This classic Slow Cooker Pot Roast is as luscious as you remember it, with meltingly tender beef and lots of vegetables. A crockpot does all the work, so you’re free to do other things until it’s time to make the gravy.

Pot roast in a crock pot.

This is the ultimate easy cold-weather recipe. I always brown the roast for a deeper, more robust flavor and give the veggies a little skillet time too. But after that, it’s easy street.

Make as big a roast as your slow-cooker can fit. If you’re like my family, you’ll be thrilled to have the leftovers for the week ahead. My current favorite way is on soft yeast dinner rolls with balsamic mushrooms and onions for mini sliders.

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Slow Cooker Pot Roast Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Pot roast ingredients labeled and in bowls.

Ingredient notes

  • Beef roast: Chuck roast is what I like the best. It’s also called shoulder steak or boneless chuck roast. Your butcher may also recommend brisket or round roast (another name: rump roast.) Every one of them excels at long, slow cooking. Choose a size that will fit in your Dutch oven. A 3.5-quart pot can hold a 3-pound roast well. If you’re sizing up to 6 quarts, choose up to a 4.5-pound roast.
  • Carrots: 3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped, may be substituted for the baby carrots.
  • Potatoes: Small red potatoes are low in starch and hold their shape well during the long cook time. Starchier potatoes, such as russets or even Yukon golds, will get mushy or may even dissolve.
  • Red wine: I use a lighter, dry red such as Pinot Noir, but it can be anything. Just make sure you like it because you’ll have extra. If you don’t want to use wine, use extra beef broth, or even chicken broth for deglazing the bottom of the pot.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Prepare the roast by patting it dry with a paper towel and seasoning every surface of the beef with salt and pepper. Start on the stove, by browning the roast in some olive oil over high heat in a Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed skillet. Take your time here and brown all the sides. Don’t move the roast while it browns, so it can develop a deep, dark crust.
    Pot roast browned in a dutch oven.
  2. After all sides are nice and brown, add the roast to a slow cooker, but hold onto the skillet. Return the skillet to the stove and cook the carrots, onions, and potatoes until they begin to brown. Then add the garlic and stir until it smells delicious, only about 30 seconds.
    Pot roast vegetables cooking in a Dutch oven.
  3. Pour in the red wine and scrape up the browned bits that have accumulated on the bottom of the pot to incorporate them into the liquid. Get everything. Then add the beef broth, tomato paste, thyme, and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper and bring the mixture to a simmer. Carefully pour the vegetables and liquid into the slow cooker.
    Cooked pot roast in a slow cooker.
  4. Cover and cook on LOW for 5 to 8 hours. When done, the pot roast should be meltingly tender. Take the beef and vegetables out of the cooker and keep them warm while you make the gravy.
    Cooked pot roast in a slow cooker.
  5. To make the gravy, pour the drippings in the slow cooker into a bowl and allow the fat to rise to the top. Skim off as much of the fat as possible. Hold onto about ¼ cup of the fat for the gravy, and pour it into a saucepan.  Over low heat, whisk in the flour and cook, whisking, until the mixture becomes bubbly. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool.
    Pot roast gravy in a saucepan.
  6. Measure out the remaining meat juices. You want 2 cups, but if you don’t have enough, top the measuring cup off with some water to reach the mark. Pour the juices into the saucepan with the flour and fat, then return to medium-high heat and bring the gravy to a boil. Stir the whole time, so the gravy doesn’t burn.
Pot roast gravy in a saucepan.
  1. As the gravy boils, it will thicken. After a minute or so, it should be thick enough for serving. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with the sliced pot roast.
Pot roast in a slow cooker.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe plans on feeding 12, with each person eating 3-4 ounces of pot roast as a meal.
  • Storage: Refrigerate the leftovers, and enjoy within the week.
  • Make ahead: Pot roast always tastes better the next day, so plan on making it ahead if you have time. Cool, cover, and refrigerate. Reheat in the oven at 325 degrees until hot, a slow cooker on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours, or in a pot on the stove for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Freezing: Leftover pot roast freezes beautifully for meal prep and last-minute lifesaving dinners. Freeze with the gravy, if desired, for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat as you like.
  • Vegetables: Some cooks recommend adding any vegetables into the pot midway through the cooking so they stay firm. But I prefer the flavor they add to the roast, and don’t mind the softer vegetables.
  • Larger cuts: For better flavor, I recommend that you cut larger (5 pound or more) roasts into two smaller cuts to fit into the crockpot. That way there’s more surface area for browning.
  • Slicing or shredding: If you prefer shredded beef, use two forks. If a hunk of meat is more your style, slice the roast against the grain.
  • Oven-braised: Try my classic pot roast recipe if you want to make pot roast in the oven.
A bowl of pot roast and vegetables

