Rich Molasses Braised Beef Roast is an elaboration of my Grandma’s Simple Pot Roast. Full of layers of flavor from extra veggies, apple, garlic, and herbs, it takes on a fancy restaurant short rib taste. It’s slowly braised in the oven all day, giving you that tender melt in your mouth texture, and intense flavor in a sweet and savory sauce. It’s sure to become a comfort food favorite!
Meat & Potatoes Comfort Food
My mom is visiting us for the weekend, and for the second night of her stay, I am braising a beef roast all day for a classic “meat and potatoes” dinner. My mom send me off to college with her hand-written Simply Perfect Beef Roast recipe. It is the one I remember my grandma making as a kid, and it was the starting point for this more elaborate version.
I’ve added more complex flavors to her original 3 ingredients (beef, onion, and stock). I’ve given it a touch of molasses for sweetness for a deeper restaurant short rib kind of flavor. The basic and the complex version are both delicious on a bed of fluffy mashed potatoes or whipped cauliflower. I always add a side of something green, like blanched green beans, roasted broccoli or a big salad.
Instructions & Tips
Start the roast in the morning, all day in the oven gives it that tender texture and intensifies the flavors of the deep rich sauce. Braised roasts are great because they are prepped in just 30 minutes in the morning, and dinner is ready!
Before you begin, chop your veggies and ready your other ingredients. Preheat your oven, but start the roast in a heavy bottom pot or dutch oven, on the stovetop. Heat oil in the pot while you prepare your roast. Season it generously with salt, pepper, and coat the outside with flour. Add the roast to the hot pot to sear. The coating of flour will help it get a nice crust and thicken the sauce. Don’t move the roast around or try to un-stick it from the pot. Let it sear! This develops the flavor.
When the first side is a dark caramel brown color, the roast will kind of release itself from the pot and you can flip it easily with tongs. You can peek at it with tongs to see when it’s ready. Flip it to sear the other side, again not moving it around. When the second side is searing, add all your veggies to begin cooking around the roast. When the second side is nice and dark in color, release it from the bottom of the pan. Add in all your other ingredients, and deglaze with the wine and stock.
The Oven Does the Work
Your prep work is done, cover and transfer the roast to the oven! Now you can forget about it and let the oven do the work. Once or twice throughout the day, take it out and flip the meat and give it a stir. As you near the end of the cooking time you will be able to break it apart and shred it with tongs. Discard any fatty pieces. After 7 or 8 hours in the oven your house will smell amazing! As you near dinner time, you can check the roast and make sure it’s ready when you are. Remove the cover during the last hour or so of cooking to allow the sauce to thicken and reduce. If you want to speed it up, remove the cover sooner, if you want to slow it down, keep the cover on, and add a bit of water if you run out of liquid.
A Note on the Fat
Remember that a roast has some natural fat on it! This is a good thing and good for the cooking process! The fat will render into liquid fat as it cooks. The best way to serve the meat is by pulling it out of the pot with tongs, leaving the fat in the pot. Your meat will still be covered in sauce and flavor, you will just leave the fat in the pot and discard at the end.
A beef roast is a great meal to feed a crowd served on little white sandwich buns, or have plenty for leftover for lunch the next day! You can freeze the meat as well. Just thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat in a saucepan, add a little water if needed.
Can I make this in a crock pot?
Yes and no, I doubt it will be as good. Searing the roast and the veggies in the hot pot gives you the dark caramel color and a lot of the flavor, which is impossible to accomplish in a crock pot. After the searing process on the stove top is complete, the pot and your oven are essentially acting like a crock pot. With the oven set at a low 300°, you are free to “forget” the roast as you could with a crock pot and go about your day, even leave the house. Just be sure to flip the beef and stir it occasionally (once or twice) throughout the 8 hours. I would not, however, leave it all day while you are at work. Make this one on your day off.
More Comfort Food Favorites!
- One-Pot Maple Pork Roast
- Pasta Fagioli Soup
- Peppers and Fennel Sausage Penne
- Veggie Beef Chili
- Chicken Veggie Pot Pie
- Whole Roasted Chicken with Couscous
Rich Molasses Braised Beef Roast
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 beef roast, about 3 lbs
- 1½ t kosher salt
- 12 grinds fresh black pepper
- 2 T flour
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 medium carrots chopped
- 2 ribs celery chopped
- 1 apple chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 T dijon mustard
- 2 T Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ c molasses
- 1 T Italian seasoning
- ½ c wine (white or red)
- 1 quart beef stock
- Preheat oven to 300°, chop all vegetables and have ready all ingredients.
- On the stove top, preheat a large soup pot or dutch oven over medium high heat and add oil. Season the roast generously on all sides with salt and pepper, then coat with flour. This forms a nice crust on the roast when you sear it and thickens the sauce as it cooks.
- Add beef to the hot pot, letting it sear on one side to a dark brown color, do not move it around in the pot (about 6 to 7 minutes per side). When browned, flip the beef with tongs to brown the other side. While the second side is browning, add the vegetables (not the garlic yet) to start sautéing around the beef.
- Add all other ingredients including garlic, except the wine and stock.
- When the second side is browned and vegetables are cooking, deglaze with the wine and mix all ingredients so beef is not stuck to the pot. Add the beef stock and stir.
- Cover and transfer the entire pot to the oven. Cook for 7 to 8 hours, stirring and flipping the roast once or twice throughout the day. REMOVE the cover for the final hour of cooking to allow the sauce to thicken and reduce.
- After 8 hours the meat will be extremely tender and can be shredded with tongs (Note: Oven heat and roast size can vary, make sure to check on the roast in the last 1 or 2 hours. If it has a lot of liquid, remove the cover to allow it to thicken, if you are running out of liquid, either add water or turn the oven off). The liquid will have reduced leaving tender beef in a dark sauce. Serve the beef with tongs to leave the rendered fat in the pot.
- Serve with potatoes or mashed cauliflower, over grilled bread, or on sandwich buns. Leftovers can be frozen.