How to Cook a Bolar Roast

This post may contain affiliate links which means I get commissions for purchases. Sponsored posts will always be clearly disclosed. Privacy Policy

I was checking out some of my usual suspects on the blogging circuit yesterday when I stumbled upon a post at Musings of a Housewife. Jo-Lynne was lamenting only having bolar roasts left from her bulk beef purchase.

I had never heard of a bolar roast so I did some internet sleuthing.

Do you remember when we talked about how Boston butts are a pig’s shoulder? Well, the bolar roast also has a random history.

Beef Cut Chart

As it turns out, bolar roasts aren’t a widely recognized cut of beef. You may not be able to find it called by that name in your area or you may depending on where you purchase your roasts.

It seems as though all bolar roasts are large and generally from the shoulder or chuck region of the cow (You can learn more about other chuck cuts at that link). As with other cuts from the shoulder region, you’ll have the best luck with a slow, wet cooking style; think pot roasting or braising. These low-heat methods slowly melt the fat, preventing the meat from drying. Additionally, the low and slow cook dissolves some of the tough proteins in the connective tissue, yielding a much more tender result than faster cooking methods.

When determining if your recipe is suitable for cooking a bolar roast, consider comparable cuts: bottom round roast, shoulder roast,  and bread and butter roasts.  When I first wrote this article, my favorite was wine-braised shoulder roast, mostly because leftovers are fantastic on hoagies with cheddar. The leftovers could also easily translate into a sort of shepherd’s pie, pasties (I have got to get a recipe for these posted), or even just as an addition to vegetable soup.

However, I now love this variation on pot roasts, even if there are a couple of extra steps. They are well worth the extra effort. This is exactly why I call it worth the extra effort pot roast.

Now my favorite recipe for chuck cuts is birria. I swear, I will get this one posted soon. It’s a lovely, slow-cooked Mexican beef. It can be served over rice, as tacos, we love it in salads, too.

You could also put the roast in the crockpot with some salsa. The combination of the low, slow cooking method and the acidity of the salsa will ensure the meat is tender. Shred the beef with forks and then use it in chimichangas, tacos, burritos . . . you get the idea.

I have read that it’s possible to cut shoulder roasts across the grain very thinly and then broil or stir fry. Just keep in mind you run the risk of meat that’s a bit chewy. In other words, don’t experiment if company is coming.

Send your questions to

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Sharing is caring!

11 thoughts on “How to Cook a Bolar Roast”

  1. @ dearmommybrain Or anything Mexican. Yum! 🙂

    Slightly off topic: I would highly suggest to you the book Cleaving by Julie Powell, if you haven't read it. The woman who wrote Julie and Julia goes on to apprentice in a butcher shop. It was really enlightening. I want to try de-boning a chicken, now.

  2. I need to learn not to read so fast. When I first saw this I could have sworn it said "How to Cook a Polar Bear"?!
    My recent post New Year’s Wish


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.