As the weather begins to turn and the days get shorter, I find myself craving warm, hearty meals. Pot roast is one of my Grandma’s specialties, and making it at home always reminds me of Sunday dinners at her house. She makes a hearty gravy and butter-filled mashed potatoes to go along with it, so it took me a while to find a recipe that was almost as delicious and comforting as hers without the added dairy and gluten.
I finally found a winner by adapting Cooking Light’s pot roast recipe; reducing the number of servings and turning it into the perfect slow cooker recipe. This pot roast is my go-to cure the Sunday Scaries, and leaves us with at least one or two more meal’s worth of leftovers for weeknights. When I am on the Whole 30 or am making a conscious effort to avoid alcohol, I simply omit the wine and replace it with more beef broth.
Searing the roast before adding it to the crock pot may sound like an annoying, unnecessary step, but let me tell you- it makes a huge difference. It seals in the juice and flavor, keeping the roast tender and moist while it’s in the slow cooker. Please don’t skip this step- you will not get the same great results.
After making this a few times, I learned to add the carrots and potatoes towards the end of the cooking process so they aren’t complete mush when the roast is ready. I like my veggies al-dente, so this fix works for me. If you’d like very soft carrots and potatoes, feel free to throw those in the crock pot at the beginning of the cooking process.
Slow Cooker Pot Roast
Prep time: 15 mins Slow cooker time: 8 hrs
Makes about 4 servings
2 1/2 – 3 lb boneless chuck roast
1 t sea salt
1/2 t fresh ground black pepper
2 T ghee or olive oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
3/4 C red wine
2 C organic beef broth
1 bay leaf
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 t dried thyme, or 3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 t dried rosemary, or 2 t fresh rosemary, chopped
3 large carrots, peeled and chopped into eighths
4 medium-sized Yukon gold potatoes cut into eighths
Heat dutch oven or large frying pan. Once pan is hot, add ghee or olive oil. Salt and pepper all sides of chuck roast. Add meat to pan and sear every exposed side of meat for about 1-2 minutes, until brown.
Arrange chopped onions in a layer on the bottom of slow cooker. Add seared chuck roast on top of onions, making sure to include all juice and scrapings from pan. Pour in the wine and beef broth, then add bay leaf, garlic, rosemary, and thyme. Set slow cooker on low for 8 hours.
Tip** If you’ll be home while the roast is cooking, baste roast with liquid every hour or so. If you’re setting it and going to work, just make sure pot roast is mostly covered with liquid.
When there is about 1 1/2 hours of cooking left, add peeled carrots and potatoes and a little more salt and pepper to slow cooker. You’ll know beef is done when it’s tender enough to fall apart.
Cut roast into large chunks, and serve with potatoes, carrots, and a ladle of broth mixture. Enjoy!