I write about repurposing old things into new, home decor and sometimes stray into whimsy.

Grandma Brown's Pot Roast

Grandma Brown's Pot Roast

Confession:  I don't like to cook.  Never have.  Frankly, if you had seen what we used to eat for dinner before we had children you'd sprain your eye muscles from the side-eye.  I do however, love to collect recipes; beautifully photographed, look-at-how-easy-this-is-with-only-four-ingredients recipes that make you feel like you can do it all AND clean the kitchen in 20 minutes. My recipe book  was a wedding gift from one of my best friends who does actually enjoy cooking, and I filled it almost immediately with recipes from magazines and cards from well meaning friends who wanted to make sure that the bride knew that there were other food groups other than spaghetti.  In the 20 or so years since, its stayed nice and  full giving the impression that I'm constantly referencing this dog-eared collection.  (Full disclosure:  I've made maybe 10 things from this book.)


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However, in all of this carefully collected clutter there is one recipe card that we treasure above all others:  My husband's Grandma Brown's Pot Roast.



Aside from the fact that the card is in her handwriting (we don't have nearly enough opportunities to see loved ones handwriting these days), its pretty evident from the condition of the card that this was a gift that kept on giving. My husband, who has been a vegetarian for the last 10 years, has little or no memory of meat at all, EXCEPT for the deliciousness of the smell of this pot roast. So, on this cold January day, I'd like to share Grandma Brown's Pot Roast recipe with you, and maybe it will end up well-loved in your collection.

1. Brown the roast until seared on all sides (only seared it for about 15 minutes, since you're cooking it on low for 6 hours, its plenty).


2.  Add seasonings and onions:


3.  Cover and simmer on low (if you have time) for 7 hours, or on high for 3 - 4 hours.  Add potatoes about an hour before you finish cooking..


4. VOILA!!  (I didn't add potatoes to mine since I was serving it on top of pasta.


Meet Grandma Brown.


And now the recipe for easy copy-n-pasting!

Grandma Brown's Pot Roast

Serves 3-4 (I get more)


  • 4 lbs chuck roast, visible fat removed
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil
  • 1 tbsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 tbsp pepper
  • 1 cup sliced onion (or small whole onions)
  • 1 1/2 tbps brown sugar (I always add a little more)
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • New potatoes, 1 per person, skins on
  • 1 cup sliced carrots (or more if desired)

Putting it together

  1. Slowly brown roast in hot oil in Dutch oven for 1/2 hour, uncovered.  (Cast iron skillet, or what you have is fine.)
  2. Add seasonings, sugar, onion, water and vinegar.
  3. Cover and simmer 3-4 hours.
  4. One hour before serving, cut potatoes in halves or theirs and add to broth.  Add carrots, cover and continue to simmer for the last hour.
  5. Turn off and let sit 15 minutes before serving.


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