Sometimes, retro tastes great. Even if it’s mid-century recipe that combines soda pop with ketchup then roasts a hunk of beef in the sweet and tangy sludge. I found the recipe in the book “Homemade Soda: 200 Recipes for Making and Using” by Andrew Schloss. The book gives a fascinating history of pop (I live in “pop” territory, not “soda” or “coke”) and all sorts of recipes that I’m excited to try now that summer is practically here. A chapter of the book is devoted to soda pop cuisine, which evolved after WWII into savory “convenience” recipes for busy mothers.
This recipe was a revelation as much as it was easy. Brown a seasoned slab of beef, make a sauce of root beer, ketchup, vinegar and onions and bake the roast in a slow oven for a couple of hour until unctuous and so flavorful that even the kids would eat it, regardless if it was 1962 or 2012.
- 2½ pound round roast, trimmed of fat
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 2 Tablespoons oil
- 1½ cup ketchup
- 1½ cup root beer
- ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon liquid smoke
- Salt and pepper
- Salt and pepper the roast (I cut my roast in half to order to shorten cooking time and get more meat in contact with the sauce).
- Heat a large oven-proof skillet, add oil then brown the roast on all sides and remove roast from skillet.
- Toss onions into the hot skillet and cook until tender, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the root beer, ketchup, vinegar and liquid smoke to the skillet and stir to combine.
- Place the beef back into the skillet (or place in a baking dish), coat with the sauce, and cover tightly with aluminum foil.
- Bake at 325 degrees for 2 hours (or until cooked through).
- When done, remove the beef from sauce, cool slightly and slice, then add back to the sauce and serve.