Hard Cider Braised Pot Roast with Fresh Sage is full of classic fall flavors ~ it’s a fix it and forget it meal that everyone loves!
I’ve always been a pot roast girl. Once every couple of months I’ll get the craving and nothing else will do. For me it’s the ultimate comforting dinner, and I make it year round, but I gussied this one up for fall with two iconic fall favorites…hard cider and fresh sage. If you’re looking to change up your basic pot roast, this is a great recipe, it got rave reviews in my house. Long cooking meats like this are perfect for pairing with alcohol because the alcohol itself cooks off, leaving a rich background flavor behind. Sometimes I use wine, sometimes beer, but I really like the hint of sweetness that you get from hard cider. Lots of onion, shallot and garlic go into the pot and over the course of four hours practically melt into the gravy. This is a keeper.
No other meat can match pot roast it for fall apart tenderness. The many hours of cooking in liquid at a low temperature does it. The whole process takes several hours, but they’re easy hours, once you get the pot in the oven your work is done. And unless you’re feeding a crowd, you’ll get more than one dinner out of the deal. I love it even better the next night — I’ll combine the leftover meat with the gravy and serve the whole thing over noodles…heaven. If you want more perfectly even slices of meat, make the roast a day ahead and slice it while still cold, and then reheat it with the sauce.
- 3-4 lb boneless chuck roast
- salt and black pepper
- 2 Tbsp shortening or vegetable oil
- 2 medium white onions, peeled and thickly sliced
- 2-4 large shallots, peeled and cut in wedges
- 4 large cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1 12oz bottle of hard cider
- 3 bunches of fresh sage
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- Wondra flour for optional thickening
- Set oven to 325F
- Rub your roast with salt and fresh cracked black pepper, making sure it adheres to the meat.
- Heat the shortening or vegetable oil in a large heavy pot until it is smoking hot. Brown the meat on ALL sides. You should hear a great sizzle when the meat hits the pan. Let each surface get nice and brown without disturbing it before you move on to the next section. Don't forget the top and bottom!
- Remove the roast from the pan and set aside on a plate. Add the onions, shallots, and garlic to the pan and saute, stirring almost constantly, for 3 to 5 minutes, just until the onions start to soften and you have scraped up all the good brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Put the meat back into the pan, nestling it among the onions.
- Add the stock and cider, along with 2 bunches of fresh sage. (Reserve the third bunch for later) The liquid should almost come up to the top of the meat, but not quite. Add more stock or a little water if necessary.
- Bring to a simmer, then cover and set the pot in the oven. Cook for 4 - 4 1/2 hours, turning the meat over halfway through the time.
- Remove the meat to a platter and put the pot back on the stove. Pick out the sage stems and discard. Chop the final bunch of sage and add it to the sauce now. Add the cider vinegar, and bring it back up to a simmer. If you like your gravy on the thick side, sprinkle on a little Wondra flour until you get the consistency you like, If you don't use the flour, boil the sauce for about 15 minutes to reduce it a bit. Either way, taste it to adjust the seasonings.
- Slice the pot roast and, using a slotted spoon, spoon the onions over the top, followed by someof the gravy. Serve with extra gravy on the side.
We ate this with roasted new potatoes and Brussels’ sprouts that I tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted in a 450F oven until they were cooked through and crisped up on the outside, but you could also serve it with noodles or mashed potatoes. Mashed turnips or mashed rutabaga would be especially nice.