How to make a Classic Pot Roast In The Slow Cooker- step by step instructions for a perfect winter dish. Perfect for a Sunday meal in the family or a cold night.
It is still cold in Minnesota even if Spring is coming, so last night, I decided to make this classic pot roast recipe with organic vegetables in the slow cooker.
Slow Cooker Pot Roast
Slow-cooked roast is an easy and elegant way to put dinner on the table on a Sunday for your family or when you have company.
It is also the absolute comfort food on a cold day, as we have plenty of those in Minnesota.
Living in the Midwest and with the harsh, long winters we have, the Slow Cooker or the CrockPot is a great tool to put warm, hearty food on the table for busy families.
This is a recipe that I am sure many people know about, but everyone has a version of it.
The smell of this roast would greet you at the door when you come home, especially if you had to be outside shoveling snow.
What kind of ingredients go into this recipe
Beef- Usually, the tough parts of meat are best for slow cooking. The preferred cut of beef is chuck roast, but you can also use brisket, rump roast, or even London broil. London broil is lean, but if you cook it correctly, it is absolutely delicious.
Potatoes- best potatoes for this dish are waxy potatoes, like Yukon or red potatoes (my favorites). Starchy potatoes will fall apart after 5-6 hours in the slow cooker.
Carrots- Cut them in bigger chunks for a hearty mix of vegetables
Onions- I used yellow onions and cut them in bigger pieces.
Celery ribs- They bring lots of flavor and color to the dish and I would not skip them.
Garlic- real garlic is better than garlic powder.
Beef or Vegetable Broth- this will be the liquid you add to the crockpot. I would go with low sodium, if possible.
Thyme, salt, pepper, garlic powder- I like to use dried thyme because this is a dish made in the cold season and I do not always have fresh herbs available. I also used garlic powder, together with salt and pepper, to season the meat before I seared it.
Optional: Red Wine- Dry red ones are a good option, like Cabernet, Merlot, Pino Noir, Syrah, or even a Spanish Tempranillo. You can skip the wine if you don't like it and use water, beef broth or vegetable broth instead.
How to cook a pot Roast in the Crockpot
This is one of the easiest recipes that you cannot fail making it.
1. First, gather the ingredients.
2. Peel and clean the carrots, celery, potatoes, onions, and garlic. If the potatoes are organic and you like the skin on them, don't peel them. The skin is very nutritious.
3. Chop the vegetables in big chunks or as you like them, but bigger pieces are better as they need to sit in the crockpot for about 5 hours, and you don't want them to fall apart.
Place them in the crockpot.
NOTE: Some people place the vegetables on the bottom of the slow cooker and the meat on top. Others prefer the opposite, the meat on the bottom and the veggies on top. It is a matter of preference and there is nothing wrong with either method. Experiment and make the recipe your own.
4. The next step would be to take care of the meat.
Start with a big chuck roast piece. Trim any large chunks of fat before adding the seasoning. I don't add a lot of herbs when I brown the meat because they burn easily during the process.
However, you should always brown the meat in a skillet before adding it to your slow cooker. This is the secret of a delicious pot roast.
Season the meat with plenty of salt and pepper and add a little bit of thyme and garlic powder. Heat the oil in a big pan and place the meat in the middle of the pan to brown.
If you have a cast-iron skillet, use it for this step.
You want the pan to be hot and sizzling. Don't touch the meat for 4-5 minutes, so it has time to seal the juices inside.
Flip it on the other side for another 4-5 minutes.
Looks beautiful, right? Add the meat to the pot.
5. Don't wash the pan where you browned the meat. Deglaze the pan with the wine.
Pour the wine into the pan and scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon or spatula. Bring it to a boil and simmer for one minute.
The wonderful drippings from the meat and the wine will make an excellent sauce that will also go in the crockpot.
(You can skip the wine if you don't like it and use water instead of vegetable broth or beef broth)
6. Pour the sauce over your meat and vegetables. If there is not enough liquid, add some more wine, water, or broth.
Season everything again with some salt and pepper if there is a need, and add some more thyme. Cover the crockpot with a lid and set it up on "High" for 5 hours.
Notes and Tips
- Brown the meat before placing it in the slow cooker. Don't skip this step as it seals the flavors inside the meat and gives the roast a more complex flavor. The caramelization of the meat in the pan is key to the flavors.
- Use the best vegetables you have around. If you don't like the potatoes inside the slow cooker, cook them separately. If you use starchy potatoes, sometimes they will fall apart and the dish will not look appetizing. Cook the potatoes separately, if you use starchy ones.
- Play with the flavors. Some people skip the garlic and add rosemary, or both. Some others like thyme. Experiment with the herbs and make this recipe your own.
- You don't have to use wine for deglazing the pan. You can use vegetable broth, water, or beef broth. However, wine will also add to the flavors and make the dish more complex.
How to store the leftovers
- In the fridge- place the leftovers in an airtight container and place it in the fridge. It will be good for up to 4-5 days.
- In the freezer- cooked meals like that make a wonderful freezer friendly meal. Place the leftovers in a freezer safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. You can reheat them in the microwave or covered, in a pot, for a few mintes in the oven.
More recipes to love
- 3 pounds Chuck Roast Beef
- 2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 pound carrots
- 2 pounds red potatoes, waxy potatoes(like Yukon)
- 2 large yellow onions
- 4-5 celery ribs
- 4-5 cloves of garlic
- 1 cup red wine or as much as you need to cover halfway the meat
- (You can skip the wine if you don't like it and use water, beef broth or vegetable broth instead)
- 1 cup vegetable, or beef broth or water
- Rinse and pat dry the meat. Season it with salt, pepper, thyme, and garlic powder. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables.
- Peel and clean the carrots, celery, onions, potatoes, and garlic. Chop them in big chunks or as you like them, but bigger pieces are better as they need to sit in the crockpot for about 5 hours, and you don't want them mashed.
- Heat the oil in a big pan and place the meat in the middle of the pan to brown. You want the pan to be hot and sizzling. Don't touch the meat for 4-5 minutes, so it has time to seal the juices inside.
- Flip it on the other side for another 4-5 minutes.
- Add the meat to the pot.
- Don't wash the pan where you browned the meat. Deglaze the pan with the wine(use vegetable broth, beef broth, or water if you try to avoid wine). These beautiful drippings from the pan are excellent for creating a good sauce that goes in the crockpot.
- Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables.
- If there is not enough liquid, add another cup of broth or water. Season everything again with some salt and pepper, and sprinkle more thyme.
- Cover the crockpot with a lid and set it up on "High" for 5 hours.
- Serve warm.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 665Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 154mgSodium: 730mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 6gSugar: 7gProtein: 51g