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Traditional Canadian Prairie Pot Roast 4

Traditional Canadian Prairie Pot Roast

This traditional Canadian prairie Sunday Supper was cooked all day long, low and slow while the family went to church and visited with family and friends, returning home to a well-cooked succulent, falling off the bone meal needing only a side salad to complete.
Course Main
Cuisine Canadian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes
Servings 6 -8
Author Valerie Lugonja


  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 3 to 3 1/2 pounds or 1.4 to 1.6 kilo beef shoulder or boneless chuck know-your-farmer roast (one well marbled with fat will have most flavour; I buy grassfed beef by the 1/2, so have incredible Alberta beef)
  • 2 tablespoons cold pressed non-GMO canola oil
  • 2 large yellow onions , thickly sliced, lengthwise (4 generous cups)
  • 1 bulb of garlic , cloves peeled
  • 1/2 cup of red wine or brandy
  • water as needed to deglaze the browning pan
  • 1-3 bay leaves (in mom's day, it was one; I use fresh ones from my little kitchen tree)
  • 8 large carrots , peeled
  • 2 pounds or 1 kilo of potatoes (mom used russets, peeled and halved)

Ingredients for the Gravy

  • 1/2 cup flour (or more, if needed)
  • 1 1/4 cup water (or more, if needed)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon greshly ground pepper


  1. Pre-heat oven to 300F
  2. Mix seasonings together
  3. Pat roast dry on all sides with paper towel (always do this when browning beef)
  4. Season on all sides with 1/2 seasoning mixture; rub it in
  5. Heat canola oil medium high in heavy pot; brown roast on all sides (see note)
  6. De-glaze pan with wine or brandy, adding water as needed; reserve
  7. Place prepared onions, garlic and bay leaves in bottom of heavy roasting pan; season with 1/3 of the remaining half of the seasoning mixture (divide remaining seasoning into thirds)
  8. Layer potatoes on top; season with 1/3 of the remaining seasoning mixture
  9. Place seasoned, browned roast on top of potatoes; pour reserved pan juices over top
  10. Nestle carrots alongside roast; season all with remaining 1/3 of seasoning mixture
  11. Place pot on stove top on medium to medium high heat until onions start to sizzle and pot gets warm (about 5 minutes)
  12. Put tight-fitting lid on pot and place in pre-heated oven for 30 minutes (lid must be tight to keep moisture in the pot for a moist roast)
  13. Turn heat down to 225F after 30 minutes; slow roast for 3 to 3 1/2 hours, until meat is falling apart
  14. Remove from oven; set beef under tented foil for 15 minutes, then slice
  15. Prepare platter with onions carrots and potatoes; arrange sliced beef on top
  16. Pour all pot drippings over sliced beef; garnish with fresh flat leafed parsley
  17. Serve with a fresh side salad and gorgeous sliced heirloom tomatoes
  18. Instructions for the Gravy:
  19. Prepare jar with a tighty sealed lid with flour and water; shake well to mix to a thick runny consistency
  20. Remove all solids from the roasting pan and place over medium high heat; season generously with pepper and one teaspoon of salt, to start
  21. Using a small sieve and a whisk, pour only half of the flour water mixture through the sieve and stir rigorously with the sieve until thickened and flour is cooked
  22. Taste and check for seasoning and consistency; add more if not thick enough and check seasoning after adding more thickener
  23. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes once desired consistency is reached, stirring constantly
  24. Serve poured over beef on the platter, or in a bowl on the side if preferred

Recipe Notes

And for dessert?
Homemade apple pie with a slice of cheddar cheese, of course!
When browning the beef, do not force the meat when turning; it will release from the pan easily when properly browned