Pot Roast done perfectly tender, a rich, silky gravy. Is there anything better? Here’s one that’s full of flavor, a play off of the Flemish Stew with beer, Beouf Carbonnade. If that sounds too fancy, just call it Pot Roast Carbonnade – Beer Braised Pot Roast. Does a roast with any other name still smell as good? Oh, that’s Rose? Silly me…
I grew up with Pot Roast made by sprinkling a packet of Lipton’s Onion Soup over the top, like That Old Lipton’s Onion Soup Pot Roast. I loved it then, and to tell ya the truth, I still do – but this Pot Roast Carbonnade – Beer Braised Pot Roast? My goodness. From the first bite, a single taste you’ll know exactly what’s been missing in your life. Even if you didn’t know you were missing anything!
About Pot Roast Carbonnade – Beer Braised Pot Roast:
Pot Roast Carbonnade – Beer Braised Pot Roast is really going to up your pot roast game. It has a hint of sweetness and just a touch of tangy from the beer. And it’s just dripping with caramelized onions. And all that makes a gravy so good you’re gonna want to like your plate. But don’t do it if you have company, lol!
And speaking of which, this is perfect for company or a celebration dinner (or any weekend night). Use a good, thick pot roast if you can; it always seem more elegant. Serve your Pot Roast Carbonnade – Beer Braised Pot Roast with mashed potatoes. It would be good with noodles, too, but why, why, why? (Yep, I’m a Northerner, you betcha.)
Making Pot Roast Carbonnade – Beer Braised Pot Roast:
There’s a bit of time and work invested in Beer-Braised Pot Roast. The onions take time to slowly caramelize (in bacon drippings if at all possible) but that’s the key to building the color and flavor. But once they’re done, it’s a breeze to finish up the dish. Just toss it in the oven to slowly braise. Go about your business. Enjoy the tantalizing aroma wafting from the oven. Maybe make a simple salad, or maybe fresh green beans. Pot Roasts shrink – a lot. A couple of sides round out the plate.
Belgium beers add a bit of a bitter, sour note, and there’s a touch of vinegar, in this, too. That’s why a smidge of a dark sweet jam is added in the end; it deepens and balances the flavors. It’s going to give you that deep “What is IN this flavor?” and the slightest hint of barely discernable sweet-sour. If you use a “tamer” beer, add any jam or jelly by taste.
Saving Money on Pot Roast Carbonnade – Beer Braised Pot Roast:
A good-sized chuck roast (my favorite cut for a braising because of the marvelous marbling) is going to set you back a few bucks; watch for sales. Try to squirrel away a little of the roast & gravy to shortcut Beef Barley Soup if you lean that way. It’s marvelous, and getting two meals out of a pricier protein is a great trick to spread the cost out.
Shop carefully for your alcoholic beverages and be aware of seasonal and cyclic changes as well as great prices on newly available offerings. Holidays and before big sporting events are often the best times to buy.
Onions keep well and larger bags are the way to go if you’ll use them all. Aldi has great prices but check the bag carefully. Store them in a dark, cool place but not near potatoes. If you’ve bought too many, don’t let them go bad. Dice and saute, portion into Ziplocs and freeze. You’ve just saved yourself a step for so many recipes. Good beef stock is pricey and difficult to make; stock up on boxes during sales, when It’s often half price and check at your buyer’s club or Aldi.
Pot Roast Carbonnade – Beer Braised Pot Roast
- 3-pound beef chuck roast
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup flour
- 3 tablespoon butter or bacon drippings, divided
- 3 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced lengthwise
- 1 teaspoon of brown sugar
- 1 Belgian-style ale, an Abbey Ale is great, almost any beer is good
- 1 cup beef stock, approximate
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon stone-ground mustard (optional)
- salt and pepper as desired
- 1/2 teaspoon tarragon
- 1/4 teaspoon thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon red or black currant or blackberry jam or jelly
Season beef, both sides, with salt and pepper. Place flour on a plate and dredge meat, both sides, in flour.
Heat 2 tablespoons of butter or drippings in a heavy Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add beef and sear, turning, turning once, until browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate; set aside.
Add remaining butter or drippings, onions, and the teaspoon of brown sugar. Cover, cook 30 minutes, over very low heat, stirring after15 minutes. Remove lid; at this point, the onions should be very soft and starting to brown. Continue to cook, lid off, stirring every few minutes until caramelized and brown. Add a little water, a couple of tablespoons, if at any point it looks as if the onions are too dry and in danger of burning.
While onions cook, preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Add half the beer to the onions and continue to cook, scraping the bottom of the pan, until slightly reduced about three to four minutes.
Return beef to pot with remaining beer, vinegar, thyme, tarragon, bay leaf, mustard and salt, and pepper. Add beef stock as needed to bring the level of liquid 3/4’s of the way up the roast. Bring to a boil. Cover pot and place in oven until very tender (nearly falling apart) when pierced with a fork, three to three and a half hours.
Watch your liquid level and check now and then towards the end of the time, as timing and evaporation can vary with different ovens, pans, and thicknesses of roast. Add water if needed.
Place pot roast on a platter to rest for 10 minutes, stir jelly into the sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning and serve sauce with the roast.