What The Pioneer Woman Says You Should Never Add To A Pot Roast

Ree Drummond has been cooking up comfort foods and sharing her down-home secrets since, per Biography, she became known as The Pioneer Woman in 2006. Drummond knows her way around the kitchen so when she offers up her tricks, tips, hacks, and cautionary culinary advice, we listen. One dish that Drummond has some real opinions about and some sage advice is the beloved pot roast.

Pot roast really is that one-pot wonder in that you generally cook the entire meal – meat, potatoes, and carrots – in one pot.  As she explains on her blog, pot roast uses tougher pieces of meat that require a long, slow cook to soften them up. The Pioneer Woman goes on to say that when it comes to pot roast, she prefers a chuck roast because of its marbling and "melt-in-your-mouth" quality when you cook it properly. But Drummond cautions, "You can't rush a pot roast; you'll be disappointed with the result if you try." Truth.

However, that's not the only piece of advice Drummond is serving up when it comes to pot roast. There is one iconic vegetable that is seemingly a hallmark of this dish that Drummond says she doesn't cook with her piece of chuck roast and for a really good reason. What is it?

Don't cook potatoes with your pot roast

The one ingredient Drummond doesn't cook with her pot roast: potatoes. It almost sounds sacrilege when it comes to this dish, but the celebrity chef from Oklahoma has some sound reasons. Drummond wrote on her blog, "While it's a handy, convenient way to cook the spuds, I think the potatoes turn out kind of mealy and dumb. Instead, I think mashed potatoes really make a pot roast special, though that's just my silly little opinion. Don't listen to me." Like we wouldn't listen to her. 

Drummond is not alone in her feelings about potatoes and pot roast. Cooks on the Stack Exchange forum note that root vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and onions are generally part of this dish to add flavor, and some people do not even eat the vegetables they cook with their roast. One participant of the forum noted, "Many people add potatoes to the pot roast while cooking. Potatoes don't add any appreciable flavor." Another user shared that when Julia Child made her boeuf bourguignon, she also eschewed potatoes. (A recipe for Child's dish provided by The Spruce Eats seems to confirm this.) Drummond suggests if you do not want to make mashed potatoes, try a baked potato or noodles. Both sound like delicious alternatives to us.