This post is about making sweet potato pot roast with a red wine reduction from scratch and has step-by-step instructions as well as a video!
Pot roast has to be one of my favorite meals to make. It’s just such a classic and makes the whole house smell amazing. I make a few different versions of pot roast, but this one has to be my favorite. Probably because I have an obsession with sweet potatoes in any form! That’s one thing I can’t wait to grow in our garden this year.
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I’ve been fortunate to have quality, pastured beef my whole life. My parents always bought it by the quarter or side from local sources when I was growing up. And we do the same now – from our friend who runs his cattle right here on our farm. Can’t get much more local than that!
Knowing where our food comes from, both plant and meat, is so very important to me. Sure, I still buy a lot of stuff at the store, but having a freezer full of meat from animals that lived a life in green pastures with lots of sunlight, space, and care means that we’re nourishing our bodies closer to the way God intended. Plus, factory beef just doesn’t even come close to the taste of pastured!
Right now, our family of 5 eats about a side of beef every year.
In short, my meal plan is no plan. I don’t ever sit down and make out a menu because I have this weird thing about me where I don’t like to look past a couple days in the future or I tend to get overwhelmed. And I just like living like a semi-gypsy and being noncommittal to be honest. My friends know this about me and God love them they still stick around.
However, there’s nothing more frustrating in the kitchen than wanting to start cooking dinner in the evening and not having any meat thawed out. That’s not exactly a quick process, dinner takes is ready way later than planned, and hungry husbands and tiny people become very emotionally unstable. So, one thing I do is keep a 9×13 pan in the fridge and make sure I have some kind of meat thawed out at all times to throw something together.
Seasoning A Roast
The roast I used here is a shoulder roast, but a chuck roast would do just fine too. When it comes to seasoning – you can go all kinds of crazy, and sometimes I do. But there’s nothing quite like a simply seasoned roast where the true flavor of the beef can really come through. So for this recipe, I just season the raw roast liberally with PHSS (pink Himalayan sea salt) and freshly ground pepper. Then, I let it sit while I heat the pan and prep the veggies, however long that may take.
Cooking With Cast Iron
I love cast iron. And you’ll see me use it frequently in my videos. In this video I’m using a huge Cook’s Companion dutch oven that’s big enough to actually fit an entire shoulder roast. Cooking with cast iron can be a bit tricky, but with enamel coated it’s all in the heating process. In order for your food to not stick to your pan: heat it first, then add oil, let the oil heat, and then add your food.
There’s really no right or wrong way to prep vegetables in my opinion. No fancy cutting techniques here, I just do what works and make sure my knives are sharp. Like I mentioned above, you’ll have time to cut your potatoes, onion, and carrot and grate or mince your garlic while your dutch oven is heating. One note about cutting vegetables for roasting, just don’t cut them too small or they’ll be mush. Otherwise, I’m a big fan of the rough chop.
One of my favorite things about having chickens on the homestead is recycling of kitchen scraps made easy. I save scraps in a bucket, dump them out on top of the garden beds each evening, and the chickens go to town feasting, scratching and pooping. The ultimate winter prep for the spring garden, all done by the chickens! Now, obviously when I plant seeds and seedlings, I’ll throw the scraps in an area outside of the garden and the chickens will have to steer clear until the plants are established so they don’t ruin them.
This is the part that’s skipped in the crock pot, throw it all in and let it set method (which I do sometimes too!). But boy does it make a difference! Searing your vegetables and garlic in hot oil before searing your roast, making your redaction, and combining everything to roast in there oven really highlights the flavors of each component and them onions doe. Simply amazing. Once your oil is hot, (heated on medium to medium-high) add all of your chopped vegetables and garlic and let them sear for 5 minutes or until they’re pretty brown like in the video. The onion should start to get translucent and come apart. Then dump them back in a big bowl, because you’re going to sear your roast next in the same pan you just used, without washing in-between!
If there isn’t any oil left in your pan from searing the veggies, add a tablespoon or two more and let it heat for a moment before adding your meat. If there’s still oil left, just add your roast and let it sear on each side for 3-4 minuets or until it’s really brown. You have to have your pan really hot for this part. It locks in the flavor and makes for a really tender finished product.
Red Wine Reduction
Did I already say I have a favorite part? If I did I take it back. This is it! After your roast is seared on both sides, remove it from the pan and set it on top of your veggies for a moment. With your pan still hot, pour your red wine in and be ready for some smoke. Scrape the sides and bottom as it sizzles to get all the good stuff left behind from searing your roast. Simmer for a few moments until the amount of wine you added is reduced by about half, then turn the heat down to low.
You’re almost finished. Add your seared roast back to the reduction first, then on top add the seared veggies. Next, add the liquid. If you have beef bone broth on hand, use that. About half bone broth, and half water until your liquid covers the entire roast and most of the veggies. I didn’t have any bone broth on hand when I made the video, so I just used water which is just fine and will still turn out great!
The final step before adding your pot roast to the oven is to finish seasoning. I added a couple drops each of oregano, thyme, and rosemary essential oil followed by more PHSS and fresh pepper. Then give everything a stir, put the lid on, and roast in the oven at 275F for 3-4 hours, or until your roast is falling off the bone.
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 3-4 hours Serves: 6
- whole shoulder or chuck roast, thawed
- 1/4 cup EVOO or oil of choice
- 1 T salt (I use pink Himalayan sea salt to taste)
- 1 t pepper (to taste)
- 6 garlic cloves
- 3 large sweet potatoes
- 2 large onions
- 6 carrots
- 1 cup red wine
- 6 cups (+/-) liquid. Half beef bone broth and half water or all water
- 2 drops each oregano, thyme, and rosemary essential oil.
- thaw roast completely
- preheat oven to 275F
- Heat a large dutch oven on the stovetop on med-high heat
- Season roast liberally on each side with salt and pepper, about 1 t salt and 1/4 t pepper per side.
- Add 2-3T oil to hot dutch oven
- Rough chops carrots and sweet potatoes, halve onions, and mince or grate garlic cloves.
- Add sweet potatoes, carrots, onions, and garlic to hot oil, stir occasionally, and sear for 5 minutes or until browned and onions are translucent and begin to come apart.
- Empty seared veggies into a big bowl and set aside.
- Using the same dutch oven (without washing!) sear the roast on high for 3-4 minutes on each side or until browned.
- Remove the roast and set aside. If you need to add more oil before this step, do so.
- Immediately add 1 cup red wine to the hot dutch oven and scrape the bottoms and sides until the wine has reduced by half. Then turn the heat down to low.
- Return the seared roast to the dutch oven into the red wine reduction. Add the seared veggies on top of the roast.
- Next, add liquid slowly until the roast is totally covered and the veggies are mostly covered.
- Add rosemary, thyme, and oregano essential oil, plus remaining salt and pepper. Stir well to combine. Cover with lid and place into preheated oven.
- Roast at 275F for 3-4 hours or until roast fall off the bone.
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Non-GMO Vitality Oils for Cooking from Steph’s Young Living Site