More slow cooker favorites

Pot roast in a slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

This classic Slow Cooker Pot Roast is as luscious as you remember it, with meltingly tender beef and lots of vegetables. A crockpot does all the work, so you're free to do other things until it's time to make the gravy.
4.67 from 3 votes
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 5 hrs
Total Time 5 hrs 25 mins
Servings 12 servings
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 381

Ingredients 

  • 1 (3 to 4 pound) boneless beef chuck roast (see note 1)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 8 ounces baby carrots about 1 ½ cups (see note 2)
  • 2 large onions thinly sliced, about 2 cups
  • 1 1/2 pounds red potatoes cut into 1-inch pieces (see note 3)
  • 1 cup red wine (see note 4)
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Instructions 

  • Pat chuck roast dry and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper all over. In a large skillet or dutch oven over high heat, heat oil until shimmering. Brown beef on all sides until a deep brown crust develops, about 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer beef to slow cooker.
  • In the same skillet, add carrots, onions, and potatoes and cook stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in red wine, deglaze pan by scraping up brown bits.
  • Add beef broth, tomato paste, thyme, bay leaf, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper and bring to a simmer. Transfer mixture to slow cooker. Cover slow cooker and cook on low until meat is fall-apart tender, about 5-8 hours. Remove beef and vegetables (discard bay leaf). Keep warm while making gravy.
  • To make the gravy, pour drippings into a bowl. Allow fat to rise to the top. Skim off fat and reserve ¼ cup. In a large saucepan over low heat, pour in reserved fat. Whisk in flour and stir until mixture is bubbly. Set aside to cool.
  • Measure remaining meat juices and add water until it reaches 2 cups liquid. Add mixture to sauce pan, return to medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil until mixture thickens, about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve pot roast with vegetables and top with gravy.

Notes

  1. Beef roast: Chuck roast is what I like the best. It’s also called shoulder steak or boneless chuck roast. Your butcher may also recommend brisket or round roast (another name: rump roast.) Every one of them excels at long, slow cooking. Choose a size that will fit in your Dutch oven. A 3.5-quart pot can hold a 3-pound roast well. If you’re sizing up to 6 quarts, choose up to a 4.5-pound roast.
  2. Carrots: 3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped, may be substituted for the baby carrots.
  3. Potatoes: Small red potatoes are low in starch and hold their shape well during the long cook time. Starchier potatoes, such as russets or even Yukon golds, will get mushy or may even dissolve.
  4. Red wine: I use a lighter, dry red such as Pinot Noir, but it can be anything. Just make sure you like it because you’ll have extra. If you don’t want to use wine, use extra beef broth, or even chicken broth for deglazing the bottom of the pot.
  5. Yield: This recipe plans on feeding 12, with each person eating 3-4 ounces of pot roast as a meal.
  6. Storage: Refrigerate the leftovers, and enjoy within the week.
  7. Make ahead: Pot roast always tastes better the next day, so plan on making it ahead if you have time. Cool, cover, and refrigerate. Reheat in the oven at 325 degrees until hot, a slow cooker on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours, or in a pot on the stove for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
  8. Freezing: Leftover pot roast freezes beautifully for meal prep and last-minute lifesaving dinners. Freeze with the gravy, if desired, for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat as you like.
  9. Vegetables: Some cooks recommend adding any vegetables into the pot midway through the cooking so they stay firm. But I prefer the flavor they add to the roast, and don’t mind the softer vegetables.
  10. Larger cuts: For better flavor, I recommend that you cut larger (5 pound or more) roasts into two smaller cuts to fit into the crockpot. That way there’s more surface area for browning.
  11. Slicing or shredding: If you prefer shredded beef, use two forks. If a hunk of meat is more your style, slice the roast against the grain.
  12. Oven-braised: Try my classic pot roast recipe if you want to make pot roast in the oven.

Nutrition

Serving: 4ouncesCalories: 381kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 31gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 104mgSodium: 309mgPotassium: 906mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 2646IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 49mgIron: 4mg
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @CulinaryHill or tag #CulinaryHill!
Culinary School Secrets
Pro-level tricks to transform your cooking!

Meggan Hill

I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comments

  1. I really like the recipe, but I was confused by the instructions. In the beginning portion, the prep time was 25 minutes and the cook time was five hours, but farther down to the detailed instructions, the cook time was eight hours.
    I didn’t want it to turn to mush, so I cooked it for five hours and it was very good – but would it have been better if I had left it in for eight?4 stars

    1. Hi Christine, thanks for pointing that out, it’s a typo. Since slow cooker and roast size vary, it should read 5 to 8 hours. (I have a small slow cooker that seems to still boil on low.) I’m glad you enjoyed it and I’ll fix the recipe right now. – Meggan