Here at 12 Tomatoes, we have taken the French Onion theme and really run with it. We’ve made French Onion meatballs, casseroles, biscuits, potatoes, cheese balls… You name it, we’ve done it, and I don’t think we’re anywhere close to stopping. This French Onion Pot Roast is our latest addition and I just have to say we might’ve outdone ourselves here. It’s pot roast meets classic French Onion soup, so you get falling apart tender beef, brothy rich flavor, soooo many sweet caramelized onions, and yes, it still comes with the classic broiled Gruyere and baguette topping to sop up all that goodness.
As you are probably already well aware, a successful fork-tender, falling-apart pot roast takes a good chunk of time. This takes about three hours in the oven, depending on the size of your roast, but the good news is you’re not doing any work on the stove top to caramelize onions – the low and slow oven does all that flavor-building for you. You will need your stove top to sear the meat, but once you have a nice brown color on all sides, you just plop it on top of a bed of onions, top it off with some broth and thyme, and let the oven do the rest of the work.
Three cups of broth will get you a brothier result, so if you want something a little soupy, stick with that. If you want more of a slice-able pot roast with French Onion flavor, cut the broth down to two cups. Once the beef is ready to fall apart at the touch of a fork, shred it all up or break it down into chunks, and top it with slices of baguette and plenty of nutty Gruyere. Under the broiler it will get beautifully bubbly and golden brown.
Much the same way it does in the original French Onion incarnation, the bread soaks up some of that beefy, oniony, brothy deliciousness here, even if it’s not quite as brothy as a bowl of soup. It’s really the best of both words – a hearty meal with the same caramelized onion French Onion flavor you know and love.
French Onion Pot Roast
15m prep time
3h cook time
- 3-4 lb chuck roast
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 yellow onions, thinly sliced
- 3 cups beef broth
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 baguette, cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 1 1/2 cups Gruyere cheese, grated
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Season roast liberally with salt and pepper, and some of the thyme.
- Add olive oil to a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat.
- Once oil is hot, add roast and sear until deep brown, 4-5 minutes per side.
- Add onions, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, and remaining thyme, cover, and transfer to oven. Cook 3 to 3 1/2 hours.
- Remove from oven and remove thyme sprigs. Shred beef into chunks.
- Turn oven to broil on high.
- Top with baguette slices and Gruyere and return to oven, uncovered. Broil until cheese is bubbly and golden brown, about 2 minutes.
Recipe adapted from Dinner Then Dessert.