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How Chef Nyesha Arrington Makes French Onion Pot Roast

The chef and ‘Plateworthy’ host mashes up two of her favorite recipes

Chef Nyesha Arrington couples two of her favorite recipes — French onion soup and pot roast — by combining the soup’s elements of caramelized onions and broiled cheese with the roast’s savory juices.

She starts by caramelizing the onions on medium high heat: “A.B.C. Always be caramelizing.” As the onions are simmering, she seasons the chuck roast with salt, and sears the outside of the meat in a pan full of melted butter and thyme.

Next, she makes the French onion soup-inspired seasoning with dehydrated onions, dehydrated beef powder, paprika, onion powder, and dehydrated garlic. After sprinkling it on top of the roast, she adds a layer of ketchup. “I know it looks funky, I know it’s weird, but this ketchup is going to create a kind of caramelized crust on the top that’s going to be amazing,” she says. She tops the roast with the caramelized onions and puts it in a dutch oven, then roasts it in the oven for three and a half hours.

Lastly, she pushes French onion soup concept one step further. She toasts pieces of bread to make crostini, and broils cheese on top. Once it’s grilled to her liking, she adds a slice of the roast, and bathes the entire dish in its jus. See the recipe below.

Pot Roast

Makes 10-12 servings


3 pounds chuck roast, trimmed

4 ounces provolone cheese

1 French baguette, sliced thick

4 tablespoons grapeseed oil

2 ounces butter

2 yellow onions, sliced in ¼-inch half moons

1 bottle sherry

Salt and pepper, to taste

5 sprigs thyme, fresh

2 bay leaves, fresh

2 tablespoons Italian parsley, fresh

2 quarts beef stock

1 cup ketchup

For the French onion soup mix:

½ cup dehydrated onion flakes

1 ounce beef bouillon powder

½ teaspoons onion powder

½ teaspoons paprika

¼ teaspoons garlic powder

½ teaspoons kosher salt

¼ teaspoons black pepper


Step 1: Preheat oven to 275 degrees.

Step 2: In a small bowl, toss together French onion soup mix ingredients and combine. Set aside.

Step 3: Heat the grapeseed oil and 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat in a pan. Sear beef on all sides for about 5 minutes.

Step 4: Remove beef and add to Dutch oven.

Step 5: Cover the beef with layer of ketchup.

Step 6: Sprinkle French onion soup mix over chuck roast.

Step 7: Sprinkle onions along the side and on top of chuck roast.

Step 8: Add beef stock until Dutch oven is nearly ½ filled.

Step 9: Add ¼ cup Sherry to Dutch oven.

Step 10: Place fresh thyme sprigs, Italian parsley and bay leaves around/on top of chuck roast and cover.

Step 11: Roast for 3 hours, or until tender.

Step 12: Rest beef in beef stock until cooled.

Step 13: Strain jus and set aside.

For the plating

Step 1: Slice and toast baguette.

Step 2: Slice rested beef and place on top of toasted baguette.

Step 3: Top with provolone cheese and melt in broiler for 3 minutes or until cheese is fully melted and slightly bruleed.

Step 4: Serve with broth and enjoy!


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