Bavarian Pot Roast of Wonder (Crock Pot)

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I am going to let you in on a little secret.

I’ve never been a great beef pot roast maker. It’s true. My pot roast usually comes out kind of tough and not very flavorful. I’ve researched the best methods for cooking the blessed meat and tried countless recipes.  Goodness knows I have even left it cooking in my crock pot with fingers crossed it would turn out wonderfully. Much to my dismay…it wasn’t ever great. Just okay, and certainly not blog worthy.

Until now.

Thank heavens, I have finally found a pot roast recipe to love and cherish. My sunday dinners will never be the same! This beautiful beef roast is divine. Succulent, even! (Full of wonder). The meat turns out so tender you don’t even need a knife to cut it. It simply shreds easily with a fork. The flavor is fragrant and rich. It cooks slowly in the crock pot drenched in wonderfully simple sauce. When the meat has cooked through you add a bit of cornstarch and cold water to the pot, which turns the sauce into a fabulous gravy. Serve it all with a side of mashed potatoes and life will be a beautiful thing. :)

Make this, my friends.

Make it and love it and give your crock pot a big fat kiss, won’t you?

Monthly Menu Plan coming up on Monday, followed by an entire week worth of posts. Sugary, heavenly, Christmas-like posts my friends. ‘Tis the season, after all. I’ve got some great things to show you! Hope you’ll join me.  :)

Now, let’s make some roast. You, me and a beautiful chunk of meat.

Bavarian Pot Roast of Wonder

Time: 15 min. prep + 5 1/2 hours crock pot cooking
Yield: 8 servings
Recipe from Taste of Home

***NOTES: This recipe works best in a 5 quart crock pot. If you use a super large crock pot, the meat will cook faster resulting in a tougher, less tender meat. Also, if you leave the raw roast (in its package) out on your counter for about 30 minutes before you cook it, allowing it to come to room temperature before you sear it in a pan, it will stand a better chance of being tender. ***

1 (3-4 pound) chuck beef roast
1 1/2 C apple juice
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 small onion, chopped
2 T vinegar
1 T salt
2 t cinnamon
1 T ginger
1/4 C cornstarch
1/2 C cold water

1. Find yourself a nice 3-4 pound beef chuck roast. Cut it in half with a nice sharp knife.

2. Heat a large, deep skillet up over medium high heat. When the pan is hot hit it with a bit of cooking spray and lay your pot roast in it.

Let the meat get a beautiful brown sear on both sides. Should take several minutes per side.

3. While your meat is browning, pour 1 1/2 cups of apple juice into a small mixing bowl.

Add 1 can tomato sauce,

1 chopped onion,

2 tablespoons vinegar,

2 teaspoons of cinnamon,

and 1 tablespoon ginger. Give it all a nice stir to combine.

4. Spray the inside of your crock pot with cooking spray. Stack the slabs of meat, one on top of the other.

Pour the yummy sauce over the top of the browned meat. Cover the crock pot and on low for 5 hours, or until the meat easily shreds with a  fork.

5. In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup cornstarch and 1/2 cup cold water. Stir it until smooth. Pour it into the crock pot sauce. (Try not to get it all over the roast like I did!)

6. Stir the cornstarch mixture into the meat. Put the lid back on and allow the roast to cook for about 30 more minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.
7. Remove the meat from the pot and allow it to sit for 5 minutes.

Serve with mashed potatoes. Enjoy!


  1. Lori Hoff says:

    Like you, I have never made a good roast. I am really excited to give this recipe a try!

  2. Heidi says:

    Do you cook the browned beef in the sauce for 5 hours….or do you add it with the cornstarch mixture for the last 30?

  3. ritalou says:

    Repeating Heidi’s question since the instructions are not quite clear. Did you pour a sauce on the browned beef before cooking in the crockpot? That is what I assume….but want to make sure.
    Sounds yummy!

    1. Jamie says:

      Thanks so much for catching my error. :) Yes, please pour the sauce over the meat once it is browned and in the crock pot. Then let it cook for the 5 hours before you add the thickener.
      Thanks again!

  4. Kymber says:

    is there a reason you cut the roast in 1/2? I’ve never done that before.

