What to do with a grass-fed chuck roast?
Make the world’s best slow cooker pot roast, of course.
Pot roast, we love you so. Fork tender and intensely flavorful. Hearty and satisfying. Hard to mess up but seemingly epicurean. And the crowds love it.
Perhaps best of all, pot roast is extremely economical, yielding days of leftovers from a less expensive piece of meat.
Chuck Roast for the Win
All good beef dishes start with the right cut of meat. Enter the chuck roast (see where Verde Farms chuck roast is on special this week).
As you know from our primer on beef primals, the chuck runs from the neck down to the fifth rib. Chuck “roast,” vs. “steak,” simply means that it’s a big ol’ hunk of meat.
Coming from a hard-working part of the cow, it’s flavorful, juicy, somewhat fatty, and contains a high amount of connective tissue. These qualities make chuck roast a top choice for stewing and braising.
Why? Connective tissue is made up of the protein collagen. Collagen slowly breaks down into gelatin when cooked, making the meat tender and succulent. Meanwhile, the liquid in moist heat cooking techniques (e.g. braising and stewing) adds moisture, regulates temperature, and creates a gorgeous, richly flavored liquid that becomes an instant base for gravy.
Pot roast is a braised beef dish – and chuck roast is the ideal cut. A typical pot roast recipe calls for browning the meat then slow cooking in or over liquid in a covered dish.
Best Slow Cooker Pot Roast Recipe
Pot roast is traditionally made in a Dutch oven, but we can’t stop our love affair with the slow cooker (AKA crock pot). We sear the meat first, sauté the vegetables, and deglaze the pan with wine for the start to an intensely flavorful sauce. Pop everything in the slow cooker, go about your day, and walk into the aromas of a delightful meal a few hours later.
Aim for about ½ pound of chuck roast for every guest. The ingredients can be easily multiplied for more servings. You can always add more veg or herbs, depending on your mood.
It’s a forgiving recipe for pot roast – cook as long as you need to ensure fork tenderness
1 Verde Farms 2 lb grass-fed beef chuck roast
2 TBP olive oil
1 TBP unsalted butter (optional)
Kosher salt and pepper
2 – 3 cups beef or chicken broth
2 onions, peeled and sliced thin
1 – 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 – 2 celery sticks, chopped
2 – 3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup dry red wine (we used Cabernet)
1 TBP tomato paste
1 – 2 bay leaves
1 spring fresh thyme; ¼ tsp chopped
1 TBP balsamic vinegar
Take meat out of the fridge well ahead of time. Season with 1 TBP+ of kosher salt. Let stand for ~one hour prior to cooking.
Pat meat dry and season with pepper.
Preheat a large pan to hot and add olive oil over medium heat. Sear the meat on all sides until golden brown.
Take meat off heat and transfer to slow cooker.
Add butter to pan liquids and let melt.
Add onions and cook until soft and beginning to brown (~8 minutes). Add carrots and celery and continue to stir and cook until they start to soften (~5 minutes). Add garlic and continue to cook until fragrant (<1 minute)
Deglaze by adding wine and scraping bottom of pan to release stuck food particles (they’ll dissolve into the liquid and impart flavor).
Pour pan liquids over meat in slow cooker. Add broth, tomato paste, herbs, and vinegar.
Cook on high for 4 – 6 hours or low for 8 – 10 hours. Prepare yourself for praise from the lucky dinner guests.
So, where’s the beef?
Choose Verde Farms grass-fed chuck roast to make this dish as healthy and memorable as it is hearty and delicious.
Lucky for