"Make Ahead" Sweet and Sour Pot Roast
Easy Sweet and Sour Pot Roast

I call this "Make Ahead" pot roast, because you literally have to make it at least one day before you serve it and 2 or 3 days ahead is even better. That's because in addition to being able to skim the fat off, something magical happens when the meat sits in the juices for a while, making it ever so much more flavorful and tender. So if you're looking for a quickie meal for tonight, this is not the answer to all of your problems, but if you're in a plan-ahead frame of mind, already thinking about what's you'll be eating on say, Tuesday or Wednesday, and want a one-pot meal with virtually no work at all, you've come to the right place. Serve it with mashed potatoes and people will be jumping up and down doing the happy pot roast dance!

Pot roast is one of those classic nostalgic dinners that grandmas seemed to whip up so effortlessly. My husband had a dreamy look of contentment after I served this traditional meat and potatoes meal and was especially eager to clean up as it meant he could keep popping tastes of the delicious meat and gravy into his happy little mouth! It's that kind of yummy!

And it's ridiculously easy to make--takes just minutes to prepare and then cooks all on its own without any work necessary on your part (no wonder grandmas made it seem so effortless!)

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The only necessity is that you serve this with mashed potatoes, noodles, rice or even a good piece of bread to sop up all the delicious juices. The meat is savory, slightly sweet and fall-off-the-fork tender and the carrots add a welcome touch of color and sweetness. 

So during this very busy season, make this "Make Ahead" Pot Roast ahead of time and make your life a whole lot easier...and tastier too! 

"Make Ahead" Sweet and Sour Pot Roast

Makes 6-8 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes; Cook Time: 3-3 1/2 hours


  • 4-5 pounds brisket or bottom round

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed

  • 1/2 cup ketchup

  • 1/4 cup white vinegar

  • 1/2 tablespoon salt

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

  • 2 medium-large onions, thinly sliced

  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into small chunks

  • 2 cups water

The Recipe

1.  Preheat oven to 375ºF. Place everything in a heavy ovenproof casserole or Dutch Oven with a tight-fitting lid and cover well. Place the dish in the oven for 3-3 1/2 hours until the meat is fall-apart tender.

2.  Bring to room temperature and place entire pot, covered into the refrigerator for at least overnight or up to 3 days. Remove from fridge and skim off the fat. Discard. Slice the meat thinly, place back into the gravy and heat on the top of the stove over a low light until hot. Serve immediately with mashed potatoes, pasta, rice or bread.

3.  Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5 days.


Note:  Recipe adapted from Mama Leah's Jewish Kitchen by Leah Loeb Fischer. I increased the amount of carrots used and also the cooking time.

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