3 of the remaining cheese and stir that into the bechamel sauce we’ve made. Use a wooden spoon to stir it into the sauce. Now we’ve got cheese sauce! Stir well, making sure there the cheese is completely melted and evenly distributed, then pour the sauce into the pot of noodles (and shredded cheese). Stir the noodles, sauce, and cheese together until everything is well incorporated. Set aside and return your attention to the pot roast.
- It’s Pot Roast Mac and Cheese time. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to break the pot roast into pieces. You don’t need to shred it, just large chunks that will fit nicely on a fork. I like to mash the flat side of the spoon down directly on top of the roast, encouraging it to spread out and break apart, then stir it kind of into the gravy until it’s all mixed up good. You do what feels right to you. Preheat your oven to 400°F and lightly oil the inside of your baking dish or baking dishes if you’re doing the individual serving thing.Spoon some of the pot roast and gravy into the bottom of a baking dish and spread it out into an even layer, then top with a bit more gravy. You want it to come about halfway up the sides of the pan so there’s a good roast to mac ratio. Follow that with the macaroni and cheese and spread that out evenly as well. Cover the whole surface so that you can’t see any pot roast if you can.
- Cheese and bake. Next, top with all of the remaining shredded cheese, pressing it down into the macaroni and cheese as you add it. Crack on the black pepper and place the baking dish(es) on a large baking sheet. Bake in the top half of the oven for 10 minutes, then let it rest for 5 minutes before serving. Dassit!
What To Serve With Pot Roast Mac and Cheese
It’s a main and starchy side in one meal, so let’s round things out with a vegetable! Here are some options…
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