apple cranberry pot roast

I know what you’re thinking. A pot roast with fruit? Damn, girl. You crazy.

Why, yes. Yes I am. And you should be too. It’s the right place to be.

I make up some recipes that don’t go on this blog. They flop. They suck a big one. Husband and I eat them alone, crying on the living room floor and wondering why I bother to cook in the first place.

But that’s how one learns, little chickadees. Make a bunch of inedible stuff and you’re bound to come up with something edible once in a while.

This was one of those whiles. The flavor was incredible—moist meat that fell apart at the touch of a fork. Sauce that was tart, sweet, and tangy in all the right places. Little slices of apple, cranberry and shallot that lent texture and enriched the sauce. We loved it. We scarfed it. We licked our plates. We sat, smiling, at the dining room table. The living room floor was so lonely.

A word of warning before we begin: this is not a meat-and-potatoes type of pot roast. This is a pot roast for the sweet-and-savory minded. If you like that combo, or you’re up for trying something new, raise your hand. And grab the following ingredients:

A hunk of cow. A 3-4 pound boneless pot roast, preferably no longer mooing. Rinse and pat dry.

This recipe would also lend itself nicely to pork, so if you feel like it, grab a pork shoulder instead.

A couple of apples. I had fujis on hand, but you could use any type of apple you like. Except anything with the word “delicious” in the title. Those apples are certainly not delicious. They should be voted off the apple island.

Grab about a half a head of garlic and one large shallot.

You’ll need one cup of dry red wine. The rest of the bottle, do with what you will. But hear this: I don’t condone drinking and cooking.

Okay, I do. I really do. Those two activities were made to be performed together. Don’t fight it. Just go with it.

Rummage through your pantry and find a can of whole cranberries left over from two Thanksgivings ago. Check the date on the bottom. Not expired? Sweet.

If you would prefer a little more tart and a little less sweet, I would go the fresh cranberry route.

Find some apple cider vinegar….

…and a little veggie oil or olive oil.

Forget to take a picture of the oil, please. Don’t make me look bad.

For spice, grab one sprig of rosemary, a dollop of dijon mustard, and a little salt and freshly ground pepper.

Ready? Let’s do this dang thing.

Chop up the apple into 1/2″ pieces.

And while you’ve got the cutting board out, mince that gorgeous rosemary.

And while your chopping arm is warm, mince up that gahlic. Gaaahhhlic, I say! Gaaaaahhhhhhlllliiiicc!

Sorry. Momentary outburst.

And since you’re so good at chopping, slice up that loverly shallot. Shallots are like onion’s leaner, meaner cousin. They may be small, but they can make you tear up twice as fast and twice as much. They ain’t jokin, those mangy shallots.

Now’s the time to pile all of those ingredients in Le Crock Pot. Add the wine, cranberries, apples, shallots, garlic, dijon, salt, pepper, one tablespoon of oil, two teaspoons of vinegar, and rosemary to the pot. Give it a good stir.

Add the meat and spoon some of the sauce on top. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

Halfway through cooking, flip the meat over and coat with sauce.

Oh my darling roast. You are so beautiful.

Remove the roast and put onto a plate. Cut or shred the meat into the size pieces you’d like to serve.

Meanwhile, turn the Crock on high for 5-10 minutes with the lid off. It’ll thicken the sauce a bit. Toss the meat back in and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve the chunks of roast with a bit of the sauce spooned on top.

We ate ours with a spinach, butter lettuce, walnut and gorgonzola salad with garlic vinaigrette. It was a delicious combo, although I wished halfway through that I had some crusty bread to sop up the juices from the roast.

I totally loved the combination of the sweet sauce with the savory meat. The apples and cranberries were a tender topping, and the shallots gave a tiny bit of bite.

Flavorful, easy, and gorgeous winter meal. If you love sweet and savory dishes as much as I do, make this sometime soon.

Have a lovely Thursday!


Apple Cranberry Pot Roast

  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, stem removed and minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium apples, cored and diced
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3-4 pound pot roast, excess fat removed and patted dry

Combine first 10 ingredients in a slow cooker and stir. Add the roast and spoon some sauce on top. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours. Halfway through cooking, turn meat over and coat with sauce.

Remove meat from pot and shred or cut into pieces. Turn slow cooker on high for 5-10 minutes to thicken sauce. Return meat to pot, mix with sauce, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 4.


  1. Honestly, I think it’s time to invite me over. Perfect rainy day food!!

  2. if12192 says:

    Great recipe! Quick question: I don’t own a crock pot so do you know how I could cook this using, say, a Dutch oven?

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  5. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be really something that I think I would never understand.
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  8. Please fix your ingredient list, adding the cranberries. Thanks!

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