When the weather starts to feel like fall in Savannah, it isn’t long before my husband Kurt starts requesting pot roast for dinner. When we were dating, I needed a tire changed on my car. When Kurt came to the rescue, I said, “What do I owe you?”
With that sweet Southern boy charm, he smiled and said, “Three pot roast dinners will do it.” That was a challenge I could meet. He has always loved pot roast. On Friday, we celebrated six years together, and I’m still cooking him his favorite dish.
When it comes to using the slow cooker, you may have heard the expression, “Set it and forget it.” Well, that has never been the case for me. When I “set it,” I haven’t forgotten a thing. In fact, I’m thinking about that slow cooker all day long! After working all day, there is nothing better than walking in the house and being greeted by the aroma of beef and potatoes simmering away on the countertop.
When you lift the lid of the slow cooker, the meat literally falls apart with the touch of a fork, and it’s all I can do to finish making the gravy. If I’m being honest, sometimes we just eat it right away. Tender meat, sweet carrots and the soothing warmth of the beef broth is the perfect dish to enjoy when there’s a chill in the air.
A note on this classic comfort food dish: Seasoning is key. Pot roast can be really bland if not seasoned well with salt and pepper. Also, you can bump up the flavor using aromatics. I throw in a bay leaf and fresh rosemary to perfume the beef broth. I love to use red wine to create depth of flavor as well. After searing the chuck roast, don’t forget to add the pan juices from the skillet into your slow cooker. For a well-rounded meal, serve it with fresh bread and a garden salad.
Kurt's Favorite Slow Cooker Pot Roast
- 2.5- to 3-pound chuck roast
- 1 pounds of carrots, chopped
- 2 pounds of potatoes, peeled, chopped
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 stems fresh rosemary
- 1 cup reduced sodium beef broth
- 1 cup red wine, such as Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon
- Salt and pepper
Season the chuck roast well with salt and pepper on both sides. In a large cast iron skillet over high heat, sear the chuck roast on all sides until browned. Meanwhile, place the onions, carrots and potatoes in the slow cooker. Add the seared chuck roast over the top of the vegetables. Top the meat with the minced garlic. Add in the bay leaf and fresh rosemary. Pour the red wine and beef broth over the meat. Cover and cook for 8-10 hours. If you’re patient enough to do this step, strain the liquid into a saucepan and add a cornstarch slurry–2 teaspoons of cornstarch mixed with 2 teaspoons of water. Bring the liquid to a boil and reduce heat to low. Let simmer 5 minutes until thickened. Pour the gravy over the meat and vegetables, and enjoy!
Food Network Star finalist Rebekah Faulk Lingenfelser is a food enthusiast and writer. Her blog, Some Kinda Good, features local, in-season recipes with Southern coastal influences. A Georgia Southern University alumna, she also attended Savannah Technical College’s Culinary Institute of Savannah. Like Some Kinda Good on Facebook, follow @SKGFoodBlog on Twitter and Instagram or visit RebekahLingenfelser.com.