  5. Heidi says:

    Thank YOU! I always struggle with a decent pot roast and this looks fantastic.

    Happy cooking!

  6. Melissa B says:

    looks so good! I love crockpot recipes, and this one looks wonderful.

  7. Hey J – I know from experience that I don’t like the flavors of cinnamon and beef together. Would you recommend trying the recipe without?

    1. Jamie says:

      Hi Patricia,
      I think it would still be good without the cinnamon. However, the cinnamon (even though there are two whole teaspoons full) isn’t a domanant flavor. It kind of gets lost in the beef. :) Hope you try it!

  8. Erin R. says:

    Oh, that looks beautiful. It’s amazing the difference searing makes. I didn’t know about that for a long time and always came out with bland, anemic looking roasts. This recipe looks stellar and I’ll definitely try it next time I have a beef roast in the freezer. Thanks!

  9. Debbie says:

    I have always made mine with Lipton onion soup mix with a little water poured over the roast before cooking in crock pot. It always comes out so tender. I think I will try this recipe for a different flavor and not so salty. Thanks!

  10. Gina says:

    Wow.. You got a good deal on that meat

  11. Kay says:

    Just finished eating supper. This pot roast was excellent! Thumbs up from my entire family. (I did throw baby carrots in with the roast, and we had mashed potatoes.)

  12. mindy says:

    Did you cook it on a high or low setting? I always somehow destroy my roasts. I will give this one a shot!

    1. Jamie says:

      The low setting should work well for you. Good luck! Hope it turns out well for you.

  13. Gina says:

    So this recipe concluded that my crock pot cooks too hot and it’s time to buy a new one :(. What crock pot do you recommend?? My roast was way over cooked, but smelled heavenly.

    1. Jamie says:

      I have had several crock pots that cook pretty hot. I don’t have a paticular brand that I like, I just buy whatever is reasonably priced and hope for the best. :) I have noticed they have 5 and 6 quart crock pots on sale at Walmart currently for around $17. I also have noticed that when cooking a small amount of meat (like this 3-4 pound roast) in a large (7quart) crock pot…it does cook a lot faster then a smaller crock pot. Maybe this is your trouble?
      Good luck!

  14. Memoria says:

    Promise you’ll try this recipe for pot roast ( It is a dream; I mean it haha.

  15. Dorothy says:

    We had this for dinner tonight and it was excellent!

  16. Amy says:

    We just had this for dinner and it was fantastic! I served it with mashed cauliflower (blood sugar issues and can’t eat potatoes) and thickened it with arrowroot instead of cornstarch and it all worked out great! I’ve always made my pot roasts with Lipton soup mix, but this one is going to be my new standby.

  17. Megan Shaw says:

    Hmmm….I was so excited about this but I didn’t care for the gravy/sauce. Maybe I just don’t care for those flavors….not sure, but this wasn’t a hit for me or my husband. Every single thing I have made from your site until now has been though, so I think it may just be a preference of flavors.

  18. Tammy says:

    Do you think this would be good with any kind of roast?

    1. Jamie says:

      I would imagine it would be good with any kind of beef roast, but have only tried it with a chuck roast. Hope you enjoy it!

  19. trace says:

    Num! I made this yesterday and it was so good. The flavor is full of depth in every bite. I have to admit it is a little different flavor as Im used to the standard onion soup mix and loads of veges pot roast, but it was tasty. In your step by step directions with photos, you dont mention to add the salt so I forgot to (I follow the pictures directions) but added it at the end and it was fine. I feel the sauce is a bit runny so I added a little more cornstarch…accidentally added to much so it was pasty so I toned it down w/ a cup of good dark beer…this also toned down the apple juice/ginger strong flavor. I think this would be super delicious over egg noodles. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  20. Karen Randolph says:

    Have made this roast several times now and it just gets better each time I make it! I have to say it is one of the best recipes for a roast I have ever tried,,, you have a winner here Jamie!!! So glad I tried it… I will admit, I was a little scared with the combination of things going into that crock pot, but I trusted you and it just turns out wonderful!!! Thank you for this recipe and for the many other’s that you share!

