Saturday, February 12, 2011

Crock Pot Balsamic Roast with Sweet Onions

I love the ease of making pot roast in the crock pot. This roast incorporates a delicious spice rub and balsamic glaze, all cooked over sweet onions. Since I do indulge in wine from time to time, I added 2 Tbsp of red wine, but you can substitute beef stock or leave it out altogether. This is great served over pureed cauliflower. Enjoy!

Adapted from

Serves 3-4.

1 two-pound beef chuck roast
1 tsp coconut or olive oil
1 Tbsp sea salt (or use less, if desired)
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 large sweet onion
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp red wine (optional)
Cauliflower Puree
1 head cauliflower
1 Tbsp grass-fed butter
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

  1. In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder.
  2. Combine vinegar and tomato sauce in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Season all sides of roast with spice mixture.
    NOTE: You may have some of the spice mixture left over. This can be saved for another use.
  4. Slice onion into thick slices and place in the bottom of the crock pot.
  5. Warm oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place roast in the skillet and brown one side, without moving the roast, for 5 minutes. Use tongs to flip the roast and brown the other side for 3 minutes. Brown the other parts of the roast for about 1 minute each side. Place browned roast on top of onion in crock pot.
  6. Turn heat to low, add water and wine to the skillet. Deglaze pan with a wooden spoon. Pour pan liquid over roast, then pour balsamic mixture on top.
  7. Place lid on crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours. 
  8. While roast cooks, steam cauliflower until tender. You can steam in a microwave by placing in a covered bowl with a little water and heating for about 2-3 minutes. You can also steam in a steamer insert over simmering water. 
  9. Drain cooked cauliflower and transfer to bowl of a food processor. Add butter and season with salt and pepper. Process until smooth.
    NOTE: I had a turnip I needed to use so I cooked it and added it to the cauliflower. I think it improved the texture and flavor. If you have a white root vegetable, feel free to cook it and add it in.
  10. When roast is done, shred it in its juices, serve over pureed cauliflower, and ladle juice over the top.


  1. when do you add the balsamic/tomato sauce mixture?

    1. Hi, Lori. I'm sorry that wasn't clear. I've updated step 6. Hope that helps! Thanks for the question.

    2. Best Paleo Blog Love the recipes and ease with menu planning Thank you !

  2. I've been really enjoying your recipes! I love them and am very thankful for this website. This recipe was very good, lots of flavor, except it was very salty. I wonder if the tomato sauce naturally has enough salt in it and the extra Tablespoon of salt is too much?

    1. Thanks for the nice comments, Jen. And for the feedback on the salt. I have never had an issue with the salt. Since I season it prior to searing, I think a lot of the salt ends up in the pan. But salt and pepper are definitely to taste. I'm going to update the recipe to reflect that. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

  3. I made this yesterday. Amazing!! Yum! Plates were licked! Thank you. :)

    1. So glad you liked it, Jen. Plate licking is definitely a good sign! :) Thanks for letting me know!

  4. Made this yesterday! Yum!! Only had white wine so I subbed that for red and it was fine. Only thing I'd say is bump it up to two heads of cauliflower so you have enough to serve with leftovers too! The mashed cauliflower was surprisingly good even with no turnip. Thanks!!

    1. Thanks for the feedback, Nicole. I'm glad you liked it! You can never go wrong with more cauliflower since it is good with everything!

  5. This is amazing! One of the best, and crock pot to boot! I even caught my cat eating off the plates as I cleaned up. One of my absolute favorites.

    1. Hi, Heidi! It's definitely pot roast season and this is a yummy one. I'm so glad you liked it. Thanks for the nice note!