The Easiest 30-Minute Beef Shoulder Roast Recipe

The most common excuse people give for not cooking at home is lack of time. As a busy parent, spending hours in the kitchen each day to prepare home-cooked meals can be overwhelming. This is where beef roasts come in handy. Beef roasts are like cheat sheets for creating home-cooked meals that your family will love and remember for years to come. With just 30 minutes of hands-on cooking time, you can have a perfectly cooked beef shoulder roast that will be enough for your family for two or three nights of dinner. It doesn’t get any easier than that!

Beef shoulder roast on a plate with a side of rice

Beef roast is not only fast and easy to prepare, but it’s also loaded with nutrients. As a strong advocate for incorporating beef into your diet, I can attest that it is a nutrient powerhouse. Beef is a complete protein, containing all the essential amino acids, and it is rich in nutrients like iron, zinc, selenium, and B vitamins, which are more easily absorbed by the body than those found in plants and other health foods. Unfortunately, many people around the world are deficient in these nutrients, and consuming even just a few ounces of beef each week has been proven to reduce nutrient deficiencies. By incorporating roast beef into your weekly or monthly meals, you can make a significant difference in the health of you and your family. Alright, let’s dive into the recipe!

What readers say:

“It’s obvious that you perfected this recipe. The roast is unbelievably tender, perfectly seasoned throughout, and hearty. I can’t think of a way to make it better!”

Alexander Cortes

Step 1: Picking The Right Roast

There are many types of roasts available, which can make it difficult to choose the right cut of meat. To keep things simple, we will use beef shoulder roast for this recipe (I’ll cover the different types of roasts in a future post!).

I purchase my beef shoulder roast from US wellness meats, an online retailer that sources from eco-friendly and sustainable family farms across the United States. They offer a great selection at fantastic prices. For instance, a 100% grass-fed 3lb beef shoulder roast costs $37 and is delivered right to my doorstep.

For this recipe, I suggest choosing a 3lb to 5lb roast.

Beef shoulder roast (center cut) from US Wellness Meats

If you prefer to use this recipe for a different type of roast (such as beef chuck roast, rump roast, brisket), go for it! As long as it’s a roast that’s meant to be cooked for a long time because it has lots of connective tissue. Otherwise, the meat will be overcooked and chewy. 

Step 2: Get The Right Tools

Now that you have the roast, let’s make sure you have the right tools. All you need for this recipe is a cast iron dutch oven. If you don’t already have one, you can easily purchase an affordable one on Amazon for as little as $60 to $70. Alternatively, you can splurge and invest in a fancier option like the Le Creuset.

Step 3: Gather Your Ingredients

Once you have your beef roast and cast iron dutch oven ready, it’s time to gather the ingredients. You only need five ingredients, and you may not even need a trip to the grocery store:

  • 2 cups of beef broth
  • 2 chopped onions
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of beef tallow (or any high-temperature cooking oil)
  • 2 tablespoons of salt
  • Vegetables (optional)
    • 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces

Note: Personally, I like to keep it simple when it comes to ingredients. However, feel free to add your favorite vegetables (eg. potatoes or celery) and add fresh herds (eg. rosemary or thyme). Just toss them into the dutch oven before putting it into the oven (see step 5 below).

Note 2: I do not recommend using olive oil in place of beef tallow because it does not have a high enough smoke point. Good substitutes for beef tallow are ghee, coconut oil, or avocado oil.

Step 4: Tenderize Your Meat

Tenderizing the meat with salt helps to distribute the flavor evenly, rather than having it salty on the surface but bland on the inside. You can tenderize the meat for up to 3 days, but 24 hours is usually sufficient.

Beef shoulder roast with a generous amount of salt on it

To tenderize your roast, follow these steps:

  1. Rinse the roast with clean water.
  2. Place the roast in a large bowl.
  3. Rub 1 tablespoon of salt onto one side of the roast.
  4. Flip the roast over.
  5. Rub another tablespoon of salt onto the other side of the roast.
  6. Cover the bowl with an airtight lid or wrap it tightly with plastic wrap.
  7. Place the bowl in the refrigerator overnight.

Step 5: Prepare The Roast

When you’re ready to cook the roast, take it out of the fridge and get started!

  • Preheat the oven to 275F degrees.
  • Heat a cast iron dutch oven on medium-high heat on the stove.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of beef tallow and wait until the oil is well-heated.
  • Place the roast in the oil and sear it on one side for 4 minutes.
  • Flip the roast over and sear it on the other side for another 4 minutes.
  • Sear the edges until golden brown.
Beef shoulder roast after it has been seared
  • Take the roast out of the dutch oven and set it aside.
  • Add chopped onions and minced garlic to the dutch oven and saute them on medium heat for 3 minutes.
Onions and garlic being sauted
  • Add the roast back to the dutch oven with the onions and garlic.
  • (Optional) Add carrots (and other vegetables or herbs)
  • Pour beef broth over the meat.
Beef shoulder roast with beef broth and carrots added, before it goes into the oven to be slow cooked
  • Cover the lid and place the dutch oven in the oven.
  • Bake at 275F for 4 hours.

