This Cranberry Pot Roast recipe is so simple and festive! Made with beef or lamb roast, fresh cranberries and roasted in the oven until tender, juicy and flavorful! Perfect for the holidays or a simple Sunday supper. 

This Cranberry Pot Roast recipe is so simple and festive! Made with beef or lamb roast, fresh cranberries and roasted in the oven until tender, juicy and flavorful! Perfect for the holidays or a simple Sunday supper.

The falling leaves have laid out a yellow blanket. The trees are undressed. Ng Hiu-lui

This Cranberry Pot Roast is very easy to make. But don’t let its simplicity fool you- it’s wonderfully delicious! Beef roast is seasoned with salt and pepper and browned on all sides, then nestled in a mixture of fresh cranberries, port wine, onion and beef stock, then braised for 3 hours in the oven.

Put a pot roast in the oven and watch what happens. There is something about the smell of roasting meat that turns a grumpy husband into a purring husband. Aromatherapy. It works every time!

Why You’ll Love This

  1. Easy recipe with minimal prep time. With only 30 minutes or less of actual hands-on time, this pot roast cooks in the oven and fills your home with warm and comforting aromas.
  2. Tender and delicious! After braising for 3 hours, the incredibly tender roast melts in your mouth while the deliciously reduced cranberry port sauce adds a bright burst of flavor and tangy taste.
  3. Make it a holiday meal! I love this served over Horseradish Mashed Potatoes or Mashed Cauliflower with Roasted Garlic, even with a little gravy on the side…. so delicious! We guarantee your guests won’t stop raving about it!
Cranberry Pot Roast - a simple festive recipe for beef roast, baked with fresh cranberries and roasted in the oven- tender, juicy and flavorful! Perfect for the holidays or a simple Sunday super.  #potroast #cranberries #cranberryrecipes #beef #beefroast #holidayrecipes #easy

Cranberry pot Roast Ingredients

  • Olive oil: Used to brown the beef chuck roast and adds richness to the dish.
  • Beef or Lamb roast: Chuck roast, brisket, lamb shoulder, round roast. Use organic, grass-fed, local if possible.
  • Red onion: Adds a sweet and slightly tangy flavor to the dish. It also provides texture and aroma.
  • Garlic cloves: Add a bold, savory flavor to the pot roast that complements the other ingredients.
  • Carrot: Adds natural sweetness and a hint of earthiness to the dish. It also gives texture and color.
  • Celery stalk: Adds a subtle herbal flavor and adds crunchiness to the pot roast.
  • Fresh cranberries: Add a burst of tartness and vibrant color to the dish. They balance the richness of the beef and add a touch of acidity.
  • Fresh thyme (or rosemary): Adds aromatic and earthy flavors to the pot roast. They complement the other ingredients and add depth to the dish.
  • Ruby port: Adds a sweet and fruity flavor to the dish. It enhances the richness of the pot roast and creates a delicious sauce. Use a red port, not a tawny port.
  • Beef stock: Adds depth and savory richness to the pot roast. It forms the base of the braising liquid and helps tenderize the meat.
  • Sweetener: To balance the tartness of the cranberries. Use honey, Maple syrup or sugar.
  • Whole mustard seeds (or whole grain mustard): Provide a subtle tanginess and add texture to the pot roast. They contribute a unique flavor profile to the dish.

How to Make Cranberry Pot Roast

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Heat oil in an oven-proof Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Rub chuck roast with salt and pepper on all sides, and sear all sides very well. Seasoning and browning the roast is the KEY to a good roast, sealing in all the juices and creating that delicious crust everyone loves so much – so be patient and do this part well, and the recipe will absolutely reward you!

Cranberry Pot Roast - a simple festive recipe for beef roast, baked with fresh cranberries and roasted in the oven- tender, juicy and flavorful! Perfect for the holidays or a simple Sunday super.  #potroast #cranberries #cranberryrecipes #beef #beefroast #holidayrecipes #easy

While the meat is browning, dice the onion, garlic, celery and carrot.

