Pot Roast

Total Time:
4 hr 30 min
30 min
4 hr

3 to 6 servings

  • 1 (2-pound) blade cut chuck roast
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 to 6 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup cocktail olives, drained and broken
  • 1/2 cup dark raisins

Preheat the oven to 190-200 degrees F. Place a wide, heavy skillet or fry pan over high heat for 2 minutes. Meanwhile, rub both sides of meat with the salt and cumin. When the pan is hot (really hot) brown meat on both sides and remove from pan. Add just enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom of the pan then add the onion and garlic. Stir constantly until onion is softened. Add the tomato juice, vinegar, olives, and raisins. Bring to a boil and reduce the liquid by half. Create a pouch with wide, heavy duty aluminum foil. Place half the reduced liquid/chunk mixture on the foil, add the roast, and then top with the remaining mixture. Close the pouch, and wrap tightly in another complete layer of foil. Cook for 3 to 3 1/2 hours or until a fork pushes easily into the meat. Remove from oven and rest (still wrapped) for at least 1/2 hour. Snip off 1 corner of the foil pouch and drain the liquid into a bowl or measuring cup. Add some of the "chunkies" and puree with an immersion blender. Slice meat thinly, or pull apart with a fork. Serve with sauce.

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    305 Reviews
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    Alton is my go-to source for recipes. However, something went horribly awry with this. I was pretty skeptical about the 190-200 degree oven temp, thinking, "There is no way that's going to be done in 3.5 hours at that temp." I was right. I just checked and the roast appears to be medium rare at best. Now I have a house full of family members waiting for pot roast who are going to get a couple roast chickens from the local supermarket instead. Very disappointing.
    This was incredibly easy to prepare and ridiculously tasty. I would make it again with no reservation. My roast was about 4 pounds so I added an additional teaspoon of cumin and kosher salt. I applied the rub in advance, which I think intensified the flavor. I also set the cooking temp to 195 (right between the suggested 190-200 degrees), and it took about 4 hours to cook. Without a meat thermometer, I took Alton at his word and the result was outstanding.
    This is a strange mix of ingredients, and I did not like the result at all. I was skeptical that this would be good, with all the strong flavors of olives, vinegar and tomato juice. And I do not like olives at all, but I thought the flavors would meld together and obscure the specific olive flavor. My skepticism was accurate. I like the method and the idea of this recipe, but not the mixture of strong flavors and the sweetness from the raisins.
    This is our favorite recipe for pot roast. I omit the raisins and olives (personal taste) and use three fresh tomatoes in place of the tomato juice.we serve this to friends and family and they think it's the best. I no longer look for recipes for pot roast because this is it.
    Made this quite a few times, love the flavor and the texture. I would recommend it to any who love the flavor of cumin, which adds a bit of an exotic taste. If you're more of a traditionalist, it may not be to your taste, but I recommend you try it at least once.
    GREAT! Easy prep, wonderful aroma while cooking and great tasting! We 'thought' there was tomato juice in the pantry, so I used V8 juice - worked well. Great as reheated leftovers. Love Alton's recipes, shows and the humor that's just a bit off bubble. When's the next "Feasting on Asphalt"?
    As far as the ingredients, I followed it to a T. I used a 2 pound bottom roast. As far as the cooking method, I browned the roast thoroughly followed the rest of the directions with the onion, garlic, then the tomato juice, vinegar, raisins, olives, but then I put it all in a crock pot on high for 4 hours then low for 1.5 hours. The meat was perfect - it fell apart. We don't care for the taste too much, though. Maybe it will be better tomorrow, but I probably will not make it again.
    Made this yesterday using a 4 lb. bottom round in an enameled cast iron dutch oven. I brought it to a simmer before putting it into the oven. It was done in 3 hrs & 15 minutes. Doubled all the ingredients.

    Very good & a nice change. The meat was perfectly done.

