Best Pot Roast Ever

Slow Cooker Pot Roast Part 2

Unlike the lean and tender tenderloin and loin roasts, pot roasts are tough but flavorful cuts of meat that come from the shoulder and working parts of a steer. Chuck, bottom round, eye of round, spencer roast, flank, brisket or shoulder roasts are perfect for cooking slow (3+ hours) and low (at a low temperature) with a little savory liquid thrown in for good measure. In culinary terms pot roast is a braise, which is any type of food cooked for an extended time at a low temperature with a little flavorful liquid in order for it to tenderize. The tough connective tissues break down while cooking, adding flavor and collagen to the saucy cooking liquid which bathes the meat and vegetables. Acidic liquids also help to break down the tough meat fibers so you’ll often see tomatoes, wine, cider and fruit juices added to pot roast for flavor and tenderness.

If you ask me, onions, carrots, celery and potatoes are a must, but parsnips, garlic, mushrooms and even artichokes are savory additions to your slow cooker pot roast. To make things interesting, you can change the flavor profile by swapping out the liquid ingredients. The addition of tomatoes, garlic and rosemary can play to an Italian theme, while a braising liquid of garlic, ginger, soy sauce and sesame can skew Asian.

Slow Cookers often have a removable metal insert so that you can brown the roast on your cooktop then transfer the insert back to the cooker before adding the liquid ingredients, saving you from dirtying a skillet to brown the meat. Though it is optimal to brown the roast and onions first, if you don’t have time, this is a step you can skip. Dinner will still be delectable. The main point is to get cooking and slow-cook a pot roast using these recipes.

Try out the recipes below and then click here for more recipes and to learn more about slow cooking your pot roast to perfection.

Creamy Slow Cooker Pot Roast with Mushrooms and Rosemary

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

Pot roast and savory mushrooms combine with a creamy sauce, bathing carrots, potatoes and celery with a light rosemary scent. Leftovers never tasted so good.

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

  • One 2-1/2 to 3-lb chuck, bottom round, flank, brisket or shoulder roast
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and quartered
  • 8 new potatoes (not peeled), halved or quartered if large
  • 2 stalks celery, quartered
  • 8-oz cremini or button mushrooms, halved
  • 2 branches rosemary
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 3 tablespoons minced flat leaf parsley
  • Rosemary Bread as an accompaniment

Method

  • Pat the roast dry and season with 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 onions 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 with the roast in the slow cooker. Nestle in the remaining vegetables, and pour in the cream and wine along with a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours or until tender.
  • Transfer the roast and vegetables to a platter, picking out the rosemary stems, tent with foil and allow it to rest while you reduce the sauce to concentrate the flavor. Skim any extra fat from the surface of the cooking liquid and transfer it to a skillet. It may look a little curdled and lumpy but will come together as it cooks.  Boil it over medium-high heat until the sauce thickens, about 4 minutes. If you’d like it thicker, mash up a few of the potatoes into the sauce with the back of a fork to make it thicker.
  • Slice the roast on a platter and arrange the vegetables around the sides. Pour the sauce over the top and serve the remaining sauce at the table.  Garnish with parsley and serve hot with a loaf of Rosemary Bread from Heinen’s Bakery.

Best Ever Slow Cooker Pot Roast with Gravy and Vegetables

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

Heinen’s Red Wine Simmer Sauce is the perfect base for this simple but delicious pot roast. And it turns into the most delicious gravy by mashing up some of the tender carrots into the sauce at the end of cooking. The vegetables thicken it up so it sticks to the meat, veggies and the ribs of hungry tummies as well.

Since saving time and making weeknight recipes easier is important, I’ve found Heinen’s Original All-Purpose Seasoning offers another easy shortcut to great flavor. With salt, pepper, garlic, onion, rosemary and thyme all in one jar, more complex flavor is just a flick of the wrist away.

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

  • One 2-1/2 to 3-lb chuck, bottom round, flank, brisket or shoulder roast
  • 1 tablespoon Heinen’s Original All-Purpose Seasoning, plus more for sprinkling
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • One 16-oz jar Heinen’s Red Wine Simmer Sauce
  • 1/4 cup red wine or cranberry juice
  • 3 branches thyme
  • 8 new potatoes (not peeled), halved or quartered if large
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and quartered
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and quartered
  • 2 stalks celery, quartered
  • 3 tablespoons minced flat leaf parsley
  • Cranberry Walnut 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 onions. 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 simmer sauce and wine. Nestle in the thyme, potatoes, carrots, parsnips and celery along with a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper and another sprinkle of Heinen’s seasoning. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours or until tender.
  • Transfer the roast and vegetables to a platter, picking out the thyme branches, and tent with foil to rest while you make the gravy. Skim off any extra fat from the surface of the braising liquid and return a few of the carrots to thicken it up.  Using a potato masher, mash the carrots into the liquid to form a gravy. You can also transfer the vegetables and liquid to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth if you like a more velvety gravy. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if it needs it.
  • Slice the roast on a platter and arrange the vegetables around the sides. Pour the sauce over the top while serving the rest at the table.  Garnish with parsley and serve hot with a loaf of Cranberry Walnut Bread from Heinen’s Bakery.

Click here to print this recipe

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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