This Slow Cooker Pot Roast has incredible flavor and the best gravy! Creamy potatoes, tender carrots, fall apart roast beef — it’s pure comfort food!
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There are days when you just need a simmering slow cooker full of comfort food, and this Slow Cooker Pot Roast is just the ticket.
The roast beef is fall apart tender, and a couple special ingredients give this roast beef so much incredible flavor!
The gravy on this pot roast, you guys… it’s the best.
It’s not just thickened beef broth or drippings or onion soup mix. You might not think the tomato paste and balsamic vinegar would do that much, but they really pack in a lot of flavor!
The potatoes and carrots come out perfectly tender and coated in that delicious sauce. You really need to try it to believe it!
With school starting again and the days turning cloudier, there’s nothing I’d rather curl up with after a busy day than a big bowl of this pot roast! (But if I had to choose a second and third, this Crockpot Mac and Cheese and this Crockpot Potato Soup would be right up there!)
How to make Slow Cooker Pot Roast:
- Combine your seasoning and sprinkle it all over the roast. Press it in so it sticks well!
- Brown your roast in a skillet over high heat, just so you have a nice golden crust. (Can you skip this part? Yes, sort of. See my tips below)
- Add onion, and then the other gravy ingredients to the same pan — they will cook down and suck up all of that browned beef flavor at the same time!
- Throw everything into the slow cooker and let it all hang out until fall apart tender and full of flavor.
- Finish your sauce with a bit of ketchup. Yes, I said KETCHUP. You can skip it if you want, but it does help to bring a little brightness back to the sauce after spending so long simmering.
What’s the best cut of meat for pot roast?
- You don’t have to spend big money on a great cut of meat to make a pot roast — the slow cooker can tenderize almost any cut of beef as it cooks through the day.
- That being said, a chuck roast (as it will be called in the United States) or blade roast (as it is called in Canada) — often labelled “pot roast” is the most common choice for pot roast.
- It is not an expensive cut, but it has great marbling which leads to very tender meat.
- You can use other varieties, but one that is labelled “pot roast” in Canada will be your best bet!
How to make this Slow Cooker Pot Roast in the Instant Pot:
Would you believe I already have an Instant Pot Pot Roast recipe here? And would you believe that I based this recipe off of that one because it was so.dang.good.
If you want to make this in your pressure cooker, click here for my Instant Pot Pot Roast recipe.
Variations on this Slow Cooker Pot Roast:
- This crock pot roast recipe is already naturally gluten and dairy free, just be sure to wash your vegetables and check your labels before serving to anyone with food allergies or sensitivities.
- To brighten the flavors even more after such a long cook time, throw in some fresh chopped parsley or an extra tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
- You can swap the potatoes for cauliflower for a lower carb version, just remember that cauliflower cooks more quickly than potatoes so you may want to add them halfway through the cook time.
Do you have to brown your roast before adding it to the slow cooker?
The short answer? No.
The long answer? Yes and no.
Yes, if you want to seal in the juices and add extra flavor to your pot roast. Browned food equals flavor, so any time you are browning meat, you’re adding more flavor to the recipe. It also keeps the juices inside the meat and doesn’t dilute your gravy.
No, if you just plain don’t have time or you are making the recipe with a one year old on your hip like I sometimes do.
Your gravy will be more diluted with the juices from the meat, but it will be fine and good. Taste test at the end, and add a splash of balsamic vinegar or extra seasoning at the end if need be. It will be fine.
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Slow Cooker Pot Roast
- 1 1/2 teaspoons seasoning salt (I use Lawry’s)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1.2 kg beef roast about 2.5lbs (chuck or blade is best)
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1/2 medium onion finely chopped
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon liquid honey
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 large carrots peeled and sliced
- 1.5 lbs baby potatoes halved if large
- 2 tablespoons ketchup optional
- In a small bowl, combine seasoning salt, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, onion powder and pepper. Rub over roast completely.
- Heat a frying pan over high heat and add oil. Sear roast on all sides, just until browned. Place roast in 4-6 quart slow cooker.
- Add onion to the same pan and cook over medium heat until translucent. Add broth, tomato pasta, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and honey to the pan with the onions. Whisk together corn starch and water and add to the pan.
- Cook and stir over low heat, scraping any bits off the bottom of the pan, for 2-3 minutes.
- Place potatoes and carrots around roast in slow cooker and pour the sauce over top. Cook on low for 8 hours (low is better, but you can also do high for 4 hours), until roast shreds easily and potatoes are tender.
- Remove roast to slice or shred. Stir in ketchup if desired (it just brightens the flavor after a long cook time) and serve juices with roast and vegetables.
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