Mahalia Jackson’s Creole Pot Roast Recipe

“I sing when I’m cooking”

Mahalia Jackson was born in New Orleans in 1911. Raised, and taught to cook by her aunt Mahalia “Duke” Paul, 36 years passed before the young Jackson tasted success with her hit “Move Up a Little Higher.” It sold 8 million copies.

You’ve certainly heard it.

We were on a deep dive on the internet reading historical soul food articles when we discovered Ms Jackson’s Creole Pot Roast recipe. We’re always searching for new formulae to add to our repertoire, and this one is solid New Orleans gold.

Mahalia Jackson’s Creole Pot Roast Recipe


4lbs roast, bottom round, beef
1 clove garlic
2 T. oil, vegetable
1 onion, medium, peeled
1 c. water
1.5 pepper, bell, diced
1/2 rib celery, cut in 2″ segments
10 carrots, peeled, cut in half
2 large tomatoes, peeled, diced
1 T. parsley, chopped
2 small bay leaves
1 t. salt
fresh ground pepper
8 potatoes, peeled

* Wipe roast off with clean cloth
* Insert pieces of garlic in roast
* Coat all sides well with seasoned flour
* Place roast in large pan with vegetable oil and onion
* Roast uncovered in preheated 500 degree oven for 30 minutes until browned
* Remove from oven, reduce temperature to 300 degrees
* Surround roast with pepper, celery, tomato, carrots, parsley, bay leaves and water
* Season with salt and pepper
* Cover, oven-roast 1.5 hours
* Remove lid to brown vegetables and reduce stock
* Roast 30 minutes longer
* Correct seasonings
* Remove roast and vegetables to heated platter
* Heat stock over direct heat to brown and thicken gravy
* Spoon gravy over sliced meat and vegetables

“Soul food is something like mustard greens, turnips, ham hocks, pig’s feet, stew meat or chitlins but it’s the way you cook it. For example, you might cook mustard greens in water. We cook greens with smoked meat, hocks or pig’s feet. Or you can even bake sweet potatoes or candy yams. But we have so many soul foods.” Mahalia Jackson

hat tip: The Evening Independent – Apr 19, 1967

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