One of the gifts that we got for our wedding was a slow cooker, and I have to say I was really excited about it. With as busy as we are, it’s nice to be able to throw something in before leaving for work, and having a delicious dinner waiting when you get home. The most common of all things to cook in the slow cooker would be the pot roast. I’ve had some great slow cooker pot roasts, and I’ve had some not so great. The thing that makes a great pot roast is that when you take it out it is still moist, and doesn’t need to be drowned in gravy.
- Make sure you get a cut of meat that has fat in it. As the meat cooks, the fat renders down and keeps the meat nice and moist. You can remove the leftover fat at the end.
- Sear the meat prior to cooking it. This creates a sort of “barrier” that keeps the moisture recirculating in the meat, making it increasingly moist.
- Make sure you have enough liquid that it will keep the meat about 2/3 submerged through the cooking process. If you want to make it into a gravy later, you can pour off what you need and reduce it.
Serves 4 (or 2 with leftovers)
3 – 3 1/2 pound chuck roast (not super lean)
1 – 1 1/2 pounds fingerling or baby red potatoes
1 medium yellow onion
1 pound of carrots
1/2 bottle red wine
1 cup heavy cream
1 package onion soup mix
1/2 – 1 cup of water
Salt and Pepper
Step 1: The day before you make the pot roast (at least 12 hours), season liberally with salt and pepper. Leave out at room temperature for about 30 minutes before returning the roast to the refrigerator.
Step 2: In the morning, brown the roast on all sides using a little bit of oil over medium high heat. This should take about 30 seconds to 1 minute per side. You just want it browned. When all six sides have been browned, place the roast in the slow cooker.
Step 3: Cut the potatoes and carrots into medium bite size pieces. You don’t want them too small as they might get a little too mushy. For the onion, peel it, cut it in half, and then quarter each of the halves. Add all of this around the roast in the slow cooker.
Step 4: Add the wine, onion soup, heavy cream, and just a bit of water to make sure that there is about 4 cups of liquid in the pot. The roast should not be completely submerged. Just about 3/4.
Step 5: Set your slow cooker on low (or whatever setting cooks around 200-225 degrees). If you have a timer, it should cook for at least 8 hours. Then remove to a plate and enjoy.
I did not end up making gravy as the roast was so moist that it didn’t need it, and I’m not a huge gravy person myself. But you could definitely strain the liquid into a pot, reduce down for a little bit, add some flour and have a decent gravy. Also, when the roast is done cooking, you can leave it in the liquid for as long as you need to on the warm setting. The roast just continues to get moist, but doesn’t get mushy. We left it in for almost an additional 8 hours.