I love my crockpot. Its nothing special really. It doesn’t have any stirring features. There aren’t any bells or whistles. However, it makes my life a hell of a lot easier during the week. It only takes me 10 minutes in the morning to throw this recipe together. Brown the roast, sprinkle in spices, onions, and beef stock; and you are all set. When you get home eight hours later, you will be greeted with the delicious smell of pot roast simmering away. The meat just falls apart and the au jus is packed with flavor.
So, I basically make my own onion soup spice mix for this recipe. I like to take the extra step to make my own. Sure, the packet is convenient and you could use it if you wanted, but when I make my own I can control everything that goes into it. For example, I like to omit salt altogether so I can control how much goes into each recipe. Plus, I already had all of the spices in my pantry.
I start by mixing together the spices. Combine garlic powder, onion powder, dried onion flakes, dried parsley, salt, pepper, thyme, and crushed red pepper flakes. This combination reminds me of a cross between a French onion dip and ranch dressing. Safe to say its delicious. Right now, if you wanted, you could sprinkle some of the spice mix into some sour cream or greek yogurt and pop it into the fridge. After an hour or so the spices soften and meld into the yogurt(or sour cream) leaving you with a knockout dip for some chips or crudité. So yeah, making extra or double isn’t a bad idea. Not at all 😉
Aaaand back to the beef. Make sure you pat any excess moisture off of the meat using paper towels. This ensures that the meat will brown nicely. Get your pan screaming hot, add a little oil, and carefully place the roast in the pan. Now, I know its instinctive to check the meat once it is in the pan, but I urge you to just let it go for a couple of minutes. If you move the meat around too much, it won’t get that even sear that we are looking for.
While the meat is browning, add the soy sauce, Worcestershire, spice mix, and bay leaves to the crock pot.
Once the meat is seared on all sides, place it in the crockpot. I like to add the beef stock to the skillet and scrape up the fond that formed when we seared the roast. This just adds an extra layer of flavor to the roast.
Then, cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 8-10 hours. The roast should fall right apart. I like to serve mine with mashed potatoes and green beans, or on a sandwich, or in a quesadilla, or leftover on a salad…. Let me know what you come up with!
2-3 lb chuck roast
1/2 cup low sodium beef stock
2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1 small white onion, chopped
2 bay leaves
French Onion spice Mix:
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes (You can reduce this if you do not like things spicy)
1. Heat a large skillet to high and add a swirl of olive oil. Blot the chuck roast with paper towels. This will ensure that you get a nice golden sear on the roast. Season with salt and pepper. Carefully, place the roast in the skillet. Cook each side for about 3-5 minutes.
2. In a large crockpot, add the onion, spice mix, Worcestershire, soy sauce, bay leaves and roast.
3. Deglaze the skillet with the beef stock and add it to the crockpot.
4. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 8-10.
5. Remove the roast from the crockpot and shred. This shouldn’t take much coaxing, as the roast should be falling apart tender.
*If you are on a low-sodium diet, you can decrease the amount of soy and Worcestershire sauces… or omit them completely. There is still a ton of flavor in the French onion spice mix.