Much is made of sous vide's ability to transform cuts of meat, creating new textures and serving meat at temperatures that were not practical in the past. However, sometimes it shines brightest when it's just creating a perfect version of an old dish. That's the case here with a great traditional pot roast. The meat is fall apart tender but still very juicy, unlike the sometimes dried texture of many braised pot roasts.
When I make pot roasts I almost always use a chuck roast. It's a wonderful cut of meat with lots of fat to render leaving a flaky, moist meat behind. There are many different time and temperature combinations you can use for a traditional-style roast. I usually cook it at 185°F (85°C) for 12 hours for a very braise-like texture or 161°F (71.7°C) for 24 to 48 hours, for a firmer, but still flaky texture.
In this recipe I pair it with a medley of roasted vegetables for a lighter take on the typical mashed potatoes and gravy. It's all tossed with a lemon vinaigrette for even more brightness.
Preheat a water bath to 161°F (71.7°C).
Cut the chuck roast into 2" (50mm) slabs, if desired. Mix together the spices in a bowl. Lightly salt and pepper the meat then coat with the spices. Place the meat in a sous vide bag with the herbs then seal. Cook the meat for 1 to 2 days.
Preheat an oven to 425°F (218°C).
Peel the carrots and cut into 3/4" (19mm) chunks. Cut the baby potatoes into chunks as well. Toss all the vegetables together with the olive oil and thyme then salt and pepper them. Place them in a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Roast in the oven until starting to brown and the carrots and potatoes have softened and are cooked through, about 30 to 45 minutes. Once cooked, remove from the heat.
Remove the cooked meat from the sous vide bag, reserving the juices, and pat dry. Lightly salt the outside of the meat then quickly sear it until it is just browned.
Place some of the roasted vegetables on a plate, squeeze the lemon over the top then drizzle with the olive oil. Add a portion of the pot roast to the vegetables and spoon some of the sous vide juices over top then serve.