Hearty Midwestern Pot Roast
Cold and snowy Ohio mornings always make me crave warm comfort food. Beef Pot Roast is probably the meal my mom made most frequently when I was growing up and something about it always reminds me of my childhood home. The mere thought of a warm, rich, hearty bowl of pot roast is practically nostalgia at its core.
I am Ohio born and raised. I spent the majority of my childhood in a small town with lots of farms and livestock fields nearby. My sister were 4H members and I showed our pygmy goats in the local fair. We didn’t have quite the farm experience where there were lawnmower races (as seen in The Prince and Me starring Julia Stiles) but I think it is the closest movie example to some of my childhood midwestern experiences.
Beef Pot roast is a classic slow cooker meal that offers a super easy prep. The real rock star is the slow cooker itself. It works magic over a number of hours and transforms the inexpensive piece of meat into a tender fall apart dinnertime meal. I like to prep this recipe before work then set it to low on the slow cooker so it is ready and waiting when I get home.
Today I am sharing my moms homemade pot roast recipe with two updates of my own 🙂
To get started, you really only need a few ingredients:
- Beef Chuck Roast
- POTATOES! This is a meat and potato meal! It needs the potatoes to be a great pot roast!
- Onion (my addition–my dad hates onions so my mom never cooks with them)
- Beef Broth (my mom uses a can of premade gravy in her pot roast)
- Salt and Pepper
Making a pot roast really is that easy! Note: I forgot to show where I added the salt and pepper! (I accidentally took a picture instead of the video I intended) No salt and this is a really bland meal. I recommend you season all the sides of your beef roast with salt and pepper, then season the veggies with salt as you add them into the slow cooker.
The first non optional ingredient is obviously the beef itself. Bonus, you basically cant buy the wrong beef for this recipe. Today I used a beef chuck roast (it was on sale recently) but over the years we have used shoulder roast, rump roast, or pretty much any inexpensive beef roast (that has not been sliced in steaks) and still ended up with a great pot roast. Using a slow cooker to easily tenderize a less expensive, tough cut of beef can also be a great budget stretcher!
As I said in the video, you cannot have a good pot roast without the potatoes. I actually had to run to the store this morning for more potatoes because I forgot why I had the potatoes set aside and made potato soup yesterday with the ones originally intended for todays dinner. OOPS! I am not a morning person but the potatoes are exactly that necessary if you want the perfect pot roast. I used red potatoes today, but most potatoes will work well in this dish. Russet or Idaho potatoes are great, and I think my dad even made this for us a few times with the yellow Yukon gold potatoes.
What is optional (in my opinion) is if you are missing one of the following: the onion, the carrots, or the celery. Notice I said OR. I think each of these veggies bring something to the table. Traditionally, these three aromatic veggies are called a mirepoix when paired together. While I recommend using all three, you will still end up with a good pot roast if you omit one of the three (remember–my mom never cooks with onion because my dad hates them!)
Also optional is a finishing dash of fresh chopped parsley added as you dish up each serving. I forget which guest cook on Rachael Ray said it a few years back, but it is true–finishing slow cooker meals with a touch of something fresh brightens the entire meal. Plus since we all eat with our eyes first, this tiny addition makes the whole meal look even better!
Hearty Midwestern Pot Roast!
- Beef Chuck Roast, I used 2 pounds as I am cooking for 2 and I did not want leftovers, Use up to a 5 pound beef roast to feed more people or to have leftovers
- 2 pounds of Potatoes, quartered
- 1/2 pound Carrots, sliced
- 6 stalks or 1/2 a bunch of Celery, sliced
- Onion, rough chop
- Beef Broth, I used just less than 1.5 cups, a bigger roast will benefit from a full 16 ounce container
- Generous seasoning of Salt and Pepper
- Layout and prep ingredients, see video for visual suggestions on how to cut veggies (rough chop/quarter)
- Generously salt and pepper outside of beef roast
- Layer bottom of Slow Cooker with some of each veggie (potato, carrot, celery, onion) and add salt
- Place S&P Beef roast in middle of Slow Cooker, surround with remaining vegetables, add another pinch of salt to vegetables only
- Turn on Slow Cooker
- Use Low if you have six to eight hours
- Use High is you have only four or five hours
- Go to work/clean house/take a nap while the Slow Cooker is working its magic for you
- Optional: Add fresh cut parsley when plating