Pot Roast with Apples, Sweet Potatoes and Prunes

By Jennifer McGruther / Photography By Jennifer McGruther | April 22, 2014
Apples, sweet potatoes, and prunes complement grass-fed beef’s natural, if subtle, sweetness in this simple pot roast. My family relies on pot roasts frequently, particularly in the fall and winter, when one roast might feed us for several meals. Nowadays, spices like allspice and cloves seem relegated to baked goods and desserts, though they have traditionally been used to season meats in addition to sweets. I like the way their sweet spiciness forms a bridge of flavors between the beef, apples, sweet potatoes, and prunes in this dish. If you can’t find hard cider for this pot roast, substitute sweet apple cider.


  • 2 teaspoons finely ground unrefined sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 rump roast (about 4 pounds)
  • 3 tablespoons lard or tallow
  • 1 yellow onion, quartered
  • 3 apples, peeled, cored and quartered
  • 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups pitted prunes
  • 4 cups beef bone broth*
  • 2 cups hard apple cider


Preheat the oven to 275°F.

Measure the salt, pepper, allspice, coriander, and cloves into a small bowl, then whisk them together to form a spice rub. Rinse the meat and pat it dry. Rub the spices into all sides of the meat.

Melt the fat in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, then place the seasoned meat in the hot fat, searing it for about 3 minutes on each side. Arrange the onion, apples, sweet potatoes, and prunes around the meat, then pour in the broth and hard cider. Turn off the heat, cover the pot, and transfer it to the oven. Leave the pot in the oven for 4 hours, or until the meat becomes tender and the vegetables soften.

Spoon the vegetables into bowls, slice the meat, and layer it over the vegetables. Ladle on a bit of sauce over the roast and serve.

*Beef Bone Broth recipe

Reprinted with permission from The Nourished Kitchen written and photographed by Jennifer McGruther (Ten Speed Press, © 2014). 

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