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Slow Cooker Pot Roast

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This is the ultimate, fall-apart pot roast. With tender vegetables and a killer sauce, it makes a swoon-worthy meal. Conveniently made in your slow cooker. 

Close up view of a serving of pot roast, potatoes and carrots
Yum!

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I need to take a break from new and trendy foods and go back to the classics. Something comforting. Timeless. A meal that comes with a hundred memories. 

I’m talking about pot roast. Savory, tender, melt-in-your-mouth pot roast.

Minus the spending-several-hours-in-the-kitchen part. Because this beauty comes to perfection in a slow cooker. 

Sliced Pot Roast with carrots, potatoes and onions

The best cut of beef for pot roast:

I find chuck roast to be the perfect cut for this pot roast. Why? It is so meaty, and so full of flavor! Chuck roast can withstand being in the slow cooker for hours. There is just the right amount of fat to produce juicy, tender chunks of meat after 8-9 hours (or 5-6 if you’re cooking on the high setting). 

Some other cuts of beef that work for this recipe:

  • Bottom round or Top round. These cuts are leaner and less tender than a chuck roast but the long slow cooking process in this recipe makes them ‘fork-tender’.
  • Brisket. This cut has a lot of connective tissue that needs a long slow cooking process to break down. This recipe is ideal for a brisket.
  • Tri-tip. This is another inexpensive cut of meat that is rich in flavor. Typically, we cook a tri-tip in the oven or on the grill but it does very well in the slow cooker. We also enjoy tri-tip in the Instant Pot.

Ingredients needed for this recipe.

  • Chuck roast
  • Salt and pepper
  • Veggies. We used onions, carrots, and potatoes.
  • Herbs for amazing flavor: garlic, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves.
  • Red wine.
  • Dijon mustard.
  • Worcestershire sauce.
  • Beef broth.
  • Corn starch. Corn starch will thicken the gravy.
Beef chuck roast being seared in skillet, meat fork on skillet


How to make the best slow cooker pot roast.

Here are is the break-down for this recipe along with some tips. Make sure to scroll all the way down for the printable recipe card.

Step 1: Brown the roast first for the best flavor.

The roast needs a little loving before it goes into the slow cooker.

  1. Pat the roast dry and tie it with twine. This is an optional step but if you tie the roast, it will hold it together and help it cook more evenly.
  2. Sear the beef in a skillet until all sides turn a deep, rich brown color. Don’t skip this step; it makes all the difference. Searing the meat will build flavor and a lovely crust on the roast.

Step 2: Load the slow cooker.

  1. Add the seared chuck roast to the bottom of the slow cooker then pile the veggies on top.
  2. Next, combine all the ingredients for the sauce and pour it on top of the veggies.
  3. Toss in the herbs, put the lid on, then turn the slow cooker on.
Vegetables in slow cooker with beef broth pouring on

Step 3: Make the sauce.

  1. Transfer the meat and veggies to a platter and cover them with foil while you make the sauce.
  2. Strain all the juices into a bowl then skim off the fat.
  3. Pour all the juices back into the slow cooker and bring to a boil and reduce it down to 2 cups.
  4. Combine the cornstarch and water then whisk it into the sauce. The leftover juices make an absolutely heavenly sauce. It pairs so well with the vegetables and pot roast.

Step 4: Serve the pot roast.

  1. Remove the twine from the roast (if you choose to tie it up).
  2. Slice the beef and serve it with the veggies, sauce, and some garlic bread to sop up the juices.
Pix of sauce pouring over a serving of pot roast and vegetables

Tips for success:

  • Brown the roast. I mentioned this earlier but I can’t tell you enough just how much of a difference this makes. A good sear will seal in the flavor and give the meat a delicious crust.
  • Pat the roast dry. Before you sear the roast, make sure you pat it dry. If it is wet, it will only steam and you won’t get a nice brown crust.
  • Test the roast to see if it is done. Use a fork to see if the meat shreds off easily. If you choose a leaner cut of meat, it may need to cook a little longer.
  • Place the vegetables on top of the meat. This recipe takes a long time to cook. If you add the vegetables to the bottom of the slow cooker, they will break down and get mushy.

I’m seriously all about slow cooker recipes. They make our busy lives just a little bit easier. And better. Especially when they produce mouth-watering recipes like this one. 

I hope that this slow cooker pot roast will become a regular staple in your kitchen as it is in mine! 