  21. Dear Jaim
    After crying through the onions and wiping off my tablet of tomato sauce, ginger, cinnamon, apple juice and onions (yes, I had an accident) this recipe turned out great. I am giving part of the diner and recipe to the Priests tomorrow for mission prep. I think they should add Crock Pots to missionary required items, don’t you?
    P.S. Mark was awesome on Saturday.

    1. Jamie says:

      Dad (Bill),
      So glad you liked the recipe!!! Glad it was worth the tomato sauce on your tablet. :) Thanks for going to see Mark on Saturday. He’s always glad to have you see him play, and for your tips.
      Love ya,

  22. fran says:

    !I give that a (-)5 has no flavor all you taste is cinnamon,cinnamon and meat not good ,we did not like it at all.Mad about how much money I spend for the meat.What a waste!!!

  23. Lisa says:

    Hi Jamie,
    I am a longtime follower of your blog and love your family friendly recipes! I made this pot roast yesterday for Sunday dinner and it was amazing. My family had fun trying to figure out the “secret” ingredients! :-) Thank you for all the great recipes; I realized that on my menu plan this week I have three of your recipes. Thank you!

  24. m says:

    I make something very similar to this, also doing cornstarch at the end…its fabulous everytime!! I usually do 1-2 inch cubed potatoes in the bottom of crockpot under tge meat….my goodness, no work involved in this dish and we eat til we cant move…..thanks for sharing, i cant wait to try the applejuice and ginger!!!!!

  25. m says:

    PS. I use a 3-4 lb TRITIP. we get em for a steal on clearance and freeze em. Ive used pork too. I heart my crock pot!!

  26. Ruth D says:

    Made this with pork butt and served rice and caramelized onions on the side. It was delicious! Thanks so much for sharing your recipes with us.

  27. Sarah C says:

    Going to make this soon, well I hope soon – the next time I find chuck roast on sale! I too am wondering about the reason for cutting the meat in half. I have cooked many a crock-pot roast and never cut it, wondering if maybe it’s time to start, if I’ve been missing something all this time, or if it is just a matter of preference or making it fit in your particular crock pot?

  28. june says:

    Do you think it would come out ok if i put potatoes and carrots in with it?

  29. Sheryl says:

    I made this today, but I am sorry to say it was not very successful for us. The cinnamon was way too much. I have two meat eating children, one did not like it and the other refused to even try it. My husband and I ate it over egg noodles, and it wasn’t bad, but did not like it enough to keep the recipe. I’m going back to drunken garlic pot roast. Its a lot more work, but everyone loves it.

    1. Fatima says:

      a very large number of peuctris which come under various different licenses. you need to check with each image that it’s available for use, whether it’ available for use in commercial context, can be altered, or requires’s the best bit you can search all of the

  30. louise says:

    I don’t have a crackpot.. will it be OK to cook in the oven in a casserole dish? And at what temp?

  31. Emma says:

    We had this for dinner last night -super easy and delicious!!! Thanks for the recipe

  32. Suzanne Baruch says:

    I was so disappointed by the outcome of this recipe, because of all the positive comments! I would say that, if you’re unsure whether you’d enjoy a roast that is sweet, then don’t try this recipe. That’s the aspect I wasn’t prepared for, and although I used apple juice without added sugar, that’s what I got. As others have also commented, it was also WAY too much cinnamon. Regardless, *if* I tried this recipe again, there are several changes I would definitely make:

    1) cut the apple juice by half, and add beef broth for the remainder;
    2) reduce the cinnamon by AT LEAST a half;
    3) add at least a teaspoon of chopped garlic;
    4) cut the vinegar a little. It gives the gravy an interesting “bite,” but it was too much in combination with the juice;
    5) Decrease the ginger to 3/4 or possibly 1/2 T.

    These changes are in keeping with the overall intent of the recipe to present a “Bavarian” taste.

    I added 1 1/2 lbs of baby potatoes, halved, on top of the roast and they turned out marvelously! You could probably add baby carrots as well, but remember to cut the added liquids so your gravy isn’t too runny.

    Overall, I’d give this recipe — as written — a “C.” It could easily be an “A” with the right changes.

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