The ultimate one pot family meal – Slow Cooker Beef Pot Roast! The one little-but-big thing I do different to the usual is to thicken the braising liquid slightly so it’s more like a gravy rather than just watery broth. So it’s meltingly tender beef, vegetables and potatoes smothered in gravy…YES PLEASE!
Given I’ve spent the last 4 weeks flaunting our summer with all the Aussie Summer foods and photos of Dozer diving into the pool, I decided it’s high time I shared something warm and cosy. Especially after I saw on the news that half of America is suffering through a deep freeze!
And actually, if you’re going to cook anything for hours when it’s stinking hot and 80% humidity outside, then using the slow cooker is the best way to do it. No oven heat making my house even hotter!
So Slow Cooker Beef Pot Roast it is. 🙂
I wasn’t a fan of pot roast for most of my life. I just didn’t get it – the beef and vegetables were fine, but typically they are braised in just liquids (broth / wine) that aren’t thickened in any way so the end result is like a watery broth. Plenty of flavour in it, but when you pour it over the beef and vegetables, it doesn’t cling to it at all because it’s watery.
So I decided to change it and thicken the sauce using a touch of flour. So it’s more like a thin gravy. Now THAT’s a pot roast worthy of company, in my humble opinion!!!
Because I make this in a slow cooker, this ends up with tons of sauce. You need enough broth for the beef to be mostly submerged in liquid, but because there’s no evaporation and the beef also releases juices, you end up with lots and lots of liquid. Which means, in my version of Pot Roast, you end up with lots and lots of gravy.
Not a bad problem to have, hmm? 🙂
Also I just realised – this is a SLOW COOKER Beef Pot Roast recipe, and yet I shot it in a casserole pan in the photo below. I don’t have a serving platter that’s deep enough to hold all the sauce, so I had to improvise, but looking at it now, it’s a bit misleading. Oops! – Nagi x
The ultimate one-pot family meal! Meltingly tender beef and vegetables smothered in a gravy-like sauce (because I prefer that to just watery broth). I like to make this in my slow cooker but I've also added directions for pressure cooker, stove and oven. Recipe VIDEO below.
- 1 - 2 kg / 2 - 4 lb beef chuck roast / rolled chuck (Note 1)
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion (large) , cut into large dice
- 5 garlic cloves , peeled and smashed (Note 2a)
- 5 carrots , peeled and cut into 2.5cm/1" pieces
- 3 celery stalks , cut into 4 cm / 1.5" pieces
- 1 cup / 250 ml dry red wine (or sub with beef broth)
- 3 cups / 750 ml beef broth , salt reduced
- 1/3 cup / 50g flour (plain / all purpose) (GF - Note 2b)
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 750 g - 1 kg / 1.5 - 2 lb potatoes , peeled and cut into 2.5 cm / 1" pieces
Pat beef dry with paper towels. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper all over.
Heat oil in a skillet over high heat. Brown aggressively all over - a deep dark brown crust is essential for flavour base! Should take about 7 minutes.
Transfer beef to slow cooker.
In the same skillet, add onion and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes until onion is browned.
Add wine, reduce by half. Transfer to slow cooker.
Mix together flour and about 1 cup of the broth. Lumps is fine. Pour into slow cooker.
Add remaining broth, carrots, celery, rosemary and thyme into slow cooker.
Cover and slow cook on LOW for 5 hours. Or 45 minutes in a pressure cook on HIGH. (Note 3a for Oven and Stove)
Add potato, slow cook on LOW for 3 hours. Or 10 minutes in a pressure cooker on HIGH. (Note 3b)
Remove beef. Rest for 5 minutes, then slice thickly.
Adjust salt and pepper of Sauce to taste. Serve beef with vegetables and plenty of sauce!
1. Beef chuck is a slow cooking cut of beef. It sometimes comes rolled and tied with string (like pictured in mine) - this is when the chuck is thinner. But it also comes much thicker, shaped like a normal roast cut, and this cut isn't required to be rolled and tied like mine. Both work great for this recipe.
The recipe has a wide range for the beef weight because this recipe makes so much sauce irrespective of beef size, because you need a certain amount of liquid to partially submerge the beef. The cook time remains the same because it's driven by beef thickness, rather than weight. Feel free to reduce / increase vegetables to your beef size, and also add other vegetables.
OTHER BEEF CUTS: This works great with brisket too. Blade Roast will also work but note that the beef is very lean so while it will be tender like chuck, it's not as juicy inside (which you can disguise by smothering with sauce).
2a. Smashed Garlic - just use the side of your knife and smash it using the palm of your hand. The garlic will burst open but remain mostly in one piece.
2b. Cornflour / cornstarch gluten free alternative: Mix 1 tbsp cornstarch / cornflour with a splash of broth, mix then pour in per recipe, in place of flour. Once beef is cooked and removed, check liquid thickness. If you want it thicker, mix 1 tsp cornflour with splash of water and add, heat liquid (residual heat may be sufficient) and it will thicken, repeat if you want thicker. Best to do it this way because cornflour thickening power is stronger than flour and the amount of liquid that comes out of beef differs. So start with less, then add more later - cornflour doesn't need cooking out like flour, as soon as it is added and liquid thickens, it can be consumed.
3a. OVEN: Lid on dutch oven or similar, 300F/150C for about 2 hrs (1 - 1.5kg / 2 - 3 lb) or 3 hours (2kg / 4 lb), then add potatoes then a further 1 hour until meat is tender.
STOVE: Add 2 more cups of water, simmer covered 2 - 2.5 hrs until meat is starting to be tender, turning meat once or twice. Add potatoes then cook another 30 minutes until meat is super tender and potatoes are soft. Keep an eye on water level.
3b. I add potatoes later otherwise I find they are so soft, they basically disintegrate. If you prefer to add potatoes in at the beginning so you don't have to worry about adding them later, use red potatoes because they hold up better to the long cook time.
4. The carrots and celery are VERY soft by the end. It's unfortunate, but a necessary sacrifice because having them in the broth for the whole cook time adds great flavour to the sauce.
5. Servings: I allow for 200 - 250g / 6.5 - 8oz uncooked beef per serving which shrinks with the long cook time. The beef pictured was a 2 kg / 4 lb rolled chuck.
6. Nutrition per serving.
WATCH HOW TO MAKE IT
LIFE OF DOZER
When the homeless man at the dog park isn’t at his car (usually off tending to the park grounds – best groundskeeper EVER!), I tie the food to the boot of his van. Pot Roast, in this case!
And this is Dozer, trying to figure out if he can reach the bag. #SHAMELESS