Your Pot Roast Will Taste Better With This Fizzy Addition

On a cold winter evening, there are certain warming, deeply satisfying dishes that just seem to hit the spot: Think roast chicken, shepherd's pie, and pot roast. The latter, a cold weather classic, is said to hail from a region that knows a thing or two about how to survive dark, chilly nights: New England. According to Yankee Magazine, recipes for pot roast — a browned-and-braised beef roast whose gelatin and connective tissue go soft and succulent after a long cook time — have been appearing in New England-area cookbooks since at least the late 19th century, and remain a favorite for when the mercury dips.

Typically accompanied by hearty winter vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, and onions, pot roast, like many classic recipes, can be adapted with any number of ingredients. Taste of Home offers several ideas, from a Moroccan-style iteration featuring chickpeas, honey, and mint, to an Italian one flavored with tomatoes and garlic. And if you're a fan of a certain famous soda, you might be interested to know it can bring a surprising depth of flavor to your favorite pot roast recipe.

Coke brings tenderness and succulence to pot roast

If you like Southern-style brisket — you know, the kind that's often sliced, slathered with barbecue sauce and piled between slices of white bread (via Southern Living) — then you may have come across a variation made with that classic soft drink, Cola-Cola. According to Leite's Culinaria, the dish is a Southern classic that produces a remarkably tender brisket — probably due to the tenderizing effect of the soda's phosphoric acid (via Southern Kitchen).

As you can imagine, Coke has the same effect on pot roast, tenderizing the beef (typically chuck roast, according to ButcherBox) and lending a subtle, caramelized sweetness. Taste of Home recommends seeking out Mexican Coke, which is made with real sugar (as opposed to heavily processed high fructose corn syrup) and will produce a cleaner, more natural sweetness in your hearty beef dish.

Coke is a simple addition to any pot roast recipe, and if it has all these benefits, it sounds like it's worth a try to us!