Monday, September 16, 2013

Incredible Slow Cooker Pot Roast with a CHEAT! (PRINTABLE RECIPE CARD!)

I've shared before that I'm not much of a cook.  I don't like to cook, my husband is an awesome cook, so it's really not necessary for me to cook (or at least that's how I tend to justify it!)

Because of this, you know that when I share something I make, it must be really, really good - like my pepperoni rolls good.  And it has to be easy, cause if it's not easy - you won't find me cooking it!

With the weather changing, my Crock Pot will be getting quite a workout - I'm pretty good with anything that's one dish.  It's the making 3 or more individual items come together at relatively the same time that stresses me out.

This pot roast is soooo yummy and really, couldn't be easier.  It takes about 1/2 hour to get it all to the point where you're ready to turn on the crock pot this way, and it's every bit worth it.

Here's the crew -

There are only two of us in our house, so a 2.5-3 pound chuck roast usually does it, along with 5-7 potatoes, depending on size, 3-4 carrots (I don't really like them cooked, except in this recipe), an onion, EVO, and S&P. And a secret that I'll share in a minute....

I cover the roast in salt and pepper and let it sit at room temp while I get everything else ready.  I like to use fresh cracked sea salt and pepper just because it's a little heavier and sticks to the meat really well.

Now, these instructions can be taken back a step or two and still give you a really good pot roast, but, I brown the veggies too.  You don't have to do that, and really, that would make it a tad easier with less prep time - like in the morning on your way out to work or the park or you own couch, wherever your day takes you! You could have things cut up the night before and just toss them in.  I love the extra flavor that browning the onions and carrots gives, though, so I heat up about 2 tablespoons of the Extra Virgin Olive Oil to really, really hot (on my electric stove - we don't have natural gas here, I wish we did) and once it's nice and hot, I add the onions - cut in half "top" to "bottom" with some salt and pepper.  I turn them a couple of times to get as much browned onion goodness as I can.

Once the onions are nice and brown, I take them out, hold them on a plate, and add the carrots.  I do it in this order so that the carrots pick up some of the yummy caramelized onion flavor.

While the carrots are browned, I add them to the potatoes that I've already quartered and put into the crock pot. No, I don't peel the potatoes - just scrub them really well. Easier - plus the skins are good for you!

Then, with the pan still nice and hot, I add the chuck roast and brown it all over, even holding it up with tongs and browning the sides. It picks up all of the flavors from everything that's been browned before it.

Once the roast is nice and brown with just a bit of a crust, it goes on the carrots and potatoes in the slow cooker, and the onions are added to the top.

Now comes the cheat - the big surprise.  First, I'll let you in on a little secret.  I'd love to have a nice, full herb garden that produces enough that I'd always have fresh (or dried or frozen) herbs that I grow myself. But I also don't have a very green thumb.  So I cheat. 

Yep.  A spice packet.  Specifically, the Savory Pot Roast Slow Cooker spice packet from McCormick. And yep, I mix it into some coffee.  If you've still got some in the pot, go ahead and use that - actually, the "older" coffee tends to add even more flavor.  I did brew a cup just for this, though, since I don't have a coffee "pot."

I dump that over everything, put the lid on the slow cooker set to high for one hour, and then turn it down to low for 5-6 hours.  You could also just leave it on low for 7 - 8 hours or so - or however long you're gone for the day at work. You could do less and cook it on high the whole time, or more on low.  That's the beauty of a slow cooker, you really can't hurt anything, and dinner can cook while you're away!  

You can see in the picture above that I started this at 12:30 - the cutting, browning, loading took about 1/2 hour, and by 6:30, we had this and it was oh-so-yummy.

So to break it down:

1 - 2.5 - 3 lb chuck roast
5-7 potatoes, scrubbed and quartered (peeled if you like)
3-4 carrots, cut in 3 pieces lengthwise and then halved/quartered (or a handful of baby carrots)
1 medium yellow onion
2 tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 C coffee
1 McCormick Savory Pot Roast spice packet
Salt & Pepper to taste - plus a little extra salt

  1. Preheat the olive oil in a heavy pan on medium high.  
  2. Prepare your roast by liberally sprinkling with salt and pepper.  
  3. Scrub potatoes, and cut into quarters and place in the slow cooker.   
  4. Peel carrots and cut into thirds lengthwise and cut each piece into halves or quarters, depending on thickness.  
  5. Cut onion in half from top to bottom and place it sliced side down in your heated olive oil to brown.  Turn the onions and brown each side, about 3 minutes each side if your pan is hot enough.  Once onions are browned, remove and set aside.  
  6. Add carrots to the hot pan.  Turn the carrots once and when browned on both sides, add to slow cooker on top of potatoes.  
  7. Add the roast to the hot pan, turning and browning all sides (including edges) - about 4 - 5 minutes per side, enough to start seeing a nice crust.  
  8. Place roast on carrots and potatoes in slow cooker, and place onions on top.  
  9. Mix spice packet with one cup of coffee and pour over roast and veggies.  
  10. Cover slow cooker and set on high for one hour, then turn to low for 5 hours.  
  11. Enjoy!
  • don't brown vegetables and cook 7 hours on low
  • cover roast in horseradish before browning
  • use water and Cream of Mushroom soup instead of coffee
.... many, many more variations are all over the web - but if you try mine, let me know how it works out in the comments!

And the best part?  This whole warm, fall fitting, filling meal costs less than $10 when you find a chuck roast on sale!  (and potatoes - has anyone else noticed the price of potatoes has skyrocketed?)

Oh - and just for taking the time to check this out, feel free to click below to download the FREE recipe card! Available as a 4x6" card or a regular 8 1/2"x11" page.  Just click in one of the corners on the one you want to download! ("nopin" commands don't seem to be working for me, so to get the image, hit a corner, otherwise you'll be Pinning!)

Shared at This Silly Girl's Life - Lovely Ladies Linky Party, Savvy Southern Style - Wow us Wednesday, Family Home and Life - Wow us Wednesday , The Turquoise Home - Work it Wednesday, Common Ground - Be Inspired, The Shabby Nest - Frugal Friday, Practically Functional - The Fun in Functional

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