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.) Source: EatingWell Magazine, Fall 2004

Patsy Jamieson
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

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  • 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.

Tips

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; 7.4 g total fat; 2.5 g saturated fat; 88 mg cholesterol; 73 mg sodium. 293 mg potassium; 4.1 g carbohydrates; 0.5 g fiber; 2 g sugar; 29.7 g protein; 4 IU vitamin a iu; 2 mg vitamin c; 15 mcg folate; 23 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 23 mg magnesium;

Reviews (38)

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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
12/26/2016
Best Christmas dinner I've made. Thank you! This was flavorful and easy. The slow cook method made the meat tender. I will make this again for guests. It goes great with a side of roasted carrots and bacon green beans. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
08/13/2016
My rancher pilot agrees--toss all other pot roast recipes out! I didn't have the Cafe Bustelo on hand but used Folger's Columbian roast at double strength--made in the crock pot on low and it won rave reviews from my testosterone crew with mushrooms thrown on top for the last hour and a side of cauliflower fauxtatoes. I will definitely use this as a comfort-meal standby! The sauce at completion is a delicious French onion soup flavor--I couldn't turn it into gravy--it was delicious as is. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
04/09/2015
Nutritional Accuracy 4 pounds of meat is 64oz how are we getting that a serving is 3 ounces and that there are 10 servings? Pros: Tasted great slow cooker was wicked easy. Read More
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Rating: 4 stars
02/18/2015
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
Rating: 4 stars
11/17/2013
Delicious! This recipe required very little tweaking and the sauce was delicious. Pros: Easy and tasty Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/03/2013
Best Effortless Pot Roast I have made pot roasts in the past typically with a soup mix and found them far too salty and not nearly tender enough. This roast on the other hand is just the opposite. After searing I braised my beef in the onion coffee concoction for 2 1/2 hours occasionally basting the roast with the juices in the pan really just for fun. I let it rest while I steamed green beans and carrots and finished the gravy. I recommend adding a splash of red wine (cab sauv works nicely) and a little more coffee to the gravy and reducing before adding the thickening agent. It makes for a richer gravy without adding too many calories or salt. For the salt lover give them the shaker and let em go to town - but I assure you they probably won't need it. Delicious to the last bite. Pros: Pros: Easy delicious low sodium natural. Read More
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Rating: 5 stars
02/24/2013
Made the crock pot variation tonight and it was a hit. My husband said to throw away all the other pot roast recipes and use this one from now on. The coffee and juice from the meat makes a delicious gravy. But it was not quite enough gravy to go with the leftovers. Next time I will add some the full cup of coffee instead of the 1/2 cup. Pros: Easy Read More
Rating: 4 stars
12/20/2012
Must have been good it was gone quick My picky husband was happy...and there was confusion who would get the last serving...I won! I used fresh thyme did not bother making the gravy as the broth was already good...did cook last hour with sweet potatoes carrots string beans...last 20 min with mushrooms and celery...I like all the veggies done in one pot...u could have skipped the browning as I see no difference in taste. Pros: Easy Read More
Rating: 5 stars
12/16/2012
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: 4 stars
10/30/2012
Easy and oh-so-delicious! I have to admit I was skeptical about how this roast would turn out when I put the coffee and balsamic vinegar into the pot but by the time the roast had finished cooking the sweetness was well-balanced. One reviewer noted the gravy was like gelatin: I would suggest slowly adding the cornstarch mixture until you reach a consistency you like. The gravy really helped to make this dish. I added baby carrots to the pot about an hour in; they picked up the flavors nicely. Served with creamy mashed potatoes which were great with the gravy too. Will totally make again. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/29/2012
Melt in your mouth tender Made this tonight as we awaited Hurricane Sandy!! True comfort food. Followed the recipe for the over method. Cooked 2.5 hours rested for 15 min. It was literally fork tender - so good! I did caramelize the onions a lot longer than the recipe called for (we like them REALLY caramelized) and used fresh thyme. I also used flour rather than corn starch. Delicious flavor!!! Pros: easy Read More
Rating: 5 stars
08/02/2012
I used a sirloin roast & did the crockpot version & it came out so tender & delicious. I cut the onions in chunks so they wouldn't disappear & added mushrooms at the very end. Would definitely use this recipe for company & will be making it often for my family. Pros: Very easy! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
02/15/2012
Delicious crock pot dinner I am terrible at making coffee so I subbed 1T cocoa powder whisked into 1/2 cup boiling water. The meat really took on the bitter cocoa flavor in a really positive way! I'll be making this again. Pros: easy comfort food Read More
Rating: 3 stars
02/08/2012
A good base recipe to embellish as you want I'd never known to add coffee to a pot roast before this recipe. My tweaks: Seasoned a natural beef leaner roast very well with Himalayan sea salt and freshly cracked all-color peppercorns. Browned well. Sauteed onions til clear added 4 chopped cloves Elephant garlic and continued saute. Didn't have thyme but used tarragon which we love. Used Community Brand Coffee & Chicory INSTANT blend very strong. Added some Cabernet Sauvignon baby organic carrots organic cubed russet potato beef bouillon granules. Transferred juice to cooktop added slight amounts of cornstarch at a time to get right consistency of gravy per amount of water created by roast. Added a little more S&P. We thought it was great. Pros: Turned out perfectly in crockpot Cons: I could tell it would be too mild for our taste so added more from the start Read More
