Who loves their slow cooker (or crock pot if that’s how you refer to it!) as much as I do? I’m guessing that may be a silly question because it seems that so many people I talk with about cooking use a slow cooker at least weekly for a fix-it-and-forget-it type of meal. This 5 Ingredient Beef Pot Roast for Slow Cooker or Crock Pot is one of my go-to recipes to get dinner on the table easily, and with just 5 ingredients (not counting a few pantry staples, such as salt, pepper and oil), it’s very easy to make.
Prep Now”¦Eat Later
One of the ways I use the slow cooker most often is for prepping a large amount of meat that I can then use over the course of a few days, or pop in the freezer for an ultra-quick meal another day.
This 5 Ingredient Beef Pot Roast for Slow Cooker or Crock Pot is one of those recipes for me. For the first meal, I will often serve the beef straight out of the cooker (shredded or not, and with some of the cooking juices spooned on top) and served with a tossed salad and a vegetable side dish (such as this Toasted Sesame Cauliflower Rice, these Caramelized Roasted Beets, or a seasonal veggie made with the steam-sauté method I love).
After the first meal, I will use the meat in a different way the next day or two, such as made into:
- Beef fajitas
- Beef noodle bowls
- French dip sandwiches
- Barbecued beef sandwiches
- Soups and stews
My motto when I’m cooking meat in the slow cooker for multiple uses is “go big or go home”, so it shouldn’t be surprising that I cook two beef chuck roasts in the cooker at once (I use a 6-quart size slow cooker to make sure it’s large enough). It doesn’t take much more work to cook two roasts compared to one, and then I have that much more meat prepped ahead for those days when dinner prep time gets cut short (but that NEVER happens, does it? ““ insert sarcasm!).
The main thing to keep in mind when deciding how much meat to cook at one time is to make sure your cooker is at least half full but not more than 2/3 full of food to start.
Why Take Time to Brown the Meat Before Cooking?
One step I rarely skip when cooking meat in my slow cooker is the step of browning the meat in a skillet before putting it in the cooker. This step is completely optional because it doesn’t affect how the meat cooks or the timing, but it makes a huge difference when it comes to the final flavor. Browning the meat ahead of the slow cooking step sears the outside of the meat, which helps prevent the meat from drying out during the cooking process, and the meat looks better when it comes out of the cooker. And while that may not seem important, let’s face it, how food looks does make a difference in perceived flavor and eating enjoyment.
Browning the meat first takes a little extra time, but while the meat is browning, you can work on other things. Take that time to get your veggies or a salad prepped for dinner so that when it’s time to eat and the meat is done, you don’t have much left to do in the kitchen.
P.S. Make sure to eat or freeze the cooked meat by the third day for food safety reasons (and that goes for anything you’ve made with the meat, such as a soup or casserole ““ start counting from the day the meat was cooked in the slow cooker, not the day that you made it into a casserole!).
How-To Photos for 5 Ingredient Beef Pot Roast for Slow Cooker or Crock Pot
Two spices (besides salt and pepper) are all you need for this roast beef.
Sprinkle some of the seasoning mixture on top of one of the roasts.
Place roast in the skillet, seasoned side down.
Sprinkle the top with more seasoning mixture.
Cook until well browned on the bottom; then flip to brown the top. Repeat with second roast if you’re cooking two.
Add onion wedges and water to the slow cooker
Place browned roasts on top.
A little whiskey is used to deglaze the skillet and add a lot of flavor to the cooking juices.
Add the whiskey to the pan used for browning (take pan off the heat first).
Cook over medium-high heat and stir to scrap up all the browned bits on the bottom of the skillet; once the whiskey is boiling and most of the browned bits are released, remove from the heat.
Pour the whiskey and browned bits over meat in slow cooker; now your skillet looks like this (much easier to clean!).
Cook the meat; this is what it will look like when it’s done. Serve out of the cooker…
or shred the meat first. Either way it tastes great!
- 2 (2- to 2 1/2-pound) boneless beef chuck roasts
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons refined coconut oil
- 1 medium onion, cut into wedges
- ½ cup water
- 1/3 cup whiskey or water
- Trim outside fat from the beef roasts. In a small bowl combine thyme, coriander, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle about one-fourth of the seasoning on the top of one of the beef roasts. Heat half the oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the seasoned roast, seasoned side down. Sprinkle top of the roast with some of the remaining seasoning. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until bottom is well browned. Flip the roast. Cook another 5 to 7 minutes or until bottom is browned. Remove roast from the cooker. Add remaining oil to the skillet. Repeat seasoning and browning the second roast, using the rest of the seasoning mixture.
- Meanwhile, add onion wedges and ½ cup water to a 6-quart slow cooker. Place browned roasts on top of onion, overlapping them as needed, or cutting roasts in half or thirds so they fit better in the cooker.
- Remove the skillet used for browning from the heat. Carefully add whiskey. Return to the heat. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until whiskey is boiling, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. (This will help make the skillet much easier to clean!) Pour the whiskey and any browned bits from the skillet over the meat in the cooker.
- Cover cooker; cook on low-heat setting for 11 to 12 hours or on high-heat setting for 5 ½ to 6 hours. Serve meat topped with some of the cooking juices and onion wedges, if desired.
- Let meat cool slightly in the cooker; transfer meat to a large cutting board. Use two forks to pull the meat into coarse shreds, removing and discarding any fat as you shred the meat. Place shredded meat in a large bowl. Spoon some of the cooking juices (and onion wedges, if desired) from the cooker over the meat to keep it juicy.
- Use 1 roast and cut remaining ingredients in half. Use a 3 ½- to 4-quart slow cooker. The cooking time in the slow cooker will not change.
- about 7 cups shredded meat (10 to 12 servings total)
- 197 cals, 25 g pro, 1 g carb, 8 g fat, 74 mg cholesterol, 4 g sat fat, 0 g fiber, 319 mg sodium