This melt-in-your-mouth Apple Cider Braised Beef Roast is an extraordinary meal for the cold weather and special events. It’s cozy, comforting, and packed with crowd-pleasing beefy flavors.Jump to Recipe
This post is a collaboration with Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner on behalf of the Beef Checkoff. All opinions are my own.
Crowd-pleasing apple cider pot roast
Celebrating the holidays or special events with friends and family always means beef will be served. A juicy cut of beef always turns an ordinary meal into an extraordinary experience!
That’s why this Apple Cider Braised Beef Roast is the perfect choice for get-togethers, celebrations, and holidays of all kinds.
Beef Chuck Roast is first seared, then braised low and slow in a warming apple cider and beef broth braising liquid. Flavored with garlic, onions, and fresh thyme, every bite is packed with the comforting flavors of fall. To finish it off, this crowd-pleasing braised cider pot roast is surrounded by braised Granny Smith apples.
There’s no competition; a serving of apple cider-braised beef pot roast is the perfect cold-weather comfort food. Scoop each serving over a bed of creamy mashed potatoes with a warming winter salad on the side, and enjoy!
What cut of beef is best for pot roast?
Beef Chuck Roast is a large, tough cut of beef that’s perfect for pot roast. It’s marbled with fat, has a great beefy flavor, and becomes incredibly tender when braised low and slow. If you can’t find Chuck Roast, use Round Roast or Beef Brisket instead.
To learn more about different beef cuts and their qualities, head to Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. It’s the place to go for all of your Beef Roast questions this holiday season.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Beef Chuck Roast – Boneless chuck roast is the best cut of meat for pot roast. It’s tough and marbled with fat, making it the ideal choice for low and slow cooking. Plus, it’s budget-friendly! Butchers will sometimes label chuck roast as “pot roast”, which can make shopping a little easier.
- Avocado oil
- Garlic – Fresh cloves are an absolute must because they’re tucked directly in the beef.
- Kosher salt
- Flour – You need flour to thicken the beef braising liquid. Flour works well, but a gluten-free flour blend should work too.
- Red onion – Or use two diced shallots instead.
- Apple cider + beef broth – These two are used as the base of the braising liquid. Apple cider infuses sweet and warming fall flavors while beef broth upgrades the savory beefy-ness in every bite.
- Dijon mustard – Try not to replace this with yellow mustard.
- Worcestershire sauce
- Thyme – Fresh is best!
- Apples – Granny Smith apples are the best choice because they hold their shape well when cooking and lend a sweet and tart flavor to the pot roast. Instead of granny smith, you can use another tart and firm apple, like Pink Lady or Honeycrisp.
How to make braised cider pot roast
First, pat the beef dry with a paper towel. Use a paring knife to make 6 small slits all over the beef (each one should be deep enough to fit a garlic clove). Insert a garlic clove into each slit, then season the beef with a generous amount of kosher salt. Add a dusting of flour on all sides.
Heat the oil in a large oven-safe pot or Dutch oven on the stove. Add the beef when it’s hot, searing on all sides until golden and crisp. Set it aside on a plate.
Turn down the heat before adding another splash of oil and the onions to the same pot. Once the onions are soft, add the garlic cloves and remaining flour. Stir and cook the garlic, onion, and flour mixture for 1 minute.
Finally, deglaze the pot with apple cider, beef broth, Dijon mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Use a wooden spoon to loosen any brown bits stuck to the bottom.
Add the roast back into the pot then tuck the fresh herbs into the braising liquid. Cover with a lid and braise in the oven until the meat is fall-apart tender.
Before it’s done, add the sliced apples to the pot. They should take only 20 to 25 minutes to soften. They will break down and become part of the sauce.
Take the roast out of the oven when done and shred it into bite-sized pieces using 2 forks. Serve with your favorite vegetable-forward sides and enjoy!
