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Beef Pot Roast Marsala

Pretty sure that my husband has garnered all of his parenting skills from George Bluth on Arrested Development. This bodes quite poorly for our dear sons.

Take, for example, the stories he tells the boys about ‘Larry’. Larry is apparently the son we used to have, before he played with the bathtub drain and got sucked down it. Poor, poor Larry. The moral of the story is: Never play with the bathtub drain.

And then there are the stories about Darryl, and his other brother Darryl, also imaginary former children of ours. Each met equally terrible fates as a result of their naughty mischief.

The kids have learned all sorts of lessons from these stories, like never to play with the fireplace screen and to always put the caps back on the markers, lest they meet the same sad fate of Larry, Darryl, or Darryl.

The kids don’t know what to make of these stories. Their sense of real and pretend is still developing…as is their understanding of spatial relations. They giggle nervously as their dad talks of Larry, while I quickly reassure them that their daddy is just kidding. My husband then counters with comments like, Yes there really was a Larry. Mommy’s just too sad to talk about it. And then, when their father is not around, the boys quietly ask me if kids can really go down the drain. No, sweethearts. Your daddy is just a joker. (And later he’ll wonder why you won’t listen when he tells you it’s important to wear your bicycle helmet.)

If you haven’t seen Arrested Development, fire up your Netflix right now. You’ll laugh. And laughing is good. This pot roast is good too! I mean like, I-could-eat-this-every-night kind of good. Tender, flavorful, comforting. The idea entered my mind after looking for a pot roast recipe for a friend. During that search, I ran across a simple pot roast with mushrooms recipe, which got my gears turning. I bought the ingredients for my marsala-based twist on pot roast that afternoon. I sense this recipe is going to become a frequent Sunday night dinner.

Ideally, I’d have served mashed potatoes on the side of this pot roast, but under the rules of my current diet, potatoes are a big no-no. (You thought those were mashed potatoes in the picture, didn’t ya?) So, I decided to give something else a try; a cauliflower mash. Now, you may be thinking that there is no way in H-E-double hockey sticks that mashed cauliflower is going to satisfy your mashed potato craving. I was also quite skeptical. But I’ve got to tell you, I would eat this cauliflower mash even if I weren’t on an anti-potato diet. It’s surprisingly delicious. Parmesan cheese and garlic powder make this side dish a real winner! You won’t even miss the potatoes.

Beef Pot Roast Marsala


  • 2.5-3 pound chuck roast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 3 cups baby bella (cremini) mushrooms, rinsed
  • 1 cup marsala wine
  • 1 quart beef stock
  • A few sprigs of fresh parsley


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Trim the chuck roast of any excess exterior fat. Season with the salt and pepper. In a large dutch oven or oven safe pan, heat olive oil over medium/medium-high heat. Place the meat in the pan and brown on all sides, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove the meat and set aside. Reduce the heat slightly. Add the onion and garlic. Cook for 3-5 minutes, until tender. Add the mushrooms. Cook for another minute or two. Add the marsala wine and simmer for a minute or two. Return the meat to the pan. Add the beef stock and the sprigs of parsley. The beef stock should come almost to the top of the meat, but not cover. Bring the liquid to a simmer, then cover the pan and place it in the oven. Cook for 3.5 hours.

Remove the pan from the oven. Carefully remove the roast. Place it on a cutting board and loosely cover with foil. Simmer the sauce in the pan for about 5-7 minutes to reduce. Turn off the heat, wait for a few minutes, then skim the excess fat from the surface of the sauce. (My favorite way to skim the fat is to pour the sauce into a clear container, like a pyrex measuring cup, and allow it to cool for a few minutes. The fat will rise to the surface. Carefully lower a large spoon into the fat layer to collect and discard the excess fat.) Finally, taste the sauce and adjust seasoning with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Slice the meat or shred it with a fork (I went with shredding, since it was so tender, it fell apart when I attempted to slice.) Pour the sauce over the meat when serving.)

Serves about 6

Garlic-Parmesan Cauliflower Mash


  • 6 cups cauliflower, steamed until tender
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 2/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Adjust seasoning as desired.

Serves about 6

Diet Day:  15    Weight Loss: 10   Motivation: Unwavering

*We finished phase 1 (the hard part) of South Beach diet yesterday. As of today, we get to welcome back whole grain breads, fresh fruits, dark chocolate…yum!


11 responses »

  1. Will have to the try the cauliflower mash! Beautiful dish.

  2. Wow, that looks stunning. Cauliflower mash is a great idea too.

  3. We learned about cauliflower mash when my husband was on the Atkins diet way back. It really is good! We still make it. Another hold over from the Atkins days are mashed rutabagas and mashed turnips. Good stuff!

  4. oooooohhhhhhhhyuuuuuummmm! 🙂

  5. LOVE your blog. Crazy busy hockey mom here, wondering if this can be done in a slow cooker (i.e. unattended cooking)? and if so what adjustments you’d suggest?

    • Hi there! Yes, I think this recipe could be adapted for the slow cooker. I don’t use my slow cooker enough to give you an exact adaptation, but what I think I’d try is to follow the recipe as written, up until adding the marsala wine, then transfer all of the ingredients to the slow cooker and add the beef broth. I’d reduce the beef broth, since it seems like everything gets extra liquidy in slow-cookers. You can always add more broth later, if you need. I’m guessing it would take about 9 hours on low or 5-6 on high. If the sauce is too watery at the end, transfer it to stovetop and let it boil until it reduces to your liking.
      Hope that helps! Thanks for reading!

  6. Excellent dish. It was a snowy Saturday here on Long Island and I needed something to slow cook for my family. We all loved it! (Made mashed potatoes instead of the cauliflower though). Thanks!!

    PS . . . Made the mini quiches for brunch today too. Very tasty.

  7. Holls and Lolah

    Those look like real potatoes. Very nice!

  8. Thanks Amy, this was another delicious meal from you! I’d never had the cauliflower mash before and we really enjoyed something new. I was able to make everything early in the day (I made spuds, too) – go to an Irish dancing Feis until late, come home and a delicious dinner was heated and ready to go in minutes. Love it when everything comes together like that 🙂

  9. Popping over from Amy’s notebook post… this looks absolutely wonderful. My husband (and me too by default) has been doing South Beach for a while. He has lost over 50 pounds! We just had pot roast in the last week, but I’m going to add to the menu in a week or two. Thanks!


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The Gourmand Mom

Good food, seasoned with a dash of life

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