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RECIPE: Beef Roast with Cranberry Molasses

written by

Sarah Hayes

posted on

May 29, 2021

Fancy enough for company, easy enough for after a ski day. I love to start it in the morning and let it cook in the crockpot all day while I'm working or playing. It is a frequent request with friends and family alike. 


  • 2+ lb beef roast (tri tip roast, chuck roast, rump roast)
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper, optional
  • 1/3 cup cranberry molasses (or similar, see below)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/3 cup reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Molasses (makes 1-1.25 c)
  • 4 cups juice, cranberry, chokecherry or pomegranate or similar
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice


Dutch oven or similar stovetop and oven safe cooking vessel with a tight lid -OR- a crockpot.


  1. Prepare dry rub by mixing 1 Tbsp salt, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp mustard, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, ½ tsp pepper, and, optionally, a pinch of cayenne pepper.  Rub it all over your thawed roast and allow to marinade in the fridge 3 hrs to overnight.
  2. Make molasses by mixing 4 cups chokecherry or pomegranate juice, 2/3 cup sugar, and 1/3 cup fresh lime juice in medium saucepan. Simmer on medium heat until mixture reduces to 1 to 1-1/4 cups, stirring often. Molasses can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container for up to 1 month (I usually make this ahead).
  3. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook 20 to 30 minutes until caramelized, stirring often. Lower heat if necessary. Meanwhile, combine 1/3 c molasses, barbecue sauce, broth, and mustard in small bowl. Add molasses mixture to skillet after onions are caramelized; stirring to combine.
  4. Preheat oven to 325°F or prepare your crockpot.
  5. Sear roast over medium-high heat by adding 1 Tbsp oil to a pan and using tongs to each side into contact with the pan for 1-2 minutes (See this video, if you need help).  I do this in the dutch oven on the stovetop that I also use to cook the roast in the oven.
  6. Cover seared roast with onions, cover tightly, and cook until it is fork-tender about 3+ hrs, or cook in the crockpot on high for 6-8 hrs.
  7. Remove roast from cooking vessel, rest for 10-15 minutes.
  8. Carve and serve with the caramelized onions.

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