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Mom’s Sunday Roast. Oh man, I can already smell it…

There’s nothing better than a good ‘ole roast or a pot of spaghetti and meatballs waiting when we come home from church. You can smell if from the garage; like Grandma has been cooking all morning.

Here’s a happy medium when you can’t decide.

My mom made this recipe when I was a kid. I’ve never had it anywhere else so I’m find with saying it’s an old family recipe. I must admit: I get nostalgic in the kitchen. My sister, Annalisa, thinks I’m half nuts when I pull anything out of mom’s old cookbook and if she reads this, she will roll her eyes that I still make this.

I’m sure these ingredients could be tweaked, but if I did, it wouldn’t be the same. My mom made this some years ago (the first time I’d had it as an adult), and I could see myself opening the avocado green refrigerator and getting a glass of Tang. I’m getting teary eyed already.

Once again, I cooked this recently and forgot to take a picture. I’ll do it the next time. But if you make it, send me yours so I can post it!


2 lb. Chuck Roast (not my favorite cut of meat, but my mom says this works best. I didn’t believe her until the butcher at Publix confirmed it. Just be ready to cut away the fat at the end. NOTE: a 2 lb. chuck roast shrinks up; so if you buy a larger roast like I always do, use your judgement and adjust your seasonings so. I usually double the sauce and water anyway but again, remember to adjust.)

2-3 garlic cloves (sliver one clove, chop the rest)

2 T. olive oil

2 T. butter

1 small onion, chopped

2 t. oregano

1 t. thyme

1 t. salt

1/4 t. pepper

1/8 t. cinnamon

1 15. oz tomato sauce (Plain sauce, not the flavored kind; this is not meant to be an Italian sauce.)

1/2 cup water

Spaghetti noodles


Make a few slits in the roast. Jam one of the pieces of garlic inside. (I have no idea why, but Mom says to do this.)

I cook this on top of the stove in a large pan; no need to even turn the oven on.

Brown your meat and onions in the oil and butter on medium heat (remember, this is an old recipe. I haven’t changed it to a low-fat version). Once the meat has browned, about five minutes on each side, chop up the rest of the garlic and saute for 30 seconds.

Mom says to take the roast out at this point and then add your next ingredients. I simply scoot the meat to the side and then add. Take your pick.

Add the oregano, thyme, salt, pepper and cinnamon to your pan. Next add the tomato sauce and water and put your meat back into the pan if you chose my mom’s way.

Cook on low, covered, for two to three hours (or however long you’re going to be in church).

Serve over cooked spaghetti noodles. (Al dente please. I will not have you giving soggy noodles to your family.) Garlic bread, a salad, something good for dessert…could Sunday lunch get any better?

I’d choose a home cooked meal over a restaurant any day, especially on a Sunday. Besides, you will love how your house smells when you walk in from church; and I wouldn’t lie when it comes to food.



  1. I’m trying this very soon

    • I think you’ll like it…but won’t be offended if you don’t! If you’re like me, you’re always looking for something different. So send me your mom’s recipe so I can try it very soon!!

  2. Sounds awesome. I was chuckling while I was reading this and John asked me to share so I read it to him out loud. Since my dad passed, my mom has been spending Sunday’s with us. She comes over after church with her dog and we spend the afternoon together, I cook something special for dinner, we watch the Good Wife and stuff and then she spends the night. John makes breakfast in the morning and then she goes home. (Just thought I’d share). Anyway, I promised her Maui Maui tomorrow night, but I’m making this next Sunday. I’ll take a picture of it, and I promise, no soggey noodles.

    • Karri, that is a wonderful tradition and I know you’ll remember that for years to come!! Please take a pic and let me know if you like it. I may have to make it next Sunday as well!

  3. I don’t have my mother’s recipe for a Sunday roast, but I remember comiing home to the smell and how good it tasted. What amazes me is how she was dressed for church, had my sister and I dressed, hurried my father along and still put on this amazing meal within an hour after church! It was a “you WILL be there” meal and always made Sundays very special. Fond memories!

    • What is it about roast and mom that everyone remembers? I hope my kids do the same. The big question is…did you all fight on the way to church and how did she handle it?! Maybe you could share your mom’s version of a roast. I love trying new stuff too!!

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