Trailer Trash Pot Roast

Friday, November 12, 2010

tt-pot-roast-12a

The tide has definitely started to turn, weather-wise, for us down here in the Sunshine State.  The temperatures this past week have actually dipped down into the 50’s a few times.  From April through October, I long for this respite from our oppressive heat and grueling humidity, however short-lived it may be.  I revel in the cool, crisp air and bright, clear skies!   This nippy weather also makes turning on the oven for long periods of time a lot more inviting.  It begs for some comfort food to be made.  I’m only too happy to oblige.

The first and only time that I ever saw this pot roast recipe presented was about twenty years ago on a local TV morning show in Mr. SGCC’s hometown in western Pennsylvania.  It was also the only time I was ever in western Pennsylvania.  Not that there is anything wrong with western Pennsylvania (there isn’t).   Just sayin’.

Anyway, I was sitting with my coffee in Mr. SGCC’s Aunt Annie’s cheery, little farmhouse kitchen and a cooking segment came on.  (Aunt Annie was such a gem!  So much so that she really deserves a whole post of her own.  Remind me to do this soon.)  I watched in horror as some local yokel dumped a packet of onion soup mix, a can of Coke and a bottle (yes, a whole bottle) of chili sauce on top of a big slab of beef and stuck it in the oven. He didn’t even mix the ingredients together first!  I was aghast, yet I couldn’t look away – like when you drive by an accident on the interstate.  You know you shouldn’t gawk, but you can’t help yourself. 

tt-pot-roast-14

Through the magic of television, the dish was finished after the next commercial break and it was a sight to behold.  The meat looked so tender that it appeared to melt away after making contact with a fork.  And, those modest (and highly processed) blue collar ingredients had apparently reinvented themselves as a smooth, rich and zesty sauce.  I was impressed.  And, also a little ashamed of my initial “elitist foodie” reaction.

For the rest of our trip, I kept thinking about that pot roast and how absolutely wonderful it looked.  And, it was so simple!  After seeing it prepared one time, the recipe was already imprinted in my brain.   I knew that once I got back home, it was only a matter of time before I tried it for myself.

I did try it for myself – in the dead of August.  I couldn’t even wait for the weather to turn cool.  But, it was worth the frizzy hair and a little extra sweat.  That pot roast was amazing!   The meat just fell apart and melted in our mouths.  And the sauce was to die for.  It was deep and complex, with the whole spicy/salty/sweet thing going on.  Who’d have thunk it?  Certainly, not me.  Mr. SGCC was a very happy man!

tt-pot-roast-13a

Since then, I have made this pot roast recipe many, many times.  In fact, it is my favorite way to make pot roast.  I’ve tried other recipes – and they’re good – but I always come back to this one.  I’ve tweaked a few things along the way, like browning the meat first.  I also mix the sauce ingredients together before adding them to the meat.  And, I often add onions, carrots and potatoes as well.  Sometimes, I’ll even throw a few turnips , parsnips or rutabaga into the pot.  I’ve also tinkered with the sauce at times, adding a little Worcestershire, soy or hot sauce.  Once, I even added a splash of sriracha.    It’s all good.

The first thing you need to do is salt and pepper your meat.  Don’t be stingy!

tt-pot-roast-2

Then, make up the braising liquid.  Just whisk together a can of Coke, a packet of onion soup mix and a bottle of chili sauce.

tt-pot-roast-7

Next, you need to sear the meat a little to seal in the juices.  After that, pour in the braising liquid, cover and slide it in the oven.

pot-roast-collage

While the pot roast is cooking, chop up some carrots, onions and any other veggies that you want to use.  You’ll add them in after an hour or so.  Then, go find something fun to do for a few hours.  Or, go clean out your closets.  It’s up to you, but I’m voting for the fun thing.

tt-pot-roast-11

When you’re done, you will have the tenderest, succulent, most meltingly delicious hunk of beef that you ever tasted.

So, why do I call this dish Trailer Trash Pot Roast?  Well, it ain’t Bœuf Bourguignon, my friends.  Seriously though, it’s just a snarky little jab at my snobbish original reaction.    It’s meant to be tongue in cheek, so don’t get your panties all in a twist about it.    Still, with ingredients like packaged soup mix, bottled chili sauce and Coca Cola, the moniker seems fitting.  It got your attention, didn’t it?

tt-pot-roast-15

Enjoy!

46 responses to Trailer Trash Pot Roast

  1. On November 12, 2010 at 1:54pm, Jessica @ How Sweet It Is said...

    This is something we would absolutely love! Comfort food at its finest.

  2. On November 12, 2010 at 1:59pm, Jenn @ Cooking Aweigh the Pounds said...

    Bookmarked! I’m such a sucker for tender meats and feel the same way you do about pot roasts. Though they’re good, I feel that there’s still better recipes out there. I can’t wait to try this SOON!

  3. On November 12, 2010 at 2:24pm, Terri said...

    Susan, this sounds like a really good recipe. Great for a weekend dinner with family or friends. I’m looking forward to trying it. I wonder how it would be in the slow cooker? I’m not a huge fan of beef in the crockpot, the oven seems to give it more flavor, but for a working mom, it might work. Thanks for the recipe.

    • On November 12, 2010 at 8:14pm, Susan said...

      I have tried this before in a slow cooker and it was quite good. I still prefer the oven method, though.

  4. On November 12, 2010 at 2:26pm, bellini said...

    ‘This the season for comfort food. I can’t say I have tried a pot roast this way but Coke works wonders in cake so why not pot roast.

    • On November 12, 2010 at 8:15pm, Susan said...

      Hmmm. Never tried a cake recipe with Coke. I’ll have to look into that. :)

  5. On November 12, 2010 at 4:26pm, Erin said...

    dayum. This is on next weeks menu for sure!

    • On November 12, 2010 at 8:15pm, Susan said...

      :D

  6. On November 12, 2010 at 4:52pm, cherie said...

    I have another one – similar

    Believe me when I tell you the only soup mix I’ve bought since I was 20 was for this recipe

    It’s unbelievably good

    Take a brisket – flat cut [leaner]

    Aluminum foil – heavy duty – sprinkle onion soup mix all over followed by a heap of ketchup [I loathe ketchup and only use it in this recipe LOL - course my kids adore it!]

    Wrap tightly and pop in the oven and bake at 350 till it’s soft – it’s heavenly

    can’t wait to try yours!

    • On November 12, 2010 at 8:18pm, Susan said...

      Oooh! Sounds great! I have a meatloaf recipe that uses both soup mix and ketchup. Kind of similar.

  7. On November 12, 2010 at 7:43pm, Yummy Mummi said...

    Food Fallacy & something you may want to look into: What is searing? By definition, searing is to cook something hot and fast to brown the surface and to seal in the juices. Yet MANY of the leading cooking experts agree that searing does not seal in juices. Harold McGee in his book “On Food and Cooking” shows scientifically that a “seared” steak has less juices than an equally cooked not “seared” steak. Frankly the idea that you can somehow melt the surface of the meat into a material that holds in all the juices does seem a little strange. Conclusively it seems that science is agreed that sealing in juices just doesn’t work and is not the real goal of searing. Searing is a process of cooking that creates the crusty surface texture most people find appealing and the caramelized sugars that gives us that steak flavor we want.

  8. On November 12, 2010 at 7:58pm, Rosa said...

    Love it! A very comforting dish.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  9. On November 12, 2010 at 11:39pm, nina said...

    Love the name you have given this potroast. We do a similar thing here called Coke Chicken. to die for!!!

  10. On November 13, 2010 at 2:06am, Anne Galivan said...

    I’ve made lots of pot roast but never like this! I will definitely be trying it.

    I didn’t know you live in Florida. I just assumed you lived in Paris or something. :)

    I am originally a Miami girl (and will always think of myself as one) but 15 years ago we moved to Tallahassee (I was 33 at the time). I’ve been enjoying your blog.

    P.S. If you check my blog for this week you’ll find I wrote a guest post about the Miami Dolphins!

  11. On November 13, 2010 at 5:42am, emiglia said...

    love it! I’m not above prepared ingredients if it makes something better… my mom used to make roasted chicken with an onion and ketchup sauce that I still dream about!

  12. On November 13, 2010 at 6:38am, Rachel (S[d]OC) said...

    You’re too funny. Yeah. I can see how that would be good. You have sweet sour and salty flavors all combining. Who ever came up with this recipe may not have been a food snob, but he knew how to mix his ingredients.

    Temps in the 50s in Florida? My heart bleeds for you. Did you know we had snow Monday morning in NY? :-P

  13. On November 13, 2010 at 10:23am, SMITH BITES said...

    you got me with the title alone – just chuckled and shook me head – had to click and see what you were up to! i love recipes like this one, just dump everything into one pot and voila – dinner is served!

  14. On November 13, 2010 at 10:52am, Karen@Mignardise said...

    I don’t care what it’s called (although the name makes me laugh), it sounds delicious.
    When Santa brings my new Le Cresuet dutch ven for Christmas, this might be the first thing I make.

  15. On November 13, 2010 at 7:53pm, Becky said...

    This looks so delicious! Will definitely be making soon, maybe with mashed potatoes. My first trimester self is craving starch! Thanks for sharing, great post.

  16. On November 14, 2010 at 12:33am, lynda said...

    Going out to get the ingredients so I can make this for dinner tomorrow, yum

  17. On November 14, 2010 at 12:34am, Denise Michaels - Adventurous Foodie said...

    I’m guessing the Coke and the chili peppers in the sauce causes the connective tissue in the meat to break down making it tender. My Mom used to use the Onion Soup Mix and a cup of red wine and it make pretty good falling apart tender roast beef, too.

  18. On November 14, 2010 at 12:42pm, Nick (Macheesmo) said...

    HA! WHen I saw this in my reader I thought, “What’s white trash about pot roast?”

    Amazing and I would be extremely delicious.

  19. On November 14, 2010 at 2:17pm, Bree said...

    Those ingredients sound so gross together that I bet that it is delicious. It is like those grape jelly meatballs that gross me out in theory, but cannot help but eat anyway. Next time I make a pot roast, this will be the recipe that I use.

  20. On November 14, 2010 at 9:47pm, Claudia said...

    This is train-wreck cooking. You look at the ingredients and say, “What no bottle of dry red wine?”"No homemade broth?” And now I have to try it. But I don’t have to tell anyone what I did.

  21. On November 15, 2010 at 1:38am, Koobear said...

    Food snob here. I made this tonight and LOVED it! I’ll put this under the “trash” section of my recipe box right next to “white trash truffles” (oreo truffles). Yum!!

  22. On November 15, 2010 at 4:59pm, Deborah said...

    That has me drooling. Seriously.

  23. On November 15, 2010 at 7:04pm, Eliana said...

    This pot roast looks mouth watering delicious! Wish I had a huge bowl of this for dinner right now.

  24. On November 15, 2010 at 7:57pm, Cathy A. said...

    I have been using the same sauce ingredients when making a beef brisket for years. The sauce ends up being sort of a sweet/sour type sauce. I always make this brisket in an oven cooking bag. There isn’t a lot of clean up involved and believe me, I’m all for that. I never thought about using this sauce for a pot roast, but plan on trying it this week. Can’t wait!!!!

  25. On November 15, 2010 at 8:13pm, Food Review said...

    I looked over the recipe and it look pretty much the same as a normal pot roast. If this is the trailer version what is a real pot roast suppose to be made like. Perhaps I’m too North of trailer trash to know the difference.

  26. On November 15, 2010 at 10:48pm, MaryBeth said...

    Trailer trash or not, this meat looks so darn juicy and tender.

  27. On November 16, 2010 at 1:04am, Stephanie said...

    I’ll be making this!

  28. On November 17, 2010 at 9:41pm, lynda said...

    One word, fantastic!

  29. On November 18, 2010 at 10:59pm, Anne Galivan said...

    Made this the other night and everyone loved it. To me, the vegetables were the best I’ve ever had with a pot roast and I liked having it with noodles instead of the potatoes I usually make with pot roast.

    Probably gonna try it in the crock pot.

  30. On November 20, 2010 at 10:03pm, Jen said...

    Oh how I wish I could make this! Cola does wonders for tenderizing meat and it looks soooo good. I am bookmarking it so that I can try to somehow make it gluten free. Thanks for posting it!

  31. On November 24, 2010 at 8:10am, Wadi Sudin said...

    My husband has fallen in love with the gorgeous pictures of tender meat and insist that I, his 33wk pregnant wife, make this for him this weekend. But…….we don’t have Lipton Onion Soup mix at my end of the world. What can I substitute it with? Would concentrated French Onion Soup from a can, do?

  32. On November 29, 2010 at 5:34pm, sheri said...

    would also be easy in the crock pot, throw veggies in half way, perfect meal all year, no oven!

  33. On December 01, 2010 at 12:56pm, Megan Bennett said...

    I made this recipe last night and just thought I would share my post on it with you, http://sweetteaandporchswings.blogspot.com/2010/12/trailer-trash-pot-roast.html . I did change a few tiny things about it but I will also be making it again the way original way. Thank you for the wonderful post and I just love your blog.

  34. On December 27, 2010 at 9:13am, Melissa said...

    This is really good when made with Venison roast as well…

  35. On January 09, 2011 at 6:01pm, Annie said...

    Rosemary, from Sprigs of Rosemary referred me to this post and I’m so glad she did! Today I posted about a slow cooker pot roast cooked in cream of mushroom soup and onion soup mix and she thought this would be right up my alley. She was right! Thanks for sharing!

  36. On January 24, 2011 at 6:36pm, Chris said...

    I stumbled across this post a few weeks back and bookmarked it for a rainy day. Well, instead of rain I pulled it out on a very cold day! Made this yesterday for myself and my 8 month pregnant wife who is usually wary of pot roasts. Two thumbs up from me, and two thumbs up from her! The meat just about fell apart after the 4 hours of baking, and the chili sauce added a nice zing that was countered by the sweetness of the cola. I added this recipe to my collection (and credited you) http://thekeenancookbook.com/dinner/trailer-trash-pot-roast. Cheers!

  37. On February 27, 2012 at 4:24pm, Jessica Parker said...

    I make this pot roast all the time now! It is sooooooooo yummy!!! AND soooooo easy!!!! thank you thank you thank you!!!
    Jessie :)

  38. On May 08, 2012 at 3:08pm, Kit said...

    Actually, it works better the way you saw it done – you just took a very easy recipe and added extra steps and dishes to wash.
    And yeah – the meat stays moister if you do not sear.

  39. On September 07, 2012 at 2:05pm, Christine said...

    i have been on a pot roast kick and went online to find a recipe that would be different than the usual broth and wine variety. came across this one and knew right away i would like it (i love ketchupy sauces) and wow it was sooooo good!!!!!!! thanks for the recipe and i hope you don’t mind but i linked up your blog. thanks!!!!

  40. On June 19, 2013 at 5:08am, Air Conditioner said...

    Every weekend i used to pay a visit this site, because i want enjoyment, since this this web site conations genuinely pleasant funny stuff too.

  41. On June 21, 2013 at 10:41pm, golfsmith austin used clubs said...

    Very great post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to
    mention that I’ve truly loved browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing for your feed and I am hoping you write again
    soon!

  42. On July 26, 2014 at 11:08am, odiseeatravel.ro said...

    Really no matter if someone doesn’t know then its up to other users that they will assist, so here it occurs.

please post a comment...

kiss the cook!

Hello and welcome to SGCC! I’m Susan, a professional writer, food columnist, recipe developer, wife, mother, daughter and sister, who used to be a lawyer in a previous life. My love of food comes from a long line of wonderful and creative Italian home cooks who didn’t always have a lot, but knew how to make a lot out of what they had. I hope that you enjoy yourself while you’re here, and visit often! read more >>

Just Browsing?
55 Knives
follow me!

    Follow Me on Pinterest



    Friday Food Lust



    Fine Cooking