Cranberry Pot Roast

Cranberry Pot Roast – a simple festive recipe for beef roast, baked with fresh cranberries and roasted in the oven until tender, juicy and flavorful! Perfect for the holidays or a simple Sunday super.

Put a pot roast in the oven and watch what happens. There is something about the smell of roasting meat that turns a grumpy husband into a purring husband. Aroma therapy. It works every time! In this EASY recipe for Cranberry Pot Roast,  beef chuck roast is seasoned with salt and pepper and browned on all sides. It’s nestled in a mixture of fresh cranberries, port wine, onion and beef stock, then braised for 3 hours in the oven. When it comes out, the incredibly tender roast melts in your mouth while the deliciously reduced cranberry port sauce adds a bright burst of flavor and tanginess. I love this served over Horseradish Mashed Potatoes or Mashed Cauliflower with Roasted Garlic ….so delicious!

Those of you who live here know how lucky we’ve been with our long warm summer, and our incredibly brilliant fall. And overnight, mother nature flipped a switch, and suddenly it’s winter, bone chilling winter.  When the temperatures drop below freezing, it’s time to pull out the dutch oven and turn on the oven. Tis’ the season of roasting, baking and braising…aroma therapy.

For a few short weeks fresh cranberries will be available at the grocery stores. Most of them in our area come from the coast, but our local Main Market Co Op offers wild foraged cranberries from right around here.

When picking out meat for pot roast, chuck roast is the perfect cut of meat for roasting and braising because of its uniform marbling through out the meat.  Always try to use, local organic and grass fed if possible. Make sure to season the roast generously with salt and pepper and brown all the sides really well.

Make sure to use a heavy bottomed dutch oven with a lid that has a good seal.

Seasoning and browning the roast is the KEY to a good roast, sealing in all the juices and creating that delicious crust everyone loves so much – so be patient and do this part well, and the recipe will absolutely reward you!

After browning, remove the beef from the dutch oven and sauté the onions, carrot and celery. Add fresh the cranberries and thyme.

When it comes out it will be tender, juicy and the meat will pull apart easily. The cranberries and port will have thickened into the most tangy and delicious sauce.

Cranberry Pot Roast – a simple festive recipe for beef roast, baked with fresh cranberries and roasted in the oven- tender, juicy and flavorful! Perfect for the holidays or a simple Sunday super.

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine | Feasting at Home Blog
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main, beef recipes, holiday recipes
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Pacific Northwest


  • 1–2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 ¼– 2 ½ pounds beef chuck roast- organic, grass fed, local if possible
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large red onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, rough chopped
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 12 oz bag fresh cranberries ( or 4 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme ( or rosemary)
  • 1 Cup ruby port -a red port( do not use tauny port) the very inexpensive kind-found at most grocery stores, or sub a rich deep red wine ( like cab)  and increase the sugar by 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 Cups beef stock
  • 4 Tablespoons sugar ( or maple- see notes)
  • 2 Tablespoons whole mustard seeds ( or whole grain mustard)


  1. Pre heat oven to 350F
  2. Heat oil in an oven proof dutch oven, over medium high heat. Rub chuck roast with salt and pepper on all sides, and brown all sides very well. Be patient here and get a good crust!
  3. While meat is browning, dice the onion, garlic, celery and carrot
  4. Once meat is nicely browned on all sides, set aside on a plate.
  5. Add onion, celery and carrot, to the same pan,  turn heat to medium and sauté until they soften, about 5- 6 minutes.
  6. Add cranberries, ruby port, beef stock, sugar, thyme or rosemary, and mustard seeds and give a stir.
  7. Nestle meat into the middle, bring to a simmer, cover tightly and place in the oven.
  8. Bake for 3 hours ( or longer if a bigger cut of meat) Meat should be fork tender, and cranberry port sauce, reduced. If Sauce seems too thin, continue baking uncovered, or simmer on stove top, uncovered until it reduces and thickens a bit.
  9. Serve over mashed potatoes, mashed cauliflower or whipped sweet potatoes with a little cranberry sauce over top.