Rating: 2 stars
01/23/2012
Not so good We just made this and the gravy was like gelatin. We threw out most of it. We followed the recipe so not so sure why it didn't come out right. Very disappointed. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
01/13/2012
Mine was awesome! I put my meat and onions right in to the slow cooker- I had no time to brown them- and it still turned out delicious. I buy my beef from a farmer and I did sprinkle it with English Prime Rib Rub spice blend from Penzeys Spices so maybe that was the difference. I will definitely make again and I'm never using the dry onion soup again. Pros: Tender flavorful easy! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
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
10/30/2011
My husband is on a low-sodium diet and I am just trying to serve my family healthier dinners. This fit the bill. I have NEVER cooked a pot roast in my life that was edible but this was amazing. I cooked it in the crock pot instead of the stove and added a little more thyme as well as some mushrooms after the fifth hour. It also cooked in 7 hours on low in my cooker. Flavor was intense gravy was amazing and the smell permeated my house so that by the time dinner rolled around my family was clamoring to get some of what was in the pot! I will definitely be making this on a regular basis! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
This recipe was delicious!!! I was out of garlic (which should be a major drawback IMO) but it was still fantastic! I served it with homemade coleslaw and broiled veggies. The onion "gravy" would have been decadent over mashed potatoes! This is a keeper for many years for me! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
This was really delicious! I added half of a bottle of hearty beer to the pot about halfway through and I am not sure if this made much of a difference but my husband and I loved it. I plan to make it again -- for company in the very near future. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
Excellent made as written. Got rave reviews from my normally finicky family. Also good with carrots added to the braising liquid ' cut them in sticks as shown in the illustration. Giving it plenty of time braising in a slow oven is the key. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
This was probably the best beef I have ever had! I used a leaner cut of meat because I didn't have a chuck roast and it was still fantastic. I absolutely recommend making plenty of your favorite coleslaw to use in sandwiches the next day. I had brisket in a famous BBQ restaurant in Austin Tx that wasn't this good. Thanks Eating Well! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
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: 5 stars
10/30/2011
Fantastic flavor! It really does have that "onion soup mix" flavor in a good way. The onions break down and become so sweet and tender. I also put some carrots and parsnips in the pot to braise for the last hour or so then fished them out before making the gravy. Yummy! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
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
10/30/2011
If not in the mood for gravy pour in a whole can of diced tomatoes instead and make a sauce. The next day serve it with chunks of the leftover beef and vegetables over pasta. Fantastic! Don't bother to add the cornstarch in this case. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
I absolutely love this recipe. I followed it to theTEE except...no 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
10/30/2011
This was outstanding. I can't recommend highly enough! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
Wonderful the family will love it! Staceyann C. Dolenti Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
I've been making pot roast for years with onion soup mix ( lots of salt ) and we liked this recipe SO much better! My whole family loved it! The only change that I made was to sprinkle the roast with garlic powder before searing. I served it with gravy over egg noodles. It's definitely a keeper! Thanks Eating Well! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
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
10/29/2011
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
10/29/2011
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
10/29/2011
This recipe sounds great and I am looking forward to trying it. Thank you for the tips. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
My family loved this recipe. We added mushrooms and about 2 cups of beef broth and cooked in crock pot set on low. Very easy and tasty. I'm going to share with my friends! Read More
Rating: 3 stars
10/29/2011
Tender but bland I made this recipe for Christmas Eve & was disappointed. I expected the onions coffee & balsamic vinegar to bring with it a lot of flavor -- not so. I guess I'm still on the hunt for a healthy yet flavorful roast beef recipe. Pros: Tender beef & easy recipe Cons: Not enough flavor Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
EXCELLENT!! I made this in the crock pot. ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!! Made it a second time for my in-laws on Christmas Eve. They absolutely loved it!!! SO FLAVORFUL! This is one of our favorites!!! Pros: Easy to make; DEFINITE CROWD-PLEASER! Cons: None Read More
Rating: 2 stars
10/29/2011
Tasteless After reading through the review I got the vibe that this recipe was a bit bland. So I added extra garlic extra thyme extra vinegar extra pepper--really trying to spice things up a bit. But I just finished eating it and I'm sorry to say my wife and I were very disappointed. The meat was tender alright--but had no taste! I could taste the sweetness of the caramelized onions but beyond that it tasted like I had just boiled a roast in water. Sorely disappointing. Pros: Easy Cons: Boring tasteless waste of meat Read More