Best Slow Cooker Pot Roast with Vegetables
Thank you to Sprouts Farmers Market for sponsoring this post
Much of what goes on in my kitchen draws from cultures all over the globe. I’ve begun to crave foods I’d never even heard of as a child: spicy Thai-style curries, olive oil-drenched Spanish tortillas, lamb dishes braised in yogurt and turmeric, briney Mediterranean sauces, and Mexican tacos of every stripe.
A Craving for Comfort
Not last week, though. Last week I craved comfort and familiarity. With the devastation of the fires in nearby Napa Valley coming on the heels of so much other grim news, it was hard to do much more than mourn the losses and cook like a madwoman. And what I wanted to cook wasn’t cuisine from far off places, but the food of my childhood.
On Tuesday, I ventured out to stock up on groceries. I drove to Sprouts Farmers Market to pick up the fixings for pot roast, something I have never cooked and hadn’t eaten since before I left for college. I was delighted to find that Sprouts sells grass fed chuck roast, just the cut needed for a tender pot roast. When I can find it and it’s affordable, I opt for grass fed beef. It’s thought to be better from a nutrition and environmental standpoint, so the fact that Sprouts sells a number of grass fed options is one of the reasons I like to shop there.
A Low and Slow Roast
Back in my kitchen, I browned the roast in a hot skillet. I opened a bottle of red wine and added that to the roast along with potatoes, onion, and carrots. It all went into the crock pot to braise low and slow for hours.
The roast turned out fork tender and flavorful. It was plainly delicious and one I will repeat. Paired with what remained of the wine, with friends and family all crammed around the dining table, it was just the kind of comfort we needed.
For those interested in donating to fire recovery and relief efforts, my friend Maria Sinskey, who runs a Napa Valley winery, recommends donating to the Napa or Sonoma Community Foundations. If anyone has other suggestions for donations or support, please leave a comment below.
Slow Cooker Pot Roast with Vegetables
If you don't have a slow cooker, you can do this in a conventional oven. Follow the directions as written, but use a Dutch oven or heavy pot with a lid instead of a Slow Cooker. Cook it in a 275 F oven until the meat is fork tender, about 3 hours.
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- Freshly ground black pepper
- One 2 1/2 pound grass fed chuck roast from Sprouts Farmers Market
- 2 teaspoons canola oil
- 1 large yellow onion, cut into 10 wedges
- 1 cup red wine, use something drinkable (not something you opened 6 months)
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 cup beef broth
- One 14.5-ounce can Sprouts organic diced tomatoes
- 1 pound small, waxy potatoes (red skin, white, or yukon gold)
- 4 large carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 6 large sprigs fresh thyme
Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper over the surface of the meat.
Set a large heavy skillet over high heat. Add the canola oil and when it's good and hot, add the roast. Brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Add the onions and wine to the pan, stir, and adjust the heat until the wine simmers. Simmer for 3 minutes. Transfer the wine and onions to the slow cooker along with the garlic, broth, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, thyme, and remaining 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir well. Nestle the meat into the vegetables a bit and secure the slow cooker lid.
Cook the meat until very tender (you should be able to cut it with a fork): about 5 to 6 hours on high or 9 to 10 hours on low.
Cut into slices and serve with the juices spooned over the top and the potatoes and carrots on the side.