Suz, as a few have said, be sure to pat the meat drydrydry with paper towels, then season w/salt and pepper right before searing the meat. Dry meat allows the meat to brown rather than steam. Use a high heat to get that nice dark brown sear--I set my smoke detector off every time (both mechanical and canine--JRT Wilson flips out with any searing and smoke detector alarm---we sleep easy knowing we will never sleep through the start of a fire) so I now just pull the battery out beforehand
I dont use bouillion cubes--too salty. You really dont need beef stock--I make pot roast and short ribs with a nice full-bodied red wine and some water. It makes a terrific gravy.
Also, I just quarter 2 small or 1 large onion and leave 4-8 garlic cloves peeled but whole, and dont go crazy getting them too browned. I usually add large chunks of celery and carrots, and put the celery leaves in there, too. Also, I add 2 bay leaves, a5-5 whole peppercorns, and any fresh whole herb I have--thyme, rosemary, oregano. And I add a tsp of tomato paste--great stuff to have in the fridge.
Grandma Briggie always cooked her pot roast on top of the stove, 3 hours.
When the meat is done, I strain the gravy into a saucepan and push all those delicious veggies through the strainer. It creates a lovely thick gravy that you can thicken more with flour or cornstarch, but I mostly leave it alone. You can adjust the seasoning at this time--s&p, worcestershire sauce, a patta butta (makes any sauce more betta )
I usually do mashed taters and simple green beans-garlic and/or parmesan mashies are lovely.
Good luck! I might venture out after we get shoveled out and buy me some short ribs