I have always loved comfort food and a well prepared pot roast tops the list. There are more recipes for pot roast than there are pots too cook them. Many of those recipes, however, produce dry, pasty-looking meat and vegetables that just don't quite make it. I've taken the best from lots of different techniques and come up with what I think is a recipe you'll enjoy time and again. Quite a few different cuts of beef are "suitable" for pot roast: bottom round, rump and front cut brisket to name a few. A blade cut chuck roast is far and away the best choice, however. It's fattier than the others and during the long, slow cooking process called braising, the chuck produces the most mouth watering end result. Be sure to brown the roast and vegetables before braising. This improves the flavor and also enhances the appearance as the high heat used during browning carmelizes the sugars in the meat. The quantity of each of the ingredients can be varied a little to suit your individual taste. Accordingly, the timing suggested is only a guide and you should test for doneness as you begin to approach the end of the cooking time. This recipe calls for cooking in a crock pot. You can also use a large heavy Dutch oven and cook in the oven.
- 3 -5 lbs blade cut chuck roast
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more if needed
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, divided
- 2 medium golden onions, cut in wedges
- 2 -3 carrots, cut into 2 inch sections
- 4 medium boiling potatoes, quartered
- 1 bay leaf
- 1⁄2 cup water or 1⁄2 cup cola or 1⁄2 cup beef stock or 1⁄2 cup vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon flour (I prefer Wondra.)
- Season the roast with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
- In a large skillet (not non-stick) heat the oil over medium-high heat.
- Add the roast and cook, turning often, until browned, about 10 minutes.
- Transfer the roast to a plate.
- Add more oil to the skillet if necessary and heat over medium-high heat.
- Add the onions, carrots and potatoes and cook, stirring often, until the they are slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Do not overcook.
- Transfer the vegetables to a slow-cooker, add the bay leaf and then place th roast on top of the vegetables.
- Add the water or other liquid to the skillet and bring to a boil, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Pour into the slow cooker.
- Cover and slow-cook until the roast is tender, perhaps 8 hours on low (200 degree) setting.
- Transfer the roast and vegetables to a platter using a slotted spoon and cover with foil to keep warm.
- Skim the fat from the surface of the cooking liquid.
- Remove the bay leaf.
- In a saucepan, melt the butter over very low heat.
- Add the flour and let bubble, stirring constantly, until lightly browned, about 1 minute.
- Whisk in the cooking liquid and bring to a simmer.
- Cook, whisking often, until thickened and reduced to about 1 cup.
- Using a sharp knife, slice the roast crosswise across the grain. Serve with the vegetables and gravy.
The "finished product" was really nice, I think in part because of your direction to brown the vegetables. We loved this meal!
This is an excellent recipe, with very good directions for prepping food for the crockpot. I made a few modest changes - I did rub the meat with flour prior to browning, adding few whole garlic cloves with the other vegetables. I used 1/2 cup of red wine that I simmered to reduce to half and then added 1/4 cup of chicken broth. I also added a few whole peppercorns to the crock. I think you would need more vegetables if you need all the servings shown. I used a 2 lb roast but all the vegetables and liquid. My pot roast was tender but sliceable and the vegetables were done in about 5 hours, using a 5 qt crockpot.<br/>,
I've made pot roast for 'ever' but always in the oven. I went in search of a crockpot recipe and chose this one as it seemed very similar to what I had made in the past. It is excellent. I made a change or two and will make a couple of others for making in the future. That said it is a truly excellent recipe.
What I changed: I used a Boneless Chuck Crossrib of just barely 2#'s and reduced veg amounts by roughly half. I added half a yellow turnip (rutabaga) quartered, as I've always done so with pot roast, and 3 sprigs of fresh thyme. I added dried thyme and garlic powder to the outside of the roast before browning. The liquid added was closer to 2 1/2 cups rather than the one that seems indicated? (See below) Otherwise ingredients were as per recipe.
Results: IMO, I would not put the potatoes in from the get go as they simply disintegrated with such long cooking. I would not quarter (or even half) the onions as they also disintegrated. The flavor was there but they weren't discernible by the eye. The turnip and carrotts came out excellently so those are what I would layer the bottom with, along with whole onions, then add the roast on top. I would add the quartered potatoes half way thru cooking (or parboil/microwave them) and add them toward the end of cooking.
1 Cup of gravy would never work at my house so . . . I added 2 cups of water mixed with beef base and 1/2 cup of water with the pan juices from deglazing before 'slow-cooking'. When all was cooked, I removed the roast and veg to a platter and put in the warming oven. Then I turned the slowcooker back to high, whisked in Veloutine, and let it cook a few minutes, whisking occasionally; this created wonderful rich gravy without the hassle of another pan to wash and clean.
An excellent recipe which you can adjust to yur style of cooking and your flavor desires. If my adjustments result in discernible potatoes and onions, it will definitely be my 'go to' recipe for pot roast in the crockpot.
Thanks Greg in San Diego!