Pot Roast Carbonnade - a play on Beouf Carbonnade. A Beer Braised Pot Roast just dripping with Caramelized Onions

Pot Roast Carbonnade – Beer Braised Pot Roast

Pot Roast Carbonnade: Beer braised pot roast just dripping with caramelized onions. It's to die for!

Pot Roast done perfectly tender, silky, a rich 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 Beer Braised Pot Roast. Does a roast with any other name still smell as good? Oh, that’s Rose? Silly me…

Pot Roast Carbonnade - a play on Beouf Carbonnade. A Beer Braised Pot Roast

Pot Roast Carbonnade – a play on Beouf Carbonnade. A Beer Braised Pot Roast

I grew up with Pot Roast made by sprinkling a packet of Lipton’s Onion Soup over the top, adding a can of tomatoes and chucking it in the oven. I loved it then, and to tell ya the truth, I still do – but this Pot Roast Carbonnade? My goodness. One taste and you’ll know exactly what’s been missing in your life.

Pot Roast Carbonnade has a hint of sweetness and a touch of tangy from the beer. And it’s just dripping with caramelized onions. That gravy is so good over mashed potatoes. It would be good with noodles, too, but why? Yep, I’m a northerner!

Pot Roast Carbonnade - a play on Beouf Carbonnade. A Beer Braised Pot Roast

Pot Roast Carbonnade – a play on Beouf Carbonnade. A Beer Braised Pot Roast

There’s a bit of time and work invested in Beer Braised Pot Roast. The onions need to be cooked to perfection, which takes time, but that’s the key to building the color and flavor. But once the onions are caramelized, it’s a breeze to finish up the dish and stick it in the oven to lovingly 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 sides round out the plate.

A good-sized chuck roast (my favorite cut for a braised meal like this because of its marvelous marbling) is going to set you back a few bucks, so look for them on sale. And try to squirrel away a little of the roast and a bit of the gravy to shortcut a Beef Barley Soup. A little trick when serving a more expensive meal is to use a bit of it for another…then the cost is essentially spread over two meals.

Pot Roast Carbonnade - a play on Beouf Carbonnade. A Beer Braised Pot Roast

Pot Roast Carbonnade – a play on Beouf Carbonnade. A Beer Braised Pot Roast

Pot Roast Carbonnade

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print
  • 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 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, stirring every few minutes until caramelized and brown.

While onions cook, preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Add half the beer to the onions and continue to cook, scraping bottom of 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.

Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:

  • Read {Strategies Applied} for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time/money and managing this recipe.
  • Follow my 12 Strategies.
  • Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
  • Use a coupon matching site! Every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings!

Put Your Own Spin on it:

  • Many stews like this include bacon or lardons, sautéed until rendered, then removed. The meat and onions are then cooked in the drippings and the bacon or lardons added in to braise.
  • While I like to add a tiny bit of sugar to help caramelize the onions, another option is to add sugar to the stew to balance out the sourness of the beer instead of the jelly.
  • Mustard can be added – I often omit it, but up to two to three tablespoons are used in some recipes for a very robust flavor.
  • Belgium beers add a bit of a bitter, sour note, which is why the sugar is used. If using a tamer beer, watch the amount of sugar or jelly used.
  • Herbs can be used and varied according to taste!
Beef & Barley Soup

Beef & Barley Soup


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