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First and foremost, let’s dispel a common myth: you can overcook a pot roast, even in a slow cooker. That’s a misconception many people hold, but stringy, dry meat swimming in gravy is still stringy dry meat so don’t “set it and forget it” for too long now!
I love Pot Roast, Beef Stew, Carne Guisada – pretty much anything consisting of tender braised beef and a rich, flavorful gravy.
For example, I dump pretty much everything in at the same time, in the beginning, because I don’t like carrots but I love carrots that have absorbed the flavors of the broth allllll the way into their centers. I also use leaner cuts of beef if I have it because I’m not big on marbling/fat (it’s a texture thing).
This Pot Roast recipe is made easy by adding all of the ingredients to your slow cooker and walking away. I purchased a CrockPot multi-cooker after breaking the ceramic insert for my previous CrockPot and the sauté setting is a game-changer. No more searing the meat in a skillet first, so less clean up; I love it!
There’s a YouTube tutorial for this Pot Roast recipe on my channel and a recipe for traditional pot roast made in the oven is coming soon!
Tender pot roast with vegetables, made simple by using a slow cooker.
3–4 lb chuck or bottom round roast
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 large carrots, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
2 1/2 lbs red potatoes, halved or quartered into even sized pieces
3 gloves garlic, minced
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 dried bay leaves
4 C beef broth, plus more as needed
1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp balsamic red wine vinegar
8 oz tomato sauce
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 1/2 tbsp beef or steak seasoning
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp molasses
1 tsp seasoned salt, to taste
1 tsp kosher salt, to taste
1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Season your roast all liberally all over with salt and pepper. Don’t forget the sides!
Heat your olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium high – or if your slow cooker has a sauté function like mine, use that – and when it’s shimmering add your roast. Sear the roast on all sides – and edges. Remove from the skillet or turn the slow cooker setting from sauté to slow cook.
Add in the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, thyme, and beef broth. Make sure all of the ingredients are just covered by the liquid – add more if needed.
Stir in the seasonings and tomato sauce, then stir in all of the remaining ingredients except the cornstarch.
Cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4 1/2 hours. Once the roast is tender and seems like it will fall apart if you knudge it too much it’s time to thicken it but first, taste it and adjust the seasonings as needed.
Pour your cornstarch into a bowl and spoon in a couple of teaspoons of the broth. Use a flat whisk to combine them well, ensuring there are no lumps. Continue adding the broth by the teaspoon until a thick but slightly runny paste has formed. Pour the paste into the slow cooker and stir to combine well.
Cook for another half an hour. If the gravy is not thick enough for you you can continue to make and add the cornstarch slurry – just make sure to allow it to cook for at least 15 minutes after each time so it has time to thicken.
You’ll be able to separate the pot roast with a spoon, and the potatoes and carrots should be tender but not mushy. Serve it over white rice with a piece of Browned Butter Honey Cornbread if you want to do it like me.
Like any other recipe, adjust to your tastes. You might need to increase or reduce the seasonings, or you may prefer to put the carrots and potatoes in later so they have more bite at the end. You do you!
Substitute brown sugar for molasses if you need to (this balances the flavors, it does not add any discernible sweetness and I do not recommend leaving it out).