Meet my friend, Chuck! (Slow Cooker Pot Roast)

Soccer, football, tennis, swimming, piano, reading, homework, basketball, lacrosse, baseball and on and on and on. These days many families are busy with activities or running errands after school. I try to use my crockpot a couple of times a month, especially after the weather turns cool so it’s easier for me at dinner time. This recipe is perfect for a chilly day and takes only about 30 minutes to prepare.

Every family has a different type of roast they like. It really comes down to what your mom made when you were a kid. My mom used the chuck roast, which is what I use now. It is a tough cut of meat from the neck and shoulder area but delivers a moist, tender roast when cooked slowly. I really like it but you can substitute whichever cut of beef your family prefers. If you like to save money, look for them on sale and stick it in the freezer until you are ready to use it.

This recipe makes enough for my family (two adults and two small children) to have leftovers, which can be used for yummy roast beef sandwiches the next day or two. If you have a larger family or some who eat a lot of meat, choose a larger roast and add more veggies. I would suggest about one carrot, onion, potato per person; add more or less of what you like.

Slow Cooker Pot Roast  by Jodie Pelinsky

  • 3 lb boneless chuck roast
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • 4 onions, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 5 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 3 stalks celery, cut into chunks
  • 2 baking potatoes
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 beef bouillon cubes
  • 32 ounces of beef broth
  • splash or two of red wine (optional)
  • ground, black pepper
  • 10 ounces crimini mushrooms (or what you like)

In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, drizzle a small amount of olive oil and wipe the inside of the pan with a paper towel. Brown roast on ALL sides until deep brown. Don’t rush this step. Use a mesh cover if you have one to keep the splatters down. Let the meat sit on each side for a few minutes until it is easy to turn. If it’s hard to turn, just leave for a couple more minutes. Don’t worry, it’s not burning.

While the roast is browning, plug in the slow cooker and turn on to the low setting. Chop the onions, carrots, celery and baking potatoes into halves or thirds if very large. Add to crockpot along with garlic and bay leaf.

When roast is browned, add to crockpot on top of vegetables. Add bouillon cubes, beef broth, wine and pepper. Cover and let roast cook for 6-8 hours on low heat. If you get a late start, cook on high for 2 hours and then turn to low. The meat should fall apart when finished. I usually turn mine half way through. Other than that, don’t open that lid!

During the last hour, I add the mushrooms on top of the meat since they cook more quickly.

If you feel ambitious or have a bit more time, you can make a nice gravy. Remove the contents of the slow cooker and strain the juices into a skillet. Let cool slightly and skim fat with a paper towel. Mix two tablespoons of flour into a 1/2 cup of water in a container with a lid. Shake vigorously to remove any lumps. Add to juices in pan. Cook over medium-high heat until bubbly and reduce about 10 minutes or until thickened, stirring often. Serve with the roast and veggies!

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