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Coffee-Braised Pot Roast With Caramelized Onions


This recipe is reminiscent of a pot roast made with onion soup mix, but the flavors are true and pure - and nobody misses the excess sodium. Note: For a slow-cooker variation, see the note below.


  • 1 4-pound beef chuck roast (see ingredient note), trimmed of fat
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 4 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 large onions, halved and thinly sliced (4 cups)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 3/4 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 2 TBS balsamic vinegar
  • 2 TBS cornstarch mixed with 2 TBS water


Step 1

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

Step 2

Season beef with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tsp oil in a Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. Add beef and cook, turning from time to time, until well browned on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Step 3

Add the remaining 2 tsp oil to the pot. Add onions, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring often until softened and golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and thyme; cook, stirring for 1 minute. Stir in coffee and vinegar; bring to a simmer. Return the beef to the pot and spoon some onions over it. Cover and transfer to the oven.

Step 4

Braise the beef in the oven until fork tender but not falling apart, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Transfer beef to a cutting board, tent with foil and let rest for about 10 minutes

Step 5

Meanwhile, skim fat from the braising liquid; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the cornstarch mixture and cook, whisking until the gravy thickens slightly, about 1 minute. Season with pepper. Carve the beef and serve with gravy.

Slow Cooker Variation

In Step 2, transfer the browned beef to a slow cooker. In step 3, use just 1/2 cup coffee. Add the onion mixture to the slow cooker. In Step 4, cover and cook until beef is tender, 4 1/2 to 5 hours on High or 7 to 8 hours on Low. In step 5, pour the liquid into a medium saucepan and continue as directed.


Ingredient Note: Although it is not the leanest cut of beef, chuck is still our choice for pot roast because it doesn't dry out during braising. You will find pockets of fat as you carve it, but they are easy to remove.

Servings: 10, about 3 ounces meat and 1/3 cup gravy each

Nutritional Information

Calories: 219
Fat: 8g
Cholesterol: 93mg
Protein: 31g
Carbohydrates: 4g
Fiber: 1g
Sodium: 76mg
Potassium: 307mg

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Recipe from WebMD

NOTE: If you are on a restricted diet or are being treated for a health condition, review the Featured Recipe with your dietitian, nutritionist, or physician. Nutrition Facts/Information for the Featured Recipe are provided by the source, unless otherwise noted.

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