If there was ever an ideal purpose for a Crock Pot (or any slow cooker) it is to slowly cook a roast to tender perfection. While your classic pot roast is definitely an option, there are scores of other classic roast recipes you can prepare in a slow cooker. Here are some timeless choices that will either have you plugging in your Crock Pot or running out to buy one.
Perfect Pot Roast
For this recipes and most roasts you will need a six-quart cooker to give the meat and vegetables adequate room to simmer in the cooking liquid. Start with a four-pound beef chuck roast, 3 cups of reduced-sodium beef broth, 1 cup of red wine, and various vegetables such as turnips, potatoes, carrots, celery, garlic, onions, shallots, and tomatoes. The vegetables can be any array of your liking. Place the meat and vegetables in the slow cooker, cover with liquids, then add bay leaves, fresh thyme (whole sprigs), and a half cup of coarsely chopped parsley leaves. Cook on low for eight hours and you have a one pot meal. Strain the broth and use it to make a gravy for the roast but be sure to save any additional liquid for a soup, stew, sauce, or even cooking rice.
Classic Roast Beef
Since the dry ingredients for this already have very high salt contents be sure to use unsalted beef broth for great flavor while keeping the sodium under control. Place a four to five pound beef roast of any kind in a Crock Pot then mix together one pack of dry brown gravy mix, one pack of dry Italian salad dressing mix, and one pack of dry ranch dressing mix in a bowl. Pat the dry rub on all exposed sections of the roast then add two cups of unsalted beef broth into the Crock Pot. Depending on the size of the roast, it will need to cook for seven to nine hours on low heat. At the seven and eight hour marks check the roast to make sure it does not become overcooked and rubbery.
Savory Pork Roast
You are not limited to beef roasts in a Crock Pot so consider trying a slow cooked pork roast for a change of pace. You will need a four to five pound center cut pork roast, bay leaves, your choice of similar vegetables to those used in a pot roast, and two packages of dry pork gravy mix. Rub the meat with the dry mix then add the roast, vegetables, a few bay leaves, and two cups of hot water to your Crock Pot. Let everything cook on low for six to eight hours being sure to check the meat at six and seven hours to make sure it doesn’t get overdone. Use the cooking liquid to make a rick pork gravy to serve over the roast and be sure to save the reserve as pork gravy is delicious over ham, pork chops, mashed potatoes, and even grits!