SOME OTHER RECIPES WE ARE SURE YOU WILL LOVE:

This roast chicken with Freekah stuffing makes a great Sunday dinner. Freekah is a delicious change from ordinary bread stuffings and it is worth trying.

This vegetable beef soup is loaded with flavor. It is rich, meaty, and perfectly filling to make a main meal. All you need is a chunk of sourdough bread and a salad.

Corned beef and cabbage isn’t just for St. Patricks Day. It makes a delicious and economical meal for any day of the year. The leftovers make a great sandwich as well.

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Pix of sauce pouring over a serving of pot roast and vegetables

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Yield: 8 to 10 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 20 minutes

The easy, everyday pot roast just got easier with this slow cooker pot roast recipe! Tender, juicy slices of beef with potatoes, carrots and baby onions. A savory, delicious sauce is made from the pan juices.

Ingredients

  • 4 pound beef chuck roast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 6 Cipolini whole onions or 2 medium onions, quartered
  • 1-1/2 pounds carrots, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 2 pounds small Yukon gold potatoes
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-1/2 cups beef broth, homemade or store bought
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons cold water

Instructions

Prep and Sear the Beef:

  1. Wipe the chuck roast dry with paper towels.  Using kitchen twine, tie the roast around the sides to make a tight, compact package.  This will keep the roast together while searing and cooking.  Sprinkle both sides of the roast with the salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the oil in a large cast-iron or heavy-bottomed skillet set over high heat and sear the beef to a deep brown on all sides, turning to sear the edges.  Be patient, you want a rich, dark sear and it will take 6 to 8 minutes.  
  3. Transfer the beef to a 6-quart slow cooker and add the onions, carrots, potatoes and garlic.

For the Vegetables:

  1. In a medium bowl whisk together the wine, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce and beef broth Pour the mixture over the vegetables and beef. 
  2. Add the thyme, rosemary and bay leaf.  Cover the slow cooker, set the temperature to LOW and cook for 8-9 hours.  Alternatively, set the temperature to HIGH and cook for 5-6 hours.
  3. Remove the vegetables to a serving platter and cover with foil.  Place the beef on a cutting board, cover with foil and let rest for 5 minutes.  

To Make the Sauce:

  1. Pour the liquid left in the slow cooker into a strainer set over a bowl and strain the liquid.  Spoon off and discard as much of the fat as possible and measure the liquid.
  2. Return the liquid to the slow cooker or a saucepan, bring to a boil and reduce to 2 cups. 
  3. While the liquid is reducing, combine the cornstarch with the cold water, temper the mixture with several tablespoons of the hot liquid then pour into the hot liquid while whisking.  Cook just until slightly thickened to a smooth sauce. (See Notes)  Transfer the sauce to a serving pitcher or dish.

To Serve:

  1. Remove the kitchen twine and slice the beef into serving pieces.  Arrange the sliced beef on the platter with the vegetables, garnish with chopped parsley and serve with the pitcher of sauce. (And a warm loaf of garlic bread to mop up the sauce).

Notes

  • The ratio of cornstarch to liquid is 1 tablespoon per cup which will make a thin to medium sauce.  Increase the cornstarch to 2 tablespoons cornstarch to 1 cup liquid for a thicker sauce.
  • If you prefer to use flour to thicken the sauce the ration is 2 tablespoons per cup for a thin sauce and 4 tablespoons for a thicker sauce.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 631Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 151mgSodium: 742mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 6gSugar: 9gProtein: 49g

Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third-party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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angiesrecipes

Wednesday 3rd of June 2020

This looks so amazing! The meat looks literally melt-in-mouth and so tender...I am drooling, Pat. Why the veggies on top? I usually put them on the bottom, thought they would soak up the juice better than way, not?

Dahn Boquist

Wednesday 3rd of June 2020

Yes Angie, the veggies will definitely soak up some of the juices if you put them on the bottom but they will also get softer and sometimes fall apart. Keeping them on top prevents them from getting over-cooked. I know some people like their pot roast veggies like that and it works just fine to put them on bottom if that's how you like them.

John / Kitchen Riffs

Wednesday 3rd of June 2020

Pot roast is one of my favorites! Such a classic dish, and so many different ways to make it. Oddly enough, I've never made it in the slow cooker. I need to! Terrific recipe -- thanks.

Pat Nyswonger

Wednesday 3rd of June 2020

Thanks, John....It is one of my favorites also and the slow cooker really makes it easy!

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