When I think of pot roast, I think of cold Minnesota winters and movie nights with my family. I think of sinking into the big wraparound couch in my parents’ basement and getting lost under piles of blankets. I think of two feet of snow covering the back deck and being swallowed by an oversized sweatshirt.
And of course, I think of the tingly, pit-of-the-belly bliss that comes after a warm, hearty meal.
All of this is strange considering I can’t actually remember being served homemade pot roast as a kid…
But that’s the power of the pot roast for you. It’s the most classic of American classics, a cornerstone of everyone’s childhood diet. Even if it wasn’t.
There’s just something about it that creates nostalgia. It warms your bones and your heart at the same time. And, it happens to be 100% paleo! (Cue the angels.)
My version takes advantage of the slow cooker’s meat-melting magic, leaving you with tender, pull-apart-y beef and a rich, multi-layered broth. The slow roasted root vegetables come out deliciously creamy and full-bodied, and they are the perfect sweet compliment to the rich, salty beef.
This is a true one-pot meal, but if you’re hankering for a side dish, it would be lovely over some mashed cauliflower or alongside a simple green salad.
Get ready to take a stroll down memory lane. (Or not.)
- 5 lb. beef chuck roast
- 1 lb. carrot
- 1 lb. parsnip
- 1 lb. red potato
- 1 leek
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 3 sprigs fresh oregano
- 4-5 springs fresh thyme
- 3 bay leaves
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 2 cups broth (homemade beef is best, but any kind will do)*
- Slice leek in half lengthwise and rinse thoroughly. Chop and place in slow cooker.
- Peel carrots, parsnips and potatoes and cut into hearty, equal-sized chunks. They’ll be cooking for quite a while, so keep the pieces large. (I happen to like my veggies mushy, but if that bothers you, consider adding them to the slow cooker with 2-3 hours of cook time remaining.)
- Season veggies liberally with salt and pepper.
- Pour in broth and toss in herbs. No need to chop or remove the stems. They are easily fished out after cooking.
- Dry your chuck roast with paper towel to make sure the seasoning sticks. Then, sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
- Place meat on top of veggies and set slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours.
- Once all is cooked, peel off a hunk and grunt like a cavewoman!
- To prepare roast for refrigeration, remove meat and vegetables from slow cooker, leaving the cooking liquid. Place meat and veggies in plastic containers and refrigerate.**
- Pour cooking liquid into a large mixing bowl and refrigerate overnight. This will allow the fat in the liquid to rise to the top and coagulate.
- The next day, skim coagulated fat from the broth using a wide-mouthed spoon and discard.
- Combine remaining broth with the meat and veggies in the fridge.
- Enjoy for days to come!
**If you’re pressed for time, you may be considering skipping this last step and forgoing the liquid, but I highly encourage you not to! The broth’s added flavor and moisture really transform the finished dish. Plus, it’s full of nutrients!
Due to some gut bacteria imbalances, I follow a low-FODMAP diet, which unfortunately means I don’t do well with garlic or onions. But that’s not to say they wouldn’t be delicious in this recipe! If you tolerate them, I say go for it.
Oh, and the leftovers are divine! I hate to say it but they actually taste better than the roast right out of the slow cooker. I reheated mine for a week’s worth of yummy at-work lunches (above), but this dish definitely belongs in the center of a Sunday dinner table.