Once meat is nicely browned on all sides, set aside on a plate.

Add onion, celery and carrot, to the same pan, turn to medium heat and sauté until they soften, about 5- 6 minutes.

Add cranberries, pour in the ruby port and beef stock, add sugar, thyme or rosemary sprigs, and mustard seeds and give a stir.

Cranberry Pot Roast - a simple festive recipe for beef roast, baked with fresh cranberries and roasted in the oven- tender, juicy and flavorful! Perfect for the holidays or a simple Sunday super.  #potroast #cranberries #cranberryrecipes #beef #beefroast #holidayrecipes #easy

Nestle meat into the middle, bring to a simmer, cover tightly and place in the oven.

Cranberry Pot Roast - a simple festive recipe for beef roast, baked with fresh cranberries and roasted in the oven- tender, juicy and flavorful! Perfect for the holidays or a simple Sunday super.  #potroast #cranberries #cranberryrecipes #beef #beefroast #holidayrecipes #easy

Bake for 3 hours (or longer if a bigger cut of meat).

This Cranberry Pot Roast recipe is so simple and festive! Made with beef or lamb roast, fresh cranberries and roasted in the oven until tender, juicy and flavorful! Perfect for the holidays or a simple Sunday supper.

Meat should be fork tender, and cranberry port sauce should be reduced. If the cranberry sauce seems too thin, continue baking uncovered, or simmer on stove top, uncovered, until it reduces and thickens a bit.

Cranberry Pot Roast - a simple festive recipe for beef roast, baked with fresh cranberries and roasted in the oven- tender, juicy and flavorful! Perfect for the holidays or a simple Sunday super.  #potroast #cranberries #cranberryrecipes #beef #beefroast #holidayrecipes #easy

Serving Suggestions

Serve over mashed potatoes, mashed cauliflower or whipped sweet potatoes with a little cranberry sauce over top. Orange zest makes a lovely garnish as well.

Expert Tips

  1. Use fresh cranberries: For a few short weeks, fresh cranberries will be available at the grocery stores.
  2. Select the right meat: When picking out meat for pot roast, chuck roast, brisket or round roast is the perfect cut of meat for roasting and braising because of its uniform marbling throughout the meat. Always try to use, local, organic and grass-fed if possible. Make sure to season the roast generously with salt and pepper and brown all the sides really well.
  3. Choose your equipment wisely: Make sure to use a heavy bottomed dutch oven with a lid that has a good seal.

FAQs

What is the most tender meat for pot roast?

Choose a beef cut with abundant connective tissue, like chuck roast, beef brisket, or bottom round roast.

What can I add to pot roast to give it more flavor?

Garlic, onion, and fresh herbs are KEY to infusing the pot roast with delicious, aromatic, and herbal flavor.

What is the secret to perfect pot roast?

In addition to choosing a tender meat cut, browning the roast is absolutely essential. This will make all the difference, as well as thickening the cranberry port sauce.

Can this be made in a crock pot or slow cooker?

Yes cranberry pot roast can be made in a slow cooker. Follow recipe through until step 7. Place in your slow cooker and cook on low 7-8 hours.

This Cranberry Pot Roast recipe is so simple and festive! Made with beef or lamb roast, fresh cranberries and roasted in the oven until tender, juicy and flavorful! Perfect for the holidays or a simple Sunday supper.

I hope you love this Cranberry Pot Roast as much as we have- such a cozy recipe, perfect for lazy Sundays, or small holiday gatherings.

