Sweet and Sour Pot Roast

Our sweet and sour pot roast comes out fork-tender every time. This one-pot dish is perfect for company, holidays, and Shabbat dinner.

The Backstory:  Sweet and sour pot roast is good old-fashioned comfort food that always reminds us of home. Whether mom or Bubbie made it, it’s one of those dishes that just takes you back to simpler times when no one cared about “small plates” or “starters” or fussy food that was styled before it hit the table. Just good, flavorful, stick-to-your-ribs, high-quality food that always came out the same way, time after time after time. This is one of those recipes. More of the Backstory after the recipe

Sweet and Sour Pot Roast

This pot roast serves up so fork tender that the meat just pulls apart by itself. The sauce is sweet and tangy thanks to brown sugar and lemon and there are savory notes from the bay leaf, onion and garlic. This is just a delicious, hearty, and comforting meal that's perfect for company, a holiday meal or anytime you want to dive into something that reminds you of what mom or grandma used to make.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Jewish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 8 servings


  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 4 lbs. Pot roast
  • 2 onions, sliced into rings
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup beef stock or water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 large carrots, peeled, cut into large chunks
  • 1 cup fesh green beans, cut into large pieces
  • 5 potatoes, cut into large chunks (skin on)
  • juice of one lemon
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp. ketchup
  • 1/2 cup dark raisins


  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven on medium heat. Brown meat on all sides. Add onion and garlic and cook until the onion starts to brown (but doesn't burn). Add stock (or water) and bay leaves. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 1 hour. If necessary, add more liquid to keep meat from sticking and burning.
  2. Add carrots, green beans, potatoes, lemon juice, salt, and brown sugar and stir all around the meat. Baste liquid over meat. Cover and simmer for another hour. Add ketchup and raisins and cook for another 30 minutes.

…The Backstory continues: I like making pot roast as a holiday dish or when I’m cooking for a crowd. To begin with, the longer the meat cooks, the better. It just gets softer and more flavorful and the sauce becomes that much more savory. It’s also quite economical. A five-pound roast goes a long way and is always a hit (not to mention gorgeous in presentation). But most of all, it’s a feel good food that makes your guests feel pampered and well-taken care of. If I can do that when I have family and friends over, well that just makes me happy as a clam. I love to feed everyone (nothing new there) but what I really love is to feed people well. And no one has ever complained when I’ve set down a steaming platter of sweet and sour pot roast. Try it for yourself and see what happens.


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Jodi Luber

Jodi Luber

Here goes: Born in Brooklyn. Daughter of a bagel baker with a Henny Youngman soul and a mom who makes Joan Rivers seem tame. Late bloomer. Married the love of my life at 45 and love being a mom to our three kids. I'm a professor at Boston U. Happiest in the kitchen baking and remembering how my dad would melt from a single bite of my cheesecake.
Jodi Luber
Jodi Luber

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