Holiday Pot Roast


Can you believe it is only six more sleeps till Christmas?  Six!  I have presents wrapped.  And cookies baked.  And the oil changed in the car for driving all over the country visiting family.  My in-law’s Chanukah party is tonight and I am happy to report I was successful in making Smitten Kitchen’s Babka.  And it was delicious.  And yes I will make it again with all of my helpful changes and snarky advice for y’all.

My family re-does the traditional Thanksgiving meal every year for Christmas with a few minor changes (roasted potatoes over mashed, macaroni and cheese over asparagus casserole, more Christmas cookies to go with the pumpkin pie, and ever since I went to law school in New Orleans, red beans and rice make an appearance).  Plus we usually have a “rogue” addition.  Some years it is bar-b-qued ribs but often my mom makes a pot roast at Christmas.

Pot Roast

Get as good quality meat as you can find/afford.  This really does make a difference.  I know I am often irritated when people are all, “use the best and super expensive ingredient” and then when I taste it I am like, “well that is no better than the generic stuff”.  Here, however, I really can tell a difference.  So much so that my family sometimes takes a cooler and drives to a butcher in a town we moved away from almost two years ago – just to stock up on the good stuff.

Lipton beefy onion soup mix.  Or just the onion soup mix.  Or whatever dried onion soup mix you like.

1 – 2 tbsp. olive oil

Carrots and potatoes (or egg noodles – I like options)



Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven.  Salt and pepper the meat (I always add in a little Italian seasoning as well) then sear the roast on all sides.

It will already smell wonderful in your home!

Add in the packet of onion soup mix and enough water to cover about 1/3rds of the roast.

Now let’s talk about options.  You can at this point add in some potatoes and carrots and let them all cook together which is lovely.  Or you can wait until the roast is cooked, take the meat out to rest (often challenging because it is falling-apart tender) and cook some egg noodles in the delicious broth.

No matter what you choose to do at this point you want to put the lid on the Dutch oven and cook in a 350 degree oven for at least 3-4 hours.

The roast, however, is very forgiving.  I have cranked the oven up to 400 to bake some bread alongside it and then lowered the temp.  The roast came out beautifully.  I have cooked a 2 pound roast at 300 for 3 hours and it came out beautifully.  That is what makes this so great for a big holiday meal – you can be cooking something a lot more temperature-sensitive in the same oven and the roast will, by and large, come out beautifully.

No matter what you celebrate this year, I hope you have a wonderful Holiday full of joy and laughter.


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