Classic Pot Roast Recipe

Everyone should have a few classic, comfort food recipes in their arsenal. Classic Pot Roast with the traditional trimmings should be close to the top of the list. If the phrase Pot Roast brought to mind a picture of almost black, curling, tough meats, then you have not had good pot roast.

Good pot roast needs to cook for several hours, so using a slow-cooker is highly recommended.  The meal can be started in the morning and be ready at dinner time, which fits most people’s busy schedules.  The ingredients cook together all day to create the perfect blend of tastes.  Make sure your slow-cooker is large enough for the roast to sit on the bottom.  If needed, cut the raw roast into several pieces and arrange on the bottom.


There are several types of beef roast favored by pot roast chefs; chuck roast, round roast and rump roast are a few.  Any type of boneless roast works well with this recipe.  Chuck roast is often recommended as the marbling produces a juicy roast.  Usually plan on 4-6 ounces (uncooked) per person.

Potatoes and carrots are also needed.  Idaho Baker potatoes are the traditional choice for classic pot roast.  Plan on 2-3 small potatoes per serving.  You can either select fresh carrots or packaged baby carrots.  Never substitute canned potatoes or carrots.

Gravy can either be made from the drippings or you can use prepared brown gravy if you prefer.


Allow the roast to thaw before cooking.  Place a large skillet on the range, sprinkle liberally with seasoning salt, garlic powder and onion powder.  Place the roast in the skillet and turn on to medium heat.  Leave for at least 5 minutes to brown on each side.

While the roast is browning, wash and peal the potatoes and carrots (if using fresh instead of bagged baby carrots).  Cut the pealed potatoes into 1 ½” cubes.  Cut the carrots into pieces no longer than 1 inch.

When the roast is browned in the skillet, turn on the slow-cooker.  Add about ½ cup water to the bottom.  Add any additional seasonings to the water as it will steam into the ingredients as they cook.  Layer the ingredients starting with the roast on the bottom, then the potatoes and finally, the carrots on top.  Put the lid on tight and allow cooking for at least 7 hours.  It is almost impossible to overcook this recipe in a slow-cooker.

A few modifications

If you wish to add mushrooms or pearl onions to the mix, place them on top of the roast, and then add the potatoes.  Flavor can be added by using half wine and half water, or for a very moist roast, use Coke instead of water. 

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