Happy, happy, merry merry. -xoxo

Sylvia

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Cranberry Pot Roast | www,feastingathome.com

Cranberry Pot Roast

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 14 reviews
  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine | Feasting at Home Blog
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main, beef recipes, holiday recipes
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Pacific Northwest

Description

Cranberry Pot Roast – a simple festive recipe for beef roast, baked with fresh cranberries and roasted in the oven- tender, juicy and flavorful! Perfect for the holidays or a simple Sunday super.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 12 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 1/42 1/2 pounds beef chuck roast- organic, grass fed, local if possible
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large red onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, rough chopped
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 12 oz bag fresh cranberries ( or 4 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme ( or rosemary)
  • 1 cup ruby port -a red port( do not use tauny port) the very inexpensive kind-found at most grocery stores, or sub a rich deep red wine ( like cab) and increase the sugar by 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1/4 cup honey, maple syrup or sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons whole mustard seeds ( or whole grain mustard)

Instructions

  1. Pre heat oven to 350F
  2. Heat oil in an oven proof dutch oven, over medium high heat. Rub chuck roast with salt and pepper on all sides, and brown all sides very well. Be patient here and get a good crust!
  3. While meat is browning, dice the onion, garlic, celery and carrot
  4. Once meat is nicely browned on all sides, set aside on a plate.
  5. Add onion, celery and carrot, to the same pan,  turn heat to medium and sauté until they soften, about 5- 6 minutes.
  6. Add cranberries, ruby port, beef stock, sugar, thyme or rosemary, and mustard seeds and give a stir.
  7. Nestle meat into the middle, bring to a simmer, cover tightly and place in the oven.
  8. Bake for 3 hours ( or longer if a bigger cut of meat) Meat should be fork tender, and cranberry port sauce, reduced. If Sauce seems too thin, continue baking uncovered, or simmer on stove top, uncovered until it reduces and thickens a bit.
  9. Serve over mashed potatoes, mashed cauliflower or whipped sweet potatoes with a little cranberry sauce over top.

Notes

I’ve tried reducing the sugar, and it is just WAY too tart. I know it seems like a lot, but the fresh cranberries need this amount to balance it all out.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 559
  • Sugar: 21.3 g
  • Sodium: 649.5 mg
  • Fat: 19.2 g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 36.2 g
  • Fiber: 6.2 g
  • Protein: 58.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 167.6 mg

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Comments

  1. Made this tonight and it was absolutely incredible. So easy and hands-off, but it tastes like you were in the kitchen for hours. Thank you so much!!!






  2. This was absolutely delicious. I love the slightly tangy flavor. I used my crock pot for the braise after browning the meat and veg in a skillet. That worked great. I thought there was a bit too much liquid so next time I will reduce the amount of stock.






  3. This recipe sounds fabulous! I have already purchased a whole grass fed beef tenderloin to cook for Christmas dinner, so my question is, how can I adapt the recipe for this different cut of meat? I love the idea of a cranberry based au jus, so to speak.






    1. Hi Lisa! I wonder if you could roast the tenderloin, whole, in the oven, coated in a garlic herb crust on a rack, until middle is medium rare, ( 40-50 minutes?) and make the cranberry sauce separate on the stove. It’s too lean of a cut of meat, to cook it like a pot roast, would dry out terribly! Here is the idea… https://www.feastingathome.com/rosemary-garlic-beef-roast-with-wild-mushrooms/ but it would need to be tweaked a bit.

  4. Perfect cold weather meal. Made the roast and the garlic roasted mashed cauliflower. Both were amazing and really simple. We were pleasantly surprised at how much the cranberries in the sauce tasted like tomatoes. Paired perfectly with a spicy red zinfandel we had on hand. Always love your recipes. You are always my “go to” for making a special meal at home. Thanks so much for sharing another great meal!






  5. Any idea how i could adjust for a crock pot. We are meeting our adult kids for a ski trip Christmas (OMG what was I thinking lol) and I know they have a crock pot that I would like to use while we are out in the snow. This looks fabulous and worth a try for the holidays. Leftovers look like they would be great as well.

    Thanks

    1. Hi Carol Ann, I’m sure it can be done, but honestly I’m not a crockpot expert! If you do try it, would you leave notes on how you did it and if it turned out?

