Moroccan Pot Roast

Enjoy the flavors of North Africa with this Moroccan Beef Pot Roast! With classic Moroccan spices -- coriander, turmeric, ginger, and cumin

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings


For the spice mix

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons crushed coriander seed
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon (to taste) crushed red pepper flakes (or if available, Marash or Aleppo pepper*)

For the beef

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (3-pound or 1.35 kg) beef chuck roast
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 3 carrots, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup (235 ml) water
  • 1 cup (235 ml) pomegranate juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup loosely-packed chopped fresh parsley

For serving (optional)

*Aleppo pepper from Syria is bright red, slightly chocolaty, fruity, and medium hot. Maras pepper is from Turkey and is slightly hotter than Aleppo, yet still mild, with smokey overtones. Both are a fun addition to your spice cabinet. Sprinkle the deep red flakes on hummus, or perk up roasted vegetables with them. Look for the pepper in specialty food shops or Middle Eastern grocery stores.

Special equipment:

  • 6-quart Dutch oven, or other large oven-safe pot with a lid


1 Make the spice mix: In a small bowl, stir together the garlic, coriander, turmeric, ginger, cumin, cinnamon, paprika and pepper.

spices for moroccan pot roast

2 Heat the oven: Set an oven rack near the bottom of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325ºF (or 160°C).

3 Season and sear the meat, then add vegetables, spices: Sprinkle the roast all over with salt and pepper.

Season the pot roast for the best flavor

In a large Dutch oven or other oven-safe pot with a lid, heat the oil. Add the beef and brown it on all sides, about 4 minutes per side.

Add the onion, carrots and bay leaves to the pot. Stir in the spice mix.

4 Braise the meat: Add the water and pomegranate juice to the pot and bring to a simmer. Cover the pot and place in a 325°F (or 160°C) oven for 2 1/2 hours, turning once halfway through the cooking time.

Here's how to make Pot Roast with Moroccan spices

When the meat is fork tender, remove it from the oven. (If it is not tender enough, leave it in a little longer.)

5 If serving with couscous and glazed carrots, prepare these when the pot roast is close to being done.

6 Finish the sauce: Transfer the meat to a platter and cover loosely with foil.

Set a strainer over a bowl and pour the sauce through. Press on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids and skim off the fat from the liquid. Add the lemon juice and taste. Add more salt and pepper, if you like.

6 Serve the pot roast: Slice the meat and serve in shallow bowls on top of the couscous and carrots. Ladle the sauce over the meat and sprinkle with parsley.

Click on the comments you'd like to print with your recipe. Grayed out comments will not print.


  • Cathy Gyurina

    We make this recipe at least every three weeks. It’s fabulous! Thanks so much for this recipe Sally.

  • Christine

    Can this be made in an Instant Pot?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Christine! Emma here, managing editor. Sure, I think this could be made in the Instant Pot or another pressure cooker. I’d take a look at a basic recipe for Pressure Cooker Pot Roast and use that as a guide for pressure cooking times. Also, for reference, we have this recipe for Pressure Cooker Moroccan Chicken. Enjoy!

  • Platinum

    Shred leftovers, add green beans, and serve over egg noodles! Yum

  • Gretchen

    This was WONDERFUL. I used a slow cooker, since I don’t have a Dutch oven. I put the meat into the slow cooker right after browning, simmered the veggies/liquid separately on the stove, then poured it over the meat. I then cooked it on high for 5 1/2 hours.

    The tenderness of the meat and the complexity of the spices were perfect. The only problem is that it needed more salt. Next time I’ll add 1-2 tsp salt to the spice mix.

  • Caitlin

    Hello! Would you need to make any alterations to the recipe if you use brisket?

    • Sally

      Hi Caitlin–brisket is fine to use for pot roast. Pot roast is not really a special cut of meat, but a method, so chuck roast or brisket are both good for slow cooking. Enjoy!

  • Beatriz

    I can’t find pomegranate where I live. What can I substitute it for?

    • Sally

      Hi Beatriz,

      I think you could substitute cranberry juice–the pomegranate juice adds both sweetness and acidity. Just go by your taste buds. Pomegranate juice is a little more sour than cranberry juice, and the cranberry juice has a hint of bitterness. Taste and add a bit of honey and/or balsamic vinegar if your sauce doesn’t have enough flavor.

  • gina ursino

    you can simply sear the meat and then put it in the slow cooker and continue ths recipee as written. cook on low for 4 t o 5 hours. i modify these wonderful recipees all the time and they turn out amazing.

  • Chris

    Yeah, wondering about the crockpot method instead. Also how would thickening the sauce to make a gravy affect the taste?

  • Jill

    Please advise how to cook with crockpot or pressure cooker. Thanks.

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Jill! Sure, I bet this would be great in the crockpot! I’d try cooking on high for 4-6 hours or low for 8-10 hours. I’m not 100% sure on the pressure cooker instructions, though I think you could adapt any basic pot roast recipe you find to use these spices. I’ll also check in with our pressure cooker recipe contributor and see if we can get a recipe in the works!

  • linda

    Would chicken work with this? Love the flavors!
    Thank you.

  • Geri

    Can’t you just serve this with the onions and carrots the meat cooked with??

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Geri! The onions and carrots are get really soft and mushy after cooking, which is why we recommend preparing separate side dishes. Thanks!

  • Jennifer

    Can this be cooked in a crockpot? If yes, for how long?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Jennifer! Sure, I bet this would be great in the crockpot! I’d try cooking on high for 4-6 hours or low for 8-10 hours.

  • Eileen

    Hello, I love the spice combination. Would it be just as good using chicken instead of meat
    Thanks for a response

  • Damianna Deerhunter

    I am curious about the pomegranate juice. It is safe to assume you mean the pomegranate juice or molasses that can be found in Mideastern grocery stores?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Damianna, pomegranate molasses is highly concentrated, reduced pomegranate juice. For this recipe we are using straight pomegranate juice.

  • June W Lovell

    i’ve visited Morocco twice and (despite politics) loved it. the food is fabulous and this recipe will be #1 WHEN MY KITCHEN REMODEL IS FINISHED, if ever. thanks