It has been one of those seldom-experienced moments in San Diego where we get a lot of rain. For the past three days it’s been on and off with heavy rain with gale force winds. The winds are so strong that the palm trees lining my yard look like they might to lose their fronds and the eucalyptus trees are scarily bending to a point where they just might uproot and fall over (one hit our roof in this kind of weather about three years ago).
Weather like this sure calls for some comfort food. I had about 5 lbs of beef chuck roast sitting in the fridge that needed to be cooked. I also found a bunch of vegetables that were nearing their shelf life and some open wine and beef stock.
It was a sign. I needed to make pot roast.
I looked up several recipes online. The one that intrigued me the most was Ina Garten’s Company Pot Roast. However, she used a dutch oven — which I don’t have. But not to worry, I can work around that with my slow cooker. I used her recipe as a reference and adapted the ingredients to what I had.
For the vegetables, I rough-chopped onion, carrots, the rest of the celery that I had. Those were all placed in the bottom of the slow cooker with 3 cloves of smashed garlic.
I patted the beef dry and generously seasoned both sides with salt and pepper. I heated a pan with olive oil, dredged the beef with flour, browned all sides then placed it into the slow cooker.
I mixed together red wine, beef stock and tomato paste then added it to the slow cooker along with a bouquet garni of thyme and rosemary that I clipped from my yard.
Since I started a little late I started the slow cooker on high to cook for 4 hours. The meat was tender but it could have gone a little longer to make it fall apart. I set it to low to cook for another hour and it turned out perfect!
The sauce was an interesting process. Following Ina Garten’s lead, I removed the meat and skimmed off the extra fat from the top of the sauce (there was a lot!). I took half the vegetables and liquid out and blended it with my immersion blender. I placed the blended sauce in the slow cooker and mixed it with the remaining vegetables and liquid then re-placed the meat. That sauce was divine!
I served the pot roast with brown rice. I would have made mashed potatoes but didn’t have any potatoes on hand. But the kids loved the pot roast so much they requested it in their lunch for the next day!
Thus, the reason why I’m blogging about it—It’s definitely a keeper.
Oh, and this is a great meal to make for your freezer! See the recipe notes below.
Slow Cooker Pot Roast
- 2 cups carrots roughly chopped (about 4 carrots)
- 2 cups celery roughly chopped (about 5 stalks)
- 1 large onion roughly chopped
- 3 garlic cloves peeled and smashed
- 1 cup beef stock
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 2 sprigs of rosemary
- 5 lb Beef Chuck Roast
- 1 tbsp salt
- pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup flour
- 3 tbsp olive oil
Place the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic cloves in the slow cooker.
Mix together the tomato paste, beef stock and red wine until the tomato paste is dissolved. Pour into the slow cooker.
Tie together the rosemary and thyme to make a bouquet garni and place it in the slow cooker.
Pat the beef chuck roast dry and generously salt and pepper both sides.
Heat a pan with olive oil.
Lightly dredge the beef with flour on all sides and place in the hot pan to brown.
Brown all sides of the beef (about 2 minutes per side) and place in the slow cooker.
Set slow cooker to high for 4-5 hours or low for 6-8 hours.
To make the sauce
Remove the meat and bouquet garni from the slow cooker and set aside.
Skim off excess fat from the liquid in the slow cooker.
Take half of the mixture remaining in the slow cooker and place it in a blender.
Add the mixture back to the slow cooker and mix with the remaining liquid and vegetables.
Add meat back to the slow cooker.
Freezer meal it: Place all the vegetables, liquid and browned meat in a freezer bag. Thaw one day in advance in the refrigerator before cooking. Place in the slow cooker for the desired for 4-6 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.