  6. I made this for Christmas dinner yesterday. I only used onions (lots of them) which I browned really well first. I used Black Butte Porter instead of port and used only two tablespoons brown sugar and a couple of tablespoons of whole grain mustard. I cooked it in my new Instant Pot, took out the roast, then stick blended and reduced the sauce a bit. This will be a new Christmas tradition. The horseradish mashed potatoes made with red potatoes were a revelation. I’ve been kind of stuck on Yukon golds. Leftovers this morning were even better, so next year I’ll make this the day before.
    Thank you for all your wonderful recipes and inspiration. Happy New Year.

  7. Hey this came out so amazing! My family voted it in for Christmas! So just an update. I never used the orange juice. Also when I got home from work it was 4 hours 40 minutes in the crock pot on high. I added the rest of the cranberries and lowered it to low while I made garlic mashed potatoes. So it cooked on low for about another hour! When the potatoes were done I shut the crock pot pulled out the meat and it was just falling apart delicious! I placed some thick pieces over the potatoes and covered it in the sauce. Really wonderful flavors! Thank you for this recipe!!!

    1. Thanks so much for letting us know! Glad it turned out…. and good to know it works in a slow cooker!!!

  8. I am trying this today in the crock pot! Based on feedback above I browned the roast first. I also softened the veggies but not as long. I added all the ingredients but halved the cranberries. I put them all together in the pot on high for 4-5 hours. My roast was a little over 3lbs. I am going to add the remaining cranberries for the last hour in hopes to keep some consistency but not loose the flavor! I was considering this for Christmas too. I will let you all know how it comes out and if I have anything to share. I was wondering if adding a little orange juice would add to the flavor? Any thoughts on that?

  9. Oh man, made this tonight and the whole family loved it. Such great & interesting flavors together and nothing beats a slow cooked pot roast in November.

  10. You are so welcome, Diane. Just remember to allow more time if you are cooking bigger roast. I feel honored that you are making on it Christmas!!! Please let me know how it turns out. All the best and merry Christmas to you!!

  11. Holy moly your pictures are gorgeous! And this looks divine, pot roast feels so comforting. Can’t wait to try!

    1. Let me know how you like it. Its good with mashed potatoes….to balance the tart sauce.:)Thanks for reading and happy holidays to you Allyson!!

  12. Sylvia, I am going to make this today, based on your gorgeous presentation……Mark Bittman has a similiar recipe, but he does not use carrots and onions (and a beef stew needs them!).
    May I ask what the seeds are in the photos? Looks like mustard seeds but I don’t see that ingredient…..is it just the cranberries?
    Thanks, Stacey

    1. Good eye. 🙂 Yes, I did add mustard seeds to the first recipe round, and I really liked them in there! Left them out to keep the recipe more simple. But they taste great.

    1. Great question…and truthfully, I’m not sure, I don’t have a crock pot. My guess would be yes, but be sure to brown the meat really well in a skillet first. If you try it will you let me know?

    2. I’ve made it in a crock pot, and it came out just fine–cooked away while I was at work! I did brown the meat and veggies first, and I reduced the amount of stock a bit because my crock pot is small. I just put in enough to barely cover the meat. My only complaint was that the cranberries all turned to mush and disappeared into the sauce. The flavor and texture were fine, but I was kind of hoping for some moderately intact berries. I’m making it again tonight in the oven, and I’ll reserve some of the cranberries until the last hour or so to see if they stay recognizable.

    1. You can find it at most grocery stores, in the wine section….near the cooking wine. I usually just pick up a very inexpensive bottle. You you could sub red wine, but you may need to add a little more sugar.

  13. I can’t wait to have a December dinner party and make this! The photos are a work of art. Never thought pot roast could be so gorgeous!

  14. I can imagine how delicious this cranberry pot roast would have tasted, definitely a recipe I will be making this upcoming festive season!

  15. My mouth is watering! This looks incredible. And there is nothing more comforting that a pot roast in the oven on a chilly day!

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