Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Last week I asked my Facebook readers if anyone was interested in a slow-cooker pot roast recipe (since my Facebook status’ are automatically published to my Twitter feed, my readers there were asked, too).  The response was an overwhelming “Yes!” on all fronts.

I love a good quality piece of meat roasted in the oven, but there’s a great deal to be said for braising an inexpensive cut of beef in the slow cooker.  For one thing, it’s relatively cheap; for another, it’s drop dead easy.  Season the roast, add whatever aromatics/vegetables you want, add some sort of liquid, turn on the cooker and walk away for 8 hours.  A quick side dish or two later, and you’ve got dinner on the table with very little effort.

And it will be unbelievably tender and delicious…without any powdered soup packets.

This is a very basic recipe.  You can dress it up all you like – add vegetables, different seasonings, whatever you want.  Remember that you need a more inexpensive cut from the shoulder/arm of the animal – a boneless chuck or arm roast, or a blade roast.  These are the tougher, but more flavorful, cuts that do very well with long, slow cooking.  Depending on the cut, it will come out of the slow cooker fall-apart tender and may be hard to slice, but hey – that’s not necessarily a bad thing, now is it?

You can serve it as is, or get fancy and make a gravy or wine-based pan reduction out of the cooking liquid, which is just fantastic.  But if you’re of the “pot roast and ketchup” school – not that I’d know anything about that (ahem) – this is perfect with a generous serving of homemade ketchup.  Yum.

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Serves: 6
  • 2 pound beef arm or chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher sea salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups beef stock, preferably homemade
  1. Pat the roast dry with a paper towel and rub on all sides with the salt, pepper and basil. Place the roast in the slow cooker, and spread the onion and garlic over the top of the roast.
  2. Pour the beef stock around, not over, the roast and add the bay leaves.
  3. Cook on low for 8 – 10 hours, or until very tender. Remove the bay leaves, slice and serve with the jus from the crock,if desired.
  4. Nutrition (per serving): 234 calories, 10.3g total fat, 101.3mg cholesterol, 758.2mg sodium, 674mg potassium, 2.4g carbohydrates, <1g fiber, <1g sugar, 33.1g protein

18 thoughts on “Slow Cooker Pot Roast”

  1. Aha! So there it is, and looking fine, too. I like the simplicity of it. I think that would also be good the next day, sliced thin and on a good roll; a homage to weck!

    I hadn’t considered ketchup as a condiment for pot roast, but if I did, I would want it to be homemade. ‘Tis good!

    1. It is quite good the next day as a sandwich, if you’re a bread-eater, especially chopped and mixed with a good quality, homemade barbecue sauce. Yum, yum.

      Ketchup with your pot roast is one of those dearly held prejudices from childhood, in most cases. It is even better with the homemade ketchup, although many of our offspring like it with the above-mentioned BBQ sauce.

  2. Mmm…I love slow cooked meat. It’s probably one of my most favourite things to eat!
    I made a beef stew on the weekend, but I think the meat was too lean and it turned out pretty dry. : ( Alex sad!

  3. See now, I find this educational. I would never have known the difference between and arm or chuck roast as opposed to rump or round roasts that should be roasted in the oven.

    Simple and easy? Yes. Yummilicious? Oh yeah!

  4. Jan, do you use grass-fed beef for a recipe like this? I have had a heck of a time getting it right in the slow cooker. It always seems to come out dry. Once, I completely ruined a large roast; it was literally inedible, powdery almost. Any hints there?

    1. Brooke, I only cook with grass-fed beef (we buy a side of beef at a time). The cut of meat is very important – tougher cuts with lots of connective tissue (read: cheap) do best in the crock pot, such as arm roasts, chuck roasts, and blade roasts. Add plenty of liquid with the meat, don’t take the lid off a lot and make sure to cook it on “low.” If a roast made in the crock pot comes out extremely dry, it’s most likely because it’s a leaner cut from the back-end of the critter – like Stacy below says, rump roasts should be roasted in the oven! That goes for eye of round, top round, rib roasts and London broil, too.

  5. *smacks forehead* So THAT’s why my round or rump roasts always dry out in the crock pot – I need to cook it in the oven and get a different roast for the crock pot! And I’m drooling, so it’s gonna have to happen this week – I know what I’m making for Sunday dinner! 🙂

  6. In my 65 years of being a carnivore, I have never heard of nor seen catsup used as a condiment for pot roast.

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