A serving of cider braised pot roast pairs perfectly over a bed of mashed sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes or cauliflower mash. Serve this warm and comforting meal next to vegetable-forward sides, like green bean casserole, garlic French green beans, a fall-flavored delicata squash salad, and glazed carrots.
Frequently asked questions
Absolutely! Diced Yukon Gold or baby potatoes, celery, and carrots are all popular additions to pot roast recipes. Add any additional hearty vegetables to the pot when you add the garlic cloves and flour. Just push them to the side to make room for the roast.
I’m sure it could but I haven’t tested these methods. The instructions over at Cafe Delites Tender Pot Roast recipe should help get you started.
If the gravy is thin after braising, make a cornstarch slurry by stirring 1 tablespoon of cornstarch together with 2 tablespoons of water. Remove the roast from the Dutch oven, bring the gravy to a simmer on the stove, and then stir in the slurry. Let it simmer for a few minutes to thicken.
Storing and reheating
Storing: Once it’s cool, pack the beef with the braising liquid and apples into individual airtight containers. The cider-braised beef stores very well in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Reheating: Either reheat each batch in the microwave or a saucepan on the stove until warmed through.
Freezing: If you don’t need it right away, freeze the cooked and cooled braised beef, liquid, and apples in a freezer-safe container. It will last for up to 3 months. Allow the leftovers to thaw completely in the fridge before reheating.
Looking for more beef recipes for the holidays?
52% of consumers agree that beef is a good choice for social events or special occasions! These beefy mains would be perfect for all kinds of get-togethers:
- Herbed Prime Rib Roast – A traditional holiday roast with generous marbling, a great beef flavor, and serves enough for a crowd.
- Sirloin Steak Sandwich – A party favorite that’s piled with sirloin, basil aioli, pickled onions, tomato, and arugula.
- Garlic Butter Steak Bites – It’s a perfect melt-in-your-mouth party appetizer that’s ready in 15 minutes!
- Pressure Cooker Beef Short Ribs – Succulent bites of beef served with a homemade red wine gravy.
If you try this Apple Cider Braised Beef Roast let me know what you think! Rate and review this recipe in the comments below. Don’t forget to take a picture and tag me on Instagram @lenaskitchenblog!
Apple Cider Braised Beef Roast
- 3 pounds Beef Chuck Roast
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 8 cloves garlic 6 whole and 2 minced
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt divided and more to taste
- 2 tablespoons flour divided
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large red onion sliced
- 1 ¼ cup apple cider
- 1 ¼ cup beef broth
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 medium granny smith apples peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
- Preheat the oven to 300ºF, ensuring a rack is positioned in the center of the oven.
- Pat the beef dry with a paper towel. Using a paring knife, make 6 x small cuts, deep enough to fit a garlic clove. Insert the garlic cloves into the slits. Generously season the beef with 1 ½ tablespoon of kosher salt. Then dust with 1 tablespoon of flour on all sides.
- Heat a 3 quart or larger Dutch oven (something oven-safe) on medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of oil, and when hot, sear the meat for 5-6 minutes; make sure to sear both sides. Remove to a plate.
- Reduce the temperature to medium heat, add in the butter and onions. Season with the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt. Cook for 5 minutes. Add in the 2 minced garlic cloves and remaining tablespoon of flour and cook for an additional minute, stirring often.
- Add the apple cider, beef broth, Dijon mustard and Worcestershire sauce into the pot with the onions. Whisk to pick up any brown bits still stuck on the pan.
- Tuck in the herbs and add the roast back to the pot. Cover with a lid and braise in the oven for 2½-3 hours or until the meat just falls apart.
- About 20 minutes before the beef is done, remove the pot from the oven and add in the apples. Cover and return to the oven for the remaining 20-25 minutes, just until the apples are softened.
- Once the beef is tender, remove the pot from the oven. Shred slightly with 2 forks into bite-sized pieces. (See notes below about thickening the gravy more.)
- Serve over mashed sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, along with some salad or your favorite sides.