Since it’s still winter, even though summer showed up a bit this week, we’ve been making our favorite cold weather meals. What’s better than a meal that’s made in the morning, cooks all day, spreads its aromas all over the house, and is ready for the plate when you are? Slow cooker meals are the best kind of warm food in winter.
This one is my personal favorite. I’ve been making it since I had my own apartment and bought my first Crock-pot. We had it many times growing up as well. There are so many versions and different ingredient combinations but this recipe is the one I typically make.
This meal is Dairy, Gluten and Nut Free.
So first off you need a roast. There are many different types of meat that will do a fantastic job in this recipe. Any type of beef that says “roast” is great but the two that are my favorites are a Mock Tender Roast (above) or a Chuck Roast. Both come from the cow’s shoulder area and have a lot of marbling which provides a rich flavor.
Once you’ve picked out your meat you need a good searing pan. I use cast iron, it really is the best cookware hands down! But that’s another post for later. Anyway, add some oil (preferably vegetable or canola oil to the cast iron skillet set on medium high heat. I chose, poorly. I have a much larger one and should have used it but that okay, this one worked out fine. Next, salt the entire roast on all sides, it will help sear and bring out all the flavors. I left the string on as well throughout the cooking process to keep the meat together.
Sear the meat on all sides (top and bottom as well) until you get a good looking crust. I don’t like to see any red on the outside. It fine on the inside, it will cook in the slow cooker later. Seriously, if you don’t see red on the inside throw it away and start over. It’s either bad meat or you burnt it. Searing means to scorch the surface with sudden intense heat. So only sear the surface.
Save the skillet for later and place the seared roast in a slow cooker or Crock Pot. If you can, let the roast, well, roast alone for about an hour. It keeps the roast from getting too soggy, go for two hours if you can. However, slow cooker meals for me are all about convenience and I do them so I don’t have to touch them until dinner. So, if you have kiddos, by all means, throw it all in, close the top and leave it alone!
Next, chop your vegetables and throw them in with the herbs.
Look at that beautiful Crock Pot, I mean roast! Go Dawgs! Add salt and pepper
In the skillet, wipe away most of the fat. Turn heat on medium-high heat. Add the sherry and simmer about 2 minutes while stirring up with brown bits. Add beef stock and bring to a boil. Pour the broth mixture over the roast and vegetables then cover.
Cook roast and veggies on low for 6-8 hours or high for 2-4 hours. To test meat, pull with a fork. It should flake but be tender.
If meat is still tough continue to cook for another hour. Once meat has reached 165 degrees the tenderness if up to you.
Mix the cornstarch and water together, add to the roast in the slow cooker. Cook on high heat for 10-20 minutes or until thickened.
Remove roast and slice or pull apart with fork. Serve with the vegetables with gravy. I’ve served it in a bowl like soup or over rice on a plate. If you are looking for more of a stew or soupy meal leave out the cornstarch and drink up all that broths goodness! Enjoy!
Perfect Pot Roast
The perfect go-to slow cooker meal for a chilly evening.
- 1 Mock Beef Roast
- Canola Oil
- 1 lb Yukon Gold potatoes
- 4 large carrots
- 3 celery stalks
- 2 medium yellow onions
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 TB Dried Thyme
- 1 TB Dried Oregano
- 1/4 cup Cooking Sherry
- 4 cups Beef Stock
- 1 TB cornstarch + 1/2 cup cold water
- Rice (optional)
- Turn your slow cooker on high heat (for 5 hour cook time) or low heat (for 8 hour cook time) depending on the time you have before eating. In a cast iron or stainless skillet heat 2 Tablespoons of Canola Oil on Medium high heat.
- Generously salt your roast on all sides and place in the heated skillet. Sear all sides on the roast for 2-3 minutes each side. Place roast in slow cooker and cover. Save skillet.
- Allow roast to cook alone for one hour if time permits, or skip to next step.
- Cut potatoes in half, peel and chop carrots into 2 inch chunks, chop celery and onion into 2 inch pieces, and half garlic cloves. Place all vegetables in slow cooker around roast. Add herbs.
- In the same skillet used to sear the roast use a paper towel to wipe away most of the fat. Set to medium high heat and add the sherry. Use a spoon or whisk to scrape the browned pieces off of the bottom and cook down for about 2 minutes. Add the beef stock and stir occasionaly for 2-3 more minutes to develop flavors. Add broth mixture to slow cooker over vegetables.
- Cover and cook for amount of time chosen in step one.
- Once time is up, mix cornstarch and cold water until blended. Stir slowly into slow cooker. Cover and allow to cook on high heat for 10 minutes or until a thickened gravy forms.
- Turn off slow cooker. Meat will fall apart with a fork. Serve a 1 cup helping of vegatables with meat over rice. Top with gravy.