One of the most satisfying and delicious home cooked meals you will ever make is a pot roast cooked in a slow cooker, also known as a crock pot. It is especially wonderful during cold winter months. This easy to make, tender and savory pot roast recipe is sure to be a huge hit with your friends and family. There are many variations to this dish and if you ask 5 different people how they prepare a pot roast, you will more than likely receive 5 different answers. While the ingredients for making pot roast may vary from cook to cook, the method is generally the same: Season then brown a piece of meat on all sides and then slowly cook the meat along with a mix of vegetables in some type of broth mixture until the meat is fork tender.
CHOOSE YOUR CUT OF MEAT
The very first step to cooking a pot roast is to choose a cut of meat. There are several cuts of meat that will work for pot roast, but some are better than others. I recommend that you visit your local butcher and ask him or her to recommend a good piece of meat for your pot roast. If however, there is no butcher shop close by, visit your local supermarket. Most supermarkets will put helpful labels on the meat telling you what that cut of meat is generally used for. Common cuts of meat used for pot roast are Chuck, Brisket, Top Round and Bottom Round. Most people prefer chuck as the meat of choice, but I find it a bit too fatty and prefer to use Bottom Round. Experiment with different cuts to find the one you like best. For the purpose of this recipe, choose a cut of meat that is 3 – 5 Pounds.
I like to use a variety of different vegetables when I make this dish. It makes it more interesting than the usual carrots, celery and onions that many recipes call for. The best vegetables to accompany pot roast in my opinion are carrots, celery, onions, garlic, potatoes, turnips and rutabaga. You are free to use all of these or just a few. The choice is yours and nothing is written in stone. I just love the different textures and flavors that these different vegetables provide. Here are the measurement estimates for the veggies I like to use. Use more or less depending on how big your crock pot or slow cooker is. You don’t want to overcrowd the crock pot.
1/2 Cup of Chopped Turnip
1/2 Cup of Chopped Rutabaga
1/2 Cup of Chopped Onion
1/2 Cup of Chopped Carrot
1/2 Cup of Chopped Celery (Look for celery with celery leaves still attached. The leaves impart an excellent flavor to the broth)
3 Garlic Cloves Minced
THE COOKING LIQUID
People use a variety of liquids to braise a pot roast and add their own unique flavors to this dish. People use a combination of water, beef stock, red wine (choose a wine that you would drink, not a cooking wine) and even beer. I like to use simple water mixed with beef stock. I usually use one part water to one part beef stock and use enough to where the roast is only submerged half way.
LET’S GET COOKING
Ok, we are ready to start cooking this beautiful dish.
Season the meat with salt and pepper to taste. In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the meat on all sides, in a tablespoon of vegetable oil.
Place your chopped vegetables in the bottom of your slow cooker. Place the meat on top of the vegetables and then pour your liquid over the top.
Cover the slow cooker and cook at the lowest setting possible for roughly 8-10 hours. Meat should easily fall apart when pierced with a fork and vegetables should be soft. Remove meat and vegetables and place on a serving platter.
Now to make the gravy. Whisk together, in a sauce pan, 1/4 cup of cold water and 2 tablespoons of flour until smooth. Slowly incorporate 1 cup of the hot broth from the pot roast and bring to a simmer stirring constantly until thickened.