Crock It! Simple Pot Roast


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This is one of my favorite recipes! It was originally printed in the March & April 2002 Cooks Illustrated magazine, and then reappeared in the Best Slow and Easy Recipes from America’s Test Kitchen. While there are pot roast recipes in the book that are made specifically for the slow cooker, this is my favorite recipe and I wanted to convert it for this series. It’s worth sharing and I wanted to share! What is written below is my converted version of the original recipe. Interested in the original version? Let me know and I’ll post it to the site. I made buttermilk biscuits to go with the pot roast and it was truly a comfort food meal.

Simple Pot Roast
(Courtesy of America’s Test Kitchen)

1 3 ½ -4 pound boneless beef chuck eye roast, pulled apart into 2 pieces, trimmed, and tied
Salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced medium
1 celery rib, diced medium
2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon fresh minced thyme leaves, or ¼ teaspoon dried
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup low-sodium beef broth
½ cup water
¼ cup dry red wine

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What’s Next

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat until just smoking. Brown the roast on all sides, 7-10 minutes, reducing the heat if the pot begins to scorch. Transfer roast to a large plate.
  • Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pot and place over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and ¼ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring often, until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, sugar, and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the broths and water, scraping up any browned bits, and bring to a simmer.
  • Transfer contents of the pot to the slow cooker. Nestle roast (along with any accumulated juices) in the liquid mixture. Cover and cook on high for 4-6 hours (or until fork-tender).
  • Remove the roast from the slow cooker. Place on cutting board and loosely tent with foil.
  • Transfer liquid from slow cooker to large pot and simmer over medium-high heat and cook until thickened, saucy, and measures about 1 ½ cups, 15-20 minutes. Stir in the wine and continue to simmer for another 2 minutes.
  • Slice roast against the grain into ¼-inch-thick slices, and transfer to a serving platter. Spoon the sauce over the meat and serve.

Notes from my experience
I did not split and tie my roast. I’ve made this recipe several times and have never done that.

I also don’t slice my meat across the grain. I prefer to pull it apart with two forks, the way you would with a shredded beef recipe.

It was a busy night, and I did not transfer the liquid to a pot at the end to make the sauce. We chose to drink the wine (and then some) rather than add it to the sauce.

Want to know more about my Crock It! Series? You can read all about it here.

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  1. Patti, I probably used 4-5 carrots, which may not even have been in the original recipe. I am the only one in the family who eats celery, so I will often omit the celery and add carrots. Carrots cooked this way is also the only way my kids will eat them, so I probably made sure there were plenty. Generally speaking, I would use at least 2-3 for flavor purposes. Enjoy!


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