This recipe is reminiscent of a pot roast made with onion-soup mix, but the flavors are true and pure--and nobody misses the excess sodium. (For a slow-cooker variation, see below.)

Patsy Jamieson
Source: EatingWell Magazine, Fall 2004


Recipe Summary

3 hrs 15 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

  • Season beef with salt and pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. Add beef and cook, turning from time to time, until well browned on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

  • Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the pot. Add onions, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until softened and golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and thyme; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in coffee and vinegar; bring to a simmer. Return the beef to the pot and spoon some onions over it. Cover and transfer to the oven.

  • Braise the beef in the oven until fork-tender but not falling apart, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Transfer beef to a cutting board, tent with foil and let rest for about 10 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, skim fat from the braising liquid; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the cornstarch mixture and cook, whisking, until the gravy thickens slightly, about 1 minute. Season with pepper. Carve the beef and serve with gravy.

  • Slow-Cooker Variation:

  • In Step 2, transfer the browned beef to a slow cooker. In Step 3, use just 1/2 cup coffee. Add the onion mixture to the slow cooker. In Step 4, cover and cook until beef is tender, 4 1/2 to 5 hours on High or 7 to 8 hours on Low. In Step 5, pour the liquid into a medium saucepan and continue as directed.


Make Ahead Tip: The pot roast will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat meat slices and sauce, covered, in the oven, microwave or on the stovetop.

Ingredient Note: Although it is not the leanest cut of beef, chuck is still our choice for pot roast because it doesn't dry out during braising. You will find pockets of fat as you carve it, but they are easy to remove.

For easy cleanup, try a slow-cooker liner. These heat-resistant, disposable liners fit neatly inside the insert and help prevent food from sticking to the bottom and sides of your slow cooker.

Nutrition Facts

209 calories; protein 29.7g 59% DV; carbohydrates 4.1g 1% DV; exchange other carbs 0.5; dietary fiber 0.5g 2% DV; sugars 1.7g; fat 7.4g 11% DV; saturated fat 2.5g 13% DV; cholesterol 87.9mg 29% DV; vitamin a iu 3.7IU; vitamin c 2.2mg 4% DV; folate 15.1mcg 4% DV; calcium 22.9mg 2% DV; iron 2.6mg 15% DV; magnesium 22.6mg 8% DV; potassium 293.1mg 8% DV; sodium 73.1mg 3% DV; thiamin 0.1mg 7% DV.

Reviews (38)

Read More Reviews
38 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 27
  • 4 star values: 7
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 2
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
Cooked roast in the crock pot per directions and it came out SO GOOD! Family approved and my husband raved about it. Tips: Cook 4 lbs roast for 5 hours on high Add a cup of beef broth to make extra gravy. The juices and seasoning from the roast make an excellent gravy! Next time I'll omit the balsamic vinegar because I prefer a less sour taste. Will definitely make this again. So easy!! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I absolutely love this recipe. I followed it to theTEE balsamic vinegar but I had some balsamic salad dressing...I don't think there was a difference. The meat was so moist and tender. My husband and I discussed the pot roasts of our childhood...dry dry dry. I love this eating well site. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
After discovering this recipe I've made it three times. The first was an experiment to determine if was as good as I hoped it would be. The coffee was the clincher. Not being a fan of chuck roasts I searched for another cut of meat and decided to try the sirloin roast. It's extremely lean and a bit more expensive than the chuck. I also prefer my onions chopped in chunks instead of slicing them thinly as directed because they seem to disappear. More liquid is also my preference so I add about 3/4 cup of water along with the coffee so that the finished product is juicier when adding the corn starch therefore more gravy which is out of this world. I made the last recipe for my brother and his wife and they were blown away with the flavor of this roast. This wakes up your taste buds for the new found pot roast!!! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
My extended family absolutely adores this! I have meddled with the receipe to add bacon (4 oz diced) beer (1/2 bottle hearty ale) and mushrooms (8 oz sliced). The mushrooms and beer create a little more liquid so I add a bit more cornstarch. If you can find it chocolate balsamic adds a wonderfully subtle touch. You really can't go wrong with such basic addictive foods as bacon beer and chocolate. You don't taste any of them individually; they just add to the depth of the flavor. Yes the bacon adds some fat and calories but you add only a little. The resulting taste is so rich that you might actually eat less and the dish lasts for several meals. I sometimes make it ahead by lifting out the onions and mushrooms from the sauce and refrigerating the meat veggies and liquid separately. The meat will keep for up to two days. When preparing for dinner I skim the cold fat off the top make the gravy and add the onions and mushrooms. The meat slices much better when cold. Arrange the sliced meat in an ovenproof dish pour the gravy over it cover with foil and heat in the oven for about 30 minutes at 350. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Impressive and easy. Lots of flavor - better than anything you could make with a packet!! This one is definitely going into the fall/winter menu rotation. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This was absolutely delicious! Bursting with flavor though I probably added more salt than the recipe called for. I served it with mashed potatoes and a salad. The only thing I would be careful about: As soon as you add the cornstarch mixture to the drippings it will thicken up. It is okay to remove if from the heat immediately after this - otherwise you will have boiling gravy splattering all over everything - including you. Ouch! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Incredibly delicious and easy. The Onion Soup Mix version used to be a standby for me the sodium content was always a negative. This recipe has more flavor and none of the "sodium hangover"! My husband and I both loved it. I used the oven braising method but next time will try the crockpot version for ease and convenience. Served it with skinny mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Easy to make and good. I used New York Loin roast because it's what I had on hand. Trimmed it of the fat. I served it with a side of steamed carrots and a baked potato. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Great Crock Pot Meal Took out as much fat as possible. Seasoned meat and browned. Caramelized onions. Threw it all in a crock pot. Used full amount of coffee and added water. Added cremini mushrooms and mushroom bouillon last hour along with penne rigate. Turned into a great beef with pasta dish. Pros: Versitle recipe Cons: Needs more seasoning for my taste Read More