Best Slow Cooker Pot Roast
With all apologies to Cook’s Country magazine, I got this idea while thumbing through an old issue in a waiting room several months ago, and only remembered it now because the dreary weather has demanded slow cooker comfort food. I think that the Cook’s recipe was for stew, but the philosophy is the same regardless of the size of your beef chunks. The trick: cooking your veggies in a “hobo pack.”
Never heard of a hobo pack? I hadn’t either, but the idea is brilliant. By letting the veggies steam in a foil packet, you avoid the problem of mushy, flavorless vegetables at serving time. It’s the perfect solution.
- Beef chuck roast, 3-5 lbs depending on how many you’re feeding
- Salt and pepper
- Vegetable or olive oil for browning the meat
- 1 bag frozen pearl onions
- 1 can tomato paste
- 2 cups chicken broth (I’m sure that beef would work, but I had chicken on hand)
- 2-3 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 bag baby carrots
- Root vegetables of your choice, chopped (optional)
- 4 red skin potatoes, cut into 1″ pieces
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 Tbsp Minute tapioca
- 1 bag thawed frozen peas (optional)
Trim the fat from the chuck roast and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a skillet and sear the beef on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the seared meat to a slow cooker set on low.
Add more oil (if necessary) and cook onions until golden. Add tomato paste and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Add broth and soy sauce. Bring to a simmer and transfer to the slow cooker. Stir in tapioca and bay leaves.
Toss carrots and potatoes with 1 Tbsp of oil, salt, pepper and a touch of thyme. Wrap in a foil packet that will fit into your slow cooker, and place the packet on top of the beef, onion and broth mixture. Cover and ignore for 6-7 hours.
When you’re ready to serve, empty the hobo pack into the meat mixture. Add some additional thyme. I was feeling fancy and served mine with polenta, but it’s a perfectly acceptable meal unto itself.
The Tiny Kitchen Assistant will not eat anything in a broth or sauce. Remove it from the broth, however, and he loves the individual components. The flavor is rich enough to make the adults happy. I’m particularly partial to the carrots and potatoes, but there’s no reason why you couldn’t include any and all root veggies of your choosing.