Special Pot Roast with Risotto Cakes

Recently, I feel like lot of my friends seem to be celebrating anniversaries . .  or maybe it’s because you can now just post a status update that tells all of your friends and family that you are celebrating XX number of years with your spouse! Which I love by the way! I know Facebook gets a lot of grief for all kinds of security and privacy issues but I personally am a fan. It was re-connected me with friends who I would otherwise know nothing about what’s going on in their lives because we don’t live in the same state anymore, FB shows me photos of all their cute, adorable kids, FB tells me when it’s my friends’ birthday and – of course- now I know when my friends are celebrating something special, like an anniversary!

I don’t know about you but ever since we had kids, we don’t go out to eat nearly as much as we did before. Correction: we rarely go out to eat. It’s just easier going to a friend’s house or eating at home . .  but this is something my husband and I are trying to change ASAP. We are going to implement date nights as soon as we are back from vacation. It’s so important for a marriage and desperately needed!

Anyway, for those times when you aren’t able to get out of the house (if you have kids), you just want to cook something special or you are having guests over for a dinner party and need something special?  This is the recipe. I’ve been looking for a recipe like this and cooked this tonight as practice- for those special occasions. .  and even though this is definitely not a quick one, it’s so worth all the preparation and time! This recipe is also from Kelsey’s Essentials. Today was definitely a Kelsey Nixon recipe day for me!

You’ve never had pot roast like this before! I hope you are able to make this recipe for your someone special . .  Enjoy!

Special Pot Roast with Risotto Cakes!

TOTAL TIME: about 5 hrs

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: roughly 4 hr 40 min
8 servings



  • One 4-pound boneless chuck roast (mine was 2.5 lbs and worked fine with all the other measurements & ingredients)
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil, plus more if needed
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 bundle various fresh herbs, such as tarragon, rosemary, parsley, tied with twine (I did not have cooking twine; not a biggie)
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup dry red wine, such as cabernet sauvignon
  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • Large dutch oven

FRESH HERB SALAD (goes on top of the pot roast beef):

  • 2 cups watercress (I couldn’t find this so used chopped butter lettuce)
  • 1 cup picked fresh parsley leaves
  • Lemon juice, for drizzling
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted (optional)


  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 large shallots, minced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 3/4 cups dry white wine
  • 5 ounces frozen peas, defrosted
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 1/4 cups freshly grated Parmesan
  • 4 ounces low-moisture shredded mozzarella
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, for dredging
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • Vegetable oil, for frying


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Using paper towels, pat the roast dry to help get a great crust on the meat. Sprinkle the roast generously with salt and pepper on both sides. In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons oil and heat until glossy. Add the roast and brown on all sides. Remove and transfer to a cutting board or a large plate.

Add more oil to the pot if needed, along with the chopped carrots, celery and onions. Season with salt and pepper. Add the fresh herb bundle and cook until the vegetables start to brown, about 5 to 10 minutes. (I just threw the herbs in)

Add the garlic and continue cooking for another minute. Add 3/4 cup of the red wine and reduce by half, scraping up the seared bits and incorporating them into the juice.

Then return the roast to the pot and add the beef broth. Bring the liquid to a simmer before covering with a tight-fitting lid and placing the pot in the oven. Allow the roast to cook until fork tender, 3 to 4 hours, turning once halfway through.

**While your roast is cooking, make the risotto**

For the risotto: In a medium saucepan, heat the chicken broth to a simmer. In a separate saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the shallots to the butter, cooking until fragrant and translucent, about 2 minutes.

Add the Arborio rice and lightly toast, stirring to coat in the butter and shallots. Add the white wine, continuing to cook while stirring until the wine is absorbed. You should be able to run your spoon through the risotto and have the indentation stay.

Using a ladle, add enough of the warm chicken broth to cover the rice, stirring constantly over medium heat until the broth is completely absorbed. Repeat the process 3 more times, adding the broth in stages while continuing to stir. Once all of the chicken broth has been added and the rice is tender, add the peas, lemon juice and lemon zest and stir to combine.

Remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan, mozzarella and season with salt and pepper. Cool the risotto by spreading it evenly over a sheet tray. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes. This will obviously help you to shape the risotto cakes.

Once the risotto is cooled, form the mixture into burger-size patties, about 1-inch thick. Set up a dredging station with the flour in one dish, beaten eggs in another and panko breadcrumbs in another. Dip the rice patties into the flour, then into the eggs and finally coat them in the panko breadcrumbs.

In a large skillet, heat 1/2-inch vegetable oil over medium heat until a pinch of panko sizzles when dropped in the oil. Working in batches of 2 to 3, fry the risotto cakes until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side (use a fish spatula under the cake and the back of a fork on top to help stabilize while flipping). Transfer to a wire rack, which will help them stay crispy. Season with salt and they are ready to serve. Yield: 6 large cakes.

I forgot the wire rack but they turned out just fine!

Back to the roast: Remove from the oven and transfer the roast to a large cutting board. Tent with foil while the roast rests. Placing the Dutch oven back on the stovetop over medium-high heat, add the remaining 1/4 cup of red wine to the liquid and reduce by half at a simmer, about 10 minutes. Strain the sauce and season with salt and pepper. OR just throw the roast into the pot and shred the roast into big chunks and toss with the jus.

For the herb salad: Toss the watercress and picked parsley with the lemon juice and olive oil to taste. Season with salt and pepper and top with the toasted almonds (almonds, optional).

Serve the shredded roast on top of the Risotto Cakes and top with the fresh herb salad. I added some green onion to my herb salad and I also added a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar on the plate for looks and taste! Hope you enjoy! After all of this, you deserve it!

Aerial view

Look at all that delicious roast!

Beauty shot one more time

Oh soooo good!


4 thoughts on “Special Pot Roast with Risotto Cakes

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