Step 6: Enjoy!

That’s all there is to it! You can savor your meal with any sides you’re in the mood for. Personally, I enjoy a straightforward rice and beef roast dinner, but you can effortlessly swap out the rice for mashed potatoes, roast potatoes, or any other carb that strikes your fancy!

Beef shoulder roast after it has been slow cooked for 4 hours in a cast iron dutch oven

Some Tips and Advice

Searing

For best results, I highly recommend not skipping this step, even though it adds an extra 10 minutes to the cooking process. Searing the meat helps to caramelize the natural sugars and brown the proteins, which adds a lot of flavor to the outer layer of the roast. Moreover, searing the shoulder roast helps to keep all the juices inside the meat, resulting in a tender and succulent dish.

Doesn’t slice well

Beef shoulder roast is not ideal for slicing into thin slices, but it makes for great pulled beef. You can serve it on its own with a side of rice or potatoes, or you can use it to make delicious sandwiches or quesadillas!

Making gravy

Making gravy from the cooking liquid left in the dutch oven after the roast is done a great way to add extra flavor to your meal. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Remove the roast from the dutch oven and set it aside.
  2. Pour all of the liquid from the dutch oven into large cup.
  3. Let it sit for a few minutes so that the fat rises to the top.
  4. Pour off as much of the fat as possible, leaving only the liquid at the bottom.
  5. Place the dutch oven back on medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of butter.
  6. Once melted, sprinkle in 2 tablespoons of flour and whisk until combined.
  7. Slowly pour in the separated liquid while whisking constantly to avoid lumps forming.
  8. Keep whisking until you reach your desired thickness, usually around 5-7 minutes.
  9. Season with salt to taste.

And voila! You have a delicious gravy that you can pour over your beef shoulder roast!

Storage

You can keep it in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to four days. If there is a lot of meat leftover (I highly doubt it!), and you don’t think you’ll be able to eat it within that time frame, you can put it in the freezer. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store it in a container or bag that’s safe for the freezer for up to three months.

Reheating leftover roast beef

If you reheat the roast in the microwave or on the stove top on high temperature, it may dry out or lose flavor. To keep it moist and flavorful, follow these steps:

  1. Take the roast beef out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for around 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat your oven to 250°F.
  3. Add a bit of water to the bottom of a baking dish.
  4. Put the beef shoulder roast in the baking dish and cover it with foil.
  5. Heat the beef shoulder roast in the oven for approximately 20-25 minutes.

Using a slow cooker instead

Yes, you can make the recipe in a slow cooker instead of a dutch oven! Follow the steps below for a slow cooker beef shoulder roast:

  1. Tenderize the meat using the same method as in Step 4.
  2. Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of beef tallow and wait until it’s well-heated.
  4. Sear the roast on all sides until it’s browned.
  5. Transfer the roast to the slow cooker.
  6. Add chopped onions, minced garlic, and vegetables (optional) to the slow cooker.
  7. Pour beef broth over the meat and vegetables.
  8. Cook on low heat for approximately eight hours or high heat for approximately four hours.

I have not tried making this in an instant pot, but there’s no reason why you can’t! If you give it a shot, let me know in the comments 🙂

If you try this EASY recipe, I would LOVE to hear how it came out. I hope it becomes a family favorite!

Plate of beef shoulder roast with rice
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30-minute Beef shoulder roast

Print Recipe
Prep Time:30 minutes
Cook Time:4 hours

Equipment

  • Cast iron dutch oven

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs Beef shoulder roast
  • 2 cups Beef broth
  • 2 onions chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tbsp beef tallow
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 4 carrots large

Instructions

Tenderize meat

  • Rinse the roast with clean water.
  • Place the roast in a large bowl.
  • Rub 1 tablespoon of salt onto one side of the roast.
  • Flip the roast over.
  • Rub another tablespoon of salt onto the other side of the roast.
  • Cover the bowl with an airtight lid or wrap it tightly with plastic wrap.
  • Place the bowl in the refrigerator overnight.

Prepare the roast

  • Preheat the oven to 275F degrees.
  • Heat a cast iron dutch oven on medium-high heat on the stove.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of beef tallow and wait until the oil is well-heated.
  • Place the roast in the oil and sear it on one side for 4 minutes.
  • Flip the roast over and sear it on the other side for another 4 minutes.
  • Sear the edges until golden brown.
  • Take the roast out of the dutch oven and set it aside.
  • Add chopped onions and minced garlic to the dutch oven and saute them on medium heat for 3 minutes.
  • Add the roast back to the dutch oven with the onions and garlic.
  • (Optional) Add carrots (and other vegetables or herbs)
  • Pour beef broth over the meat.

Cook roast

  • Cover the lid and place the dutch oven in the oven.
  • Cook for 4 hours.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool for 20 mins before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 585kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 80g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 236mg | Sodium: 3369mg | Potassium: 1295mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 8165IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 8mg
Servings: 5
Calories: 585kcal
Author: fitmom

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