    Will certainly be in the braised beef rotation. Not 5 stars because, IMHO, it's not best-in-class.
    I made this last night and we thought it was awesome! We were tired of the same old, same old and this had such a flavor punch! I will definitely make this again.
    I can comment about how versatile this recipe is. All I had was beef, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil, Mirin, and leftover Tikka Masala sauce from a package. I followed the recipe using those ingredients and put the roast in at 250 for almost 4 hours. The tinfoil was packed tightly around the roast. The sauce was lovely and goopy so it stayed on the roast. Soon very delicious. The meat wasn't as tender as I prefer but my husband liked it. I'll try the crock pot next time. I think browning/searing is essential to keeping juices in, regardless of your methods, but protecting the meat's moisture while cooking is also key.
    Browning/searing actually causes you to lose moisture, not retain it. Alton has proven this before on Good Eats. It does create a lot of flavour as a result of the Maillard reaction, though.
    I browned the meat as directed. For the sauce I subsituted sun-dried tomatoes instead of olives and raisins (which would not be popular in my house. Now here's the big change - I threw it all in a crock pot for 8-10 hours on low. The meat fell apart, and everything was tangy & delicious.  
    This probably doesn't give the meat the same texture as Alton's oven cooking, but it was really nice to come home to after a day at work. I've made it this way a couple times now.
    I made this last night for Christmas Eve dinner (a new tradition. I followed the directions exactly and made the foil pouch. A few hours later, took it out of the oven and let it set. I was afraid it wasn't going to be done enough or tender, but, WOW. Fork tender and delicious. I just put the sauce as it was over the beef. I didn't find it to be too salty as other reviewers did and actually added extra salt. Thanks Alton! A hit with everyone and very easy as well. I'll make this regularly as chuck roasts like that are fairly inexpensive. The one I made was about 4 lbs. and was $14.00. A lot less than what I used to spend on Christmas dinner.
    I made this last night. The sauce was great, but the meat came out very dry and tough. Today my wife says the meat is less tough (I don't see how that could be, but that is what she says. I believe the problem was the cut of meat. I could not find a genuine blade roast or even a seven-bone roast anywhere. I had to go with a "boneless chuck roast"; the butchers said they didn't have they other stuff because they were trying to be "upscale." I would love to hear it if there is some way to get the fork tender result with a more "upscale" cut. I'm gonna have to go back to Boston Butt.
    This is the best recipe on FoodNetwork...period! We throw the whole lot in a slow cooker for 6-8 hours and it falls apart like a charm. One of our family's favorite meals. Sometimes we substitute the rasins for craisins (dried cranberries, to change it up...it adds a bit of sweet tanginess. Yum...
    This was good, not great. Have to cook a lot longer or at a higher temp to produce a tender roast. The sauce has a different flavor profile, I believe from the olives and vinegar. Not bad, but I prefer the "classic" pot roast. Mom wins out over Alton this time!
    Absolutely LOVE this recipe! Plenty of flavor, unlike the pot roasts I grew up with (sorry Mom and Grandma, and I like how different it is from the standard potato/carrot/onion accompaniment to pot roast. I made it in the crock pot and the house smelled heavenly when I got home. Think I'll try and adapt it to my pressure cooker so I don't have to wait as long for it to cook!
    This was really good! I used a 3-lb chuck roast, which I seared on the stove top before cooking off the veggies and throwing it all into a crock pot. After about 6-7 hours on low, the meat was fall-apart tender and not at all dry. Pureeing all the sauce/onions/olives/raisins in the blender made for a nice gravy too. That gravy went really well with the beef, roasted root veggies (celeriac, parsnips, carrots, potatoes, and crusty bread on the side, the perfect meal for a windy, rainy day (thanks, Hurricane Sandy. I used a large can of crushed tomatoes instead of tomato juice and added about 1 cup of white wine.
    stomach churning. I followed the recipe with the exception of the foil pouch -- instead I used a casserole dish with a tight fitting lid. I don't cook with aluminum foil and high-acid foods like tomatoes and vinegar. 
    The flavor of the sauce was okay, not great, just ok, very acidic and tangy. The texture of the half purred half "chunkies" together with the acidic tang made eating this sauce feel like vomiting in reverse. If the sauce were pureed and then strained perfectly smooth or left as intact rasins and olives I might have liked it better. 
    3 1/2 hours wasn't enough time for the meat to break down, it was still inedible as shoe leather, possibly because my casserole dish took longer to heat up but I doubt it would be that significant. I let it braise for almost 5 hours before I gave up on it and ordered pizza. Sorry Alton, this one was a miss.
    Wow. I was told by more than one dinner guest this was the best pot roast they ever had. I agee. I used a roast just over 4lbs so I doubled the whole recipe and used a crock pot instead of foil. After 3 1/2 hours, I removed the meat to rest it for 1/2 hour. Not eating it during that time because it smelled so good was the hard part. I dumped everything left in the pot into my vitamix blender and put it on high for 3 minutes. This made a truly delectable sauce. Pouted some over the meat before service. I had requests for the sauce recipe as well as th roast recipe. I'd make another roast just to get more of this sauce. It's THAT good.
    Such a tasty dish from AB! I've tried this before, but could never get it as tender as I wanted. Today I tried a different approach, putting it in the Crock-Pot instead of foil (didn't want the oven on all day when it's mid-90's outside. Left it for 8-9 hours, and it was PERFECT! Took the meat out, put the stick blender right in the Crock-Pot to pulverize the "chunkies". I will make this recipe no other way from now on. The taste is delicious. 
    I use a 3-4 pound chuck roast, so I up the amounts of olives, tomato juice, raisins, and balsamic vinegar, as well as the salt and cumin. Just left the Crock-Pot on low.
    Great! It is a bit acidic, but I think if I rinse the olives next time, it should be perfect. I used clamato juice instead of tomato. My family loved it, and they have a tendency to be picky about anything they consider "wierd".
    first time trying this. didn't have tomato juice or raisins. used tomato sauce and diced papaya. didn't have cheap olives, used expensive, martini soaked olives. my wife, a finicky eater, loved it! tender, juicy, and favorful. she didn't even put catsup on, her usual condiment that masks the tastes she doesn't like.
    I have made this recipe at least half a dozen times, but this is my first time reviewing. I shunned pot roasts because those of my youth were dry, chewy and tasteless. This pot roast is exactly the opposite: juicy, tender and tasty. I believe it's important to use the ingredients as prescribed (i.e. cheap cocktail olives, not black olives, but I have used various substitutions for the tomato juice. I've also used this recipe in a pressure cooker. Just reduce the liquid a little and cook for 90 minutes. I have found that I have to remove some of the rendered fat from the sauce before blending with "the chunkies". It does have an orange color, but, the sweet and sour sort of taste is yummy!
    Great twist on an old favorite! Tried this and the whole family loved it! Including my 3 year old! The sauce is delicious and the roast was juicy and wonderful. Not your Grandmas pot roast but even better!!
    Tender! I skipped the olives and raisins because I did not have the tomatoe juice. I used 1 jar of bruschetta instead. Perfect!
    The roast turns out wonderfully tender each time I use this recipe. I have cooked it both in crock pot and the oven. It turns out pretty salty if I put in all of the olives. It was a very different taste the first time I cooked it. Most people will not be used to it. After that, it grows on you. Who would ever have thought of putting raisins, tomatos, and olives together with cumin?? Sounds Brazilian with a German influence to me. My husband is going to cook this tonight solo. I only recommended this recipe to him because it is pretty simple.
    I was also skeptical of the list of ingredients. I used a 1.6 lb. "Bnls Bf Angs Chk Pt Rst BL". Instead of raisins I had a partial bag of wild berry trail mix blend in the pantry. The olives were a green and black olive mix. I substituted 1 can of diced tomatoes for the tomato juice. I used a dutch enameled oven which I preheated before I added the meats and vegetables. I placed three quartered potatoes and 5 carrots on top of the roast and the vegetable/sauce mix. I laid foil on top to confine the steam somewhat. My roast actually took more like 4.5 hours to come to a fork tender stage, and I boosted the oven temperature to 225 in the last half hour. Probably the greater cooking effort is due to not using the recommended foil pouch. I could not bring myself to blend the "chunkies" into a sauce, so we could taste the fruit and the olives. The carrots and potatoes were done perfectly. This pot roast is absolutely superb in all respects - this recipe was a HUGE success for us.
    very easy to make - I made this in the crockpot instead. I used a can of tomato soup instead of juice. Very tender, great taste.
    This was a very easy & delicious recipe! It?s slightly sweet - consider that you're adding raisins, balsamic vinegar & tomato juice. It is still quite savory. I used my dutch oven (I just got one for Christmas and HAD to use it! and it was fantastic! You can follow this recipe to the letter and I'm confident that it will come out delicious.  
    If you don?t like "sweet" with your pot roast, then you may not like this. It?s not super sweet, but you can taste it. 
    The things I did different were that I included black pepper in my rub, browned the roast on both sides before cooking the onions and added a bag of baby carrots & approx. 1 C. of beef stock to the pot before boiling the sauce. 
    I left my roast in the oven for the full 3½ hours. I let it rest for ½ hour. I removed my carrots and puréed about ¾ of the olive/raisin sauce. The roast came out very tender and very juicy!!! I will DEFINITELY be making this again!
    I love this inexpensive and flavorful pot roast. The olives and raisins in the sauce sort of make a steak sauce .It is the only way I would cook a 7 bone roast. I love cumin so I really douse my roast in it when I do the rub. I usually make two pot roasts at a time. Then I slice them, add a little of the juice and store them in the freezer in meal sized portions. I usually skim off the excess fat from the juice first to cut the fat content in this meal. This meal is a great way to save time and cooking energy while providing a great tasting meal.
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