Archive for September 28th, 2010

September 28, 2010

Pot Roast (in the slow cooker)

As a kid, my mom’s pot roast was my and my brother’s favorite dinner! Anytime she would ask us what we wanted for special occasions we always opted for the Pot Roast. The tender meat with buttery potatoes topped with gravy make my mouth water just thinking about it. When I came home from school the house would smell so good and feel warm and cozy. Now I can have the same experience by cooking the roast in my slow cooker. My mom would make it on the stove and cook it for an hour and a half, but I cook mine in the slow cooker so I can put it on my menu during the week.  Coming home from work on those days is a treat. The house is filled with the wonderful smell of a dinner that is essentially ready, with just a few finishing touches. It is a comforting and warming feeling in the fall and winter.

This is my mom’s recipe, but of course I have altered it just a bit. I just can not seem to make a recipe without changing something up. However, it stays true to my mom’s version. 


I use small whole potatoes when I can find them, if you cook potatoes in liquid with the skins on, the potatoes do not dry out and get too starchy. If you do not have whole potatoes cut your potatoes into quarters.

1 Chuck Roast (any size that will feed your family 2-3lbs)
1 yellow onion (quartered)
3 large carrots (cut into thick coins)
1 to 1 1/2 lbs. of potatoes (I use the small yellow potatoes and leave them whole)
2 sprigs of thyme
3 cloves of garlic, left whole
1/2 cup red wine
4 cups beef broth
flour for dredging
salt and pepper

Dredge all sides of the roast with flour seasoned generously with salt and pepper. Brown the meat on all sides. Deglaze the pan with the wine and a little of the broth. Simmer for 2 minutes then pour the liquid into the crock pot.

Place the potatoes and carrots in the bottom of the crock pot. Lay the roast on top and place the onion and garlic cloves around the roast.  Pour the remaining broth and sprig of thyme in the crock pot.

Cook on Low for 8 hours.

GRAVY – My mom would always make the broth into gravy using this method, it’s quick and easy. Place 2 cups of the broth in a sauce pan and bring it to a boil. Add some salt and pepper. Using cornstarch and cold water (about 2T cornstarch and 1/4 c. cold water) whisk into the boiling broth, it will thicken pretty fast. Add a little more cornstarch/water if you want a thicker gravy.

Serve with your favorite type of bread – garlic bread, croissants, bread sticks, or rolls.

Alternate stove-top method: Follow the first step and brown the meat and remove it from the pan, then deglaze the pan with the wine. Add the onions, garlic, and thyme to the pot and add enough broth to just cover the meat. Simmer for an hour and a fifteen minutes, then add the carrots and potatoes and cook for another 30-40 minutes until the potatoes and carrots are tender and the meat falls apart.