If you’re looking for something a bit different, and if you’re like me and love anything with Balsamic vinegar, you are gonna love this super easy Balsamic Marinated Pot Roast.
This really is drop-dead simple; you don’t even need to brown it before cooking and I don’t know about you but I love skipping that messy step. 🙂 Do plan ahead for a long marinade, though. It’s going to have to go overnight for the best, most intense flavor.
About Balsamic Marinated Pot Roast:
Speaking of flavor, it’s not just the Balsamic vinegar that flavors this roast. It’s full of garlic (that’s gotta be the one pain about making this: you’re gonna put slits all over the roast and insert garlic slices) and then there’s the rosemary. So it really has a strong Italian leaning flavor. On top of that, it’s baked in a nest of onions. An obnoxious amount of onions, with tomatoes.
The first time I made it for my folks my Dad freaked when he saw me lay all the onions in the pan, but I said trust me and he did and the folks loved it. I love the strong, heady flavor, too, but taste it when it comes out of the oven. If it feels too strong for you, add just a touch of brown sugar to tame the sauce a bit.
Now I’m a Midwesterner, so ya gotta know I’m usually all about anything with potatoes, any way you want to serve them. In this case, though, really you can’t go wrong with serving this meal over pasta, either. Linguini, Fettucini, or any wider noodle works so well with this. Add a simple side, I chose simple Glazed Carrots (they keep the budget under control) but Brussels sprouts would work well too.
And if you’d like to go with mashed potatoes instead of pasta, it’s marvelous that way, too. For a lower-carb option, you might want to try a Cauliflower Mash. With all the strong Balsamic flavor, it stands up nicely to this Instant Pot Cauliflower Mash.
Making Balsamic Marinated Pot Roast:
There is nothing to making this. Prepare by stabbing the roast and inserting the garlic and marinating ahead of time. When you’re ready to cook, slice the onions, nestle in the beef, and pour a can of tomatoes with their juice right over it. Tuck it into the oven, covered, and pull it out three and a half hours or so later when it’s meltingly tender and that’s it!
Now if you want the onions especially “melty”, slice the onion in half root to stem and then slice half-moon slices going across. If you want them more distinct (this is how my photo shows it) just slice each half at an angle and cut from root to stem, working your way across the onion.
There is one optional step. This pot roast makes a lot of thin sauce. If you’d like it thicker, after removing your pot roast, add about a heaping teaspoon of cornstarch into a cup and stir in a little water until it’s liquidy. Add it to the sauce, bring the sauce to a simmer and stir in the cornstarch mixture. Now your sauce will have a bit more of a gravy-like consistency.
Variations on Balsamic Marinated Pot Roast:
Probably my fave little twists on this pot roast are to use a can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes, and I’m not even particular about any add-ins, and to use sweet onions instead of plain old yellow onions.
Now my daughter makes a similar roast but cooks potatoes and carrots right along with. I don’t do that because I like the contrast and balance that the vegetables add to the party. I don’t want everything tasting like balsamic. But to each their own; admittedly it does make the meal a little easier to toss everything together.
Saving Money on Balsamic Marinated Pot Roast:
Much as I love Pot Roast I gotta admit some of these old-school country type meat & potato meals don’t always give the best “bang for your buck,” even though the Chuck is one of the least expensive cuts, sometimes less than ground beef. Shop for your meat well, picking it up when it’s on sale.
Watch for great sales in the fall after the beef goes to market and in January through February. Christmas is known for big roasts, New Year’s and Valentine’s are prime holidays when steak is served. Often after these holidays, the lesser cuts of beef are plentiful and drop in price. After all, something has to be done to move the lesser cuts after all the Rib Roasts and steaks are sold!
If you’d like to see what I look for on sale around any holiday, check out my post, Win at the Grocers. There are links to all the great holiday sale items.
About Balsamic Vinegar:
If you’d like to know more about Balsamic Vinegar, in a nutshell, there are 3 kinds of certified balsamic vinegar. Two are traditionally made and come respectively from Modeno and Reggio Emilia and are called Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena (Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena) and Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Reggio Emilia (Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Reggio Emilia). They are produced from the must of grapes and are aged at least 12 years and can be aged 25 or more.
The Balsamic you’ll be wanting to use if you’re budget-minded is less expensive Balsamic Vinegar of Modena (Aceto Balsamico di Modena) is made from grape must that is blended with wine vinegar. Notice it’s named for Modena but can be produced in either Modena or Reggio Emilia. These must be aged at least two months and can vary in quality and may contain enhancers to mimic the more expensive traditional balsamic, so look for a good one.Print
Balsamic Marinated Pot Roast
- Total Time: 3 1/2 hours plus over night marination
- Yield: 6 to 8 1x
- Category: Beef Main Dish
- Cuisine: Italian
- 3 pound chuck roast
- 3 large cloves garlic slivered
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary or abt 1 1/2 teaspoons dried
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- 3 medium onions, sliced in half then in thin slices
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 14.5 ounce canned tomatoes, chopped with juice
Poke holes all over meat and insert slivers of garlic. Place in a nonreactive pan (a glass baking dish or large Ziploc bag will work, too.) Combine rosemary and vinegar, pour over meat, turning to coat. Refrigerate overnight.
When ready to cook, heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread onions in a large casserole or roasting pan. Nestle meat into onions and pour marinade over all. Add tomatoes and juice over the top. (No need to stir.)
Cover tightly with lid or foil and cook until easily pierced by fork, three to three and a half hours. Remove lid and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Defat juices if desired and pass with roast.
If you wish, you may slightly thicken juices with a teaspoon to a teaspoon and a half of cornstarch mixed with a bit of water. Stir into juices, bring to a simmer and serve.
Keywords: Balsamic Vinegar, Bargain Meal of the Week, Beef, Chuck Roast, Fine Cooking, Freezes Well, Italian, Pot Roast, Tomatoes, Vinegar
You know I’ll be bringing this to our Throwback Thursday #24 Link Party, hosted by Quinn of Dad What’s for Dinner, Meaghan of 4 Sons are Us, Alli of Tornadough, and Moi!