Root beer and onions flavor this retro beef roast.

Root Beer Roast

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Root beer and onions flavor this retro beef roast.

Root beer and onions flavor this retro beef roast.


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.

Root Beer Roast
Recipe type: main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
Adapted from the book “Homemade Soda” by Andrew Schloss
  • 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
  1. 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).
  2. Heat a large oven-proof skillet, add oil then brown the roast on all sides and remove roast from skillet.
  3. Toss onions into the hot skillet and cook until tender, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the root beer, ketchup, vinegar and liquid smoke to the skillet and stir to combine.
  5. Place the beef back into the skillet (or place in a baking dish), coat with the sauce, and cover tightly with aluminum foil.
  6. Bake at 325 degrees for 2 hours (or until cooked through).
  7. When done, remove the beef from sauce, cool slightly and slice, then add back to the sauce and serve.
Adapted from the book “Homemade Soda” by Andrew Schloss


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