Asian pot roast on a plate with slaw

Slow Cooker Pot Roast Part 1

Growing up, pot roast was what we had for dinner on Sunday after church. Mom (or Grandma) put a roast and root vegetables in the oven before heading out for service and by the time we got back, the house was redolent with the scent of oven-braised meat. The kids played and adults visited until the roast was tender, at which point everyone gathered at the table and shared the quintessential one pot meal.

It’s time to bring back the pot roast dinner and there’s certainly no reason to wait until Sunday to cook one. The arrival of slow cookers almost 50 years ago has made it easy to assemble dinner and safely leave the house while the roast simmers, unattended, to delicious tenderness. Most of us have a slow cooker tucked away in an unused corner of the kitchen and winter is the time of year to rediscover how useful it can be.

I think I’ve covered the fact that pot roast is delicious, but the ease of preparation cannot be emphasized enough. With the exception of soup, pot roast is THE hands-off, cooks while you’re doing other things and with plenty of leftovers kind of dinner. The perfect antidote to a busy weeknight dinner schedule, I say pot roast IS what’s for dinner.

The best part of these recipes is that you can get dinner started earlier, so that during the busiest time of the day, dinner time, you don’t have to scramble to get a meal on the table. Plus, there is little cleanup as the meal has cooked in one pot. And then there’s the leftovers, offering you the choice of another meal a day or so later.  So, what are you waiting for? Dig that slow cooker from the back of the cupboard and rediscover how easy and efficient making dinner in a slow cooker can be.

Try out the recipes below and then click here for even more recipes, as well as some tips on cooking up a pot roast so good your family will beg for more.

Slow-Cooker Asian Pot Roast

Start to finish: 4 to 8 hours
Hands on time: 20 minutes

Think of this dish as barbecue with an Asian twist. Hoisin sauce, a kind of Asian barbeque sauce, and soy sauce are combined with honey, ginger and garlic for an easy dish that puts an eastern spin on the usual pot roast. Add a tangy Asian Brussels sprout slaw and this meal is perfect straight from the pot on a cold winter night, then served up as shredded beef sandwiches later on in the week.

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 thumb-sized knob gingerroot, peeled and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Chinese Five-Spice powder
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1-lb carrots, peeled and quartered
  • 8-oz shiitake, cremini or button mushrooms, halved
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • One 2-1/2 to 3-lb chuck, bottom round, flank, brisket or shoulder roast
  • Ancient Grain bread as an accompaniment

For the slaw

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
  • Pinch of chile flake, optional
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 3 cups shredded Recipe Ready Brussels sprouts

Method

  • Combine the broth, wine, soy, hoisin, vinegar, honey, garlic, ginger, sesame oil and Five Spice powder in the slow cooker and whisk to combine. Stir in the onion, carrots and mushrooms.
  • Pat the roast dry, salt and pepper it lightly and add it to the cooker, turning it to coat it with the sauce and nestling it down into the liquid. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
  • While the roast cooks, make the slaw at least one hour and up to 8 hours before serving (the dressing needs time to tenderize the tough sprouts). In a large bowl, stir together the vinegar, brown sugar, soy, oil, onions, chile, peanuts, cilantro and sprouts and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Transfer roast and vegetables to a platter, cover with foil and allow it to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.  Serve with sauce, slaw and a loaf of Ancient Grain bread from Heinen’s Bakery on the side.

Slow Cooker Italian Pot Roast

Start to finish: 4 to 8 hours
Hands on time: 20 minutes

Italian ingredients are the perfect foil for pot roast. Tomatoes, onions, garlic, red wine and rosemary create a flavorful and tenderizing environment for the roast while imbuing the meat with the flavors of Sicily. Heinen’s Steak and Burger Seasoning is a time saving, one-step flavor enhancer as it contains pepper, onion, garlic, basil, oregano and thyme. It’s not just for steaks and burgers!

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

  • One 2-1/2 to 3-lb chuck, bottom round, flank, brisket or shoulder roast
  • 1 tablespoon Heinen’s Steak and Burger Seasoning, plus more for sprinkling
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • One 15-oz can fire roasted tomatoes
  • One 8-oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup red wine or cranberry juice
  • 3 branches rosemary
  • 8 new potatoes (not peeled), halved or quartered if large
  • 5 medium carrots, peeled and quartered
  • 2 stalks celery, quartered
  • One 16-oz can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
  • 3 tablespoons minced flat leaf parsley
  • Asiago Cheese Bread as an accompaniment

Method

  • Pat the roast dry and season with Heinen’s Seasoning, salt and pepper.
  • Heat the oil in the cooktop safe, slow cooker insert or a wide heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Brown the roast about 5 minutes per side. Transfer the roast to a plate if using the insert or the slow cooker if using a skillet.
  • Return the pan to the heat and add the onion and garlic. Sauté for about 3 minutes or until they just begin to soften and color. Add the broth, scraping to pick up any brown bits on the bottom. Remove from the heat and combine the roast and onions in the slow cooker along with the tomatoes, tomato sauce and wine. Nestle in the rosemary, potatoes, carrots and celery along with a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper and a sprinkle of more Heinen’s seasoning. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours or until tender. About 30 minutes before time is up, add 1 can drained, quartered artichoke hearts, pushing them down into the liquid.
  • Transfer the roast and vegetables to a platter, picking out the rosemary branches, and tent with foil to rest while you season the sauce.
  • Skim off any extra fat on the surface of the braising liquid. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if it needs it.
  • Slice the roast on the platter with vegetables around the sides. Pour some of the sauce and tomatoes over the top and serve the rest of the sauce at the table. Garnish with parsley and serve hot with a loaf of Asiago Cheese Bread from Heinen’s Bakery.

 
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Carla Snyder
Posted by: Carla Snyder
Carla has spent the past 30 years in the food world as a caterer, artisan baker, cooking school teacher, food writer and author of 6 cook books including the James Beard nominated Big Book of Appetizers. Her passion is sharing fresh, cooked-from-scratch weeknight meals that cut prep time and practically eliminate that nightly sink full of dishes. Look for Carla on Facebook, Twitter (carlacooks), Pinterest and at ravenouskitchen.com where she blogs about everything from cooking for two to easy weekend entertaining for a crowd.

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