Sweet and Sour Pot Roast (Slow Cooker)

As mentioned in a previous post, I want to share some of the recipes I’ve been creating with my ButcherBox supply! One of the cuts of meat I chose for my ButcherBox order is a Chuck Roast. I love it because it’s so versatile and we can get 2-3 days of leftovers out of it. #budgetlife

I came up with this super easy crock pot recipe because I didn’t want to go with the standard meat and potatoes Pot Roast recipe. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but sometimes your standard pot roast recipe can have a one dimensional flavor that is underwhelming.

This recipe has a nice balance of acidity from the vinegar and subtle sweetness from the brown sugar. It’s like candied meat and it’s SO good. I like to make a quick gravy with the drippings right before I’m ready to serve.

Did I mention how easy is is? This will definitely be a staple recipe for us during the fall and winter months ahead!

Don’t have a crock pot? No problem! You can still make this using a dutch oven. Set the oven to 350 and cook for 4 hours. Remove the lid for the last 30 minutes for some caramelization.

Note on Salt*

Salt. It’s a ubiquitous ingredient and I see so many recipes online that don’t spell out the importance of using it. Usually you see “salt and pepper to taste” but using the right amount at the right time can really take your cooking to the next level. Not only does it enhance the flavor of your food, but salt can actually enhance the structure of your food by keeping meats tender and juicy.

For a 2-3 lb chuck roast, I recommend taking the meat out of the package and salting it 24 hours in advance. After salting, put the meat on a plate, cover in plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge over night until you are ready to start cooking. You can consult Cooks Illustrated for a handy chart.

The salt penetrates the meat, making it flavorful all throughout. For thicker cuts of meat, you want the center to taste as good as the outside. I can’t emphasize this step enough!

Sweet and Sour Pot Roast with Roasted Brussels Sprouts


  • 2-3 lb Beef Chuck Roast
  • 1/2 chopped white or yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/3 cup Vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • Kosher Salt and Pepper

The Gravy

  • 1-2 Tablespoons of Corn Starch
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of Water
  • 1 cup of drippings, straight from the crock pot


  1. *See note above for instructions on salting the meat.
  2. 30 minutes before cooking, remove the roast from the fridge. Season with black pepper.
  3. Chop onion and add it to the bottom of your crock pot.
  4. In a bowl, stir the brown sugar, vinegar, and soy sauce until well combined.
  5. Place the meat in the crock pot over the onions, and pour the brown sugar mixture on top. Flip the meat to coat evenly.
  6. Secure the lid and cook on high for 4 hours. (or 6 hours on low)

For the Gravy

  1. After the meat is tender and fully cooked, turn the crockpot off. Remove the roast and set on a cutting board or platter for serving.
  2. With a ladle, scoop out about cup – cup and a half of the remaining juices. Pour into a sauce pan and set the burner to medium/high heat.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, measure out the cornstarch and water to make a slurry. Stir until fully dissolved.
  4. Pour the cornstarch slurry into the saucepan and allow the contents to simmer for 2-3 minutes. You’ll have a gravy consistency in no time.


I served this with roasted brussels sprouts, but you could roast potatoes, parsnips, or carrots to serve along side. Let me know your thoughts in the comments down below!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. That gravy looks like the perfect finish! How do you know if you’ve using enough salt when salting meat? Is there a general rule of thumb before you get to the tasting part?


    1. I usually don’t measure it, but enough to evenly sprinkle all over the roast. if I can make a guess it would probably end up being a tablespoon or 1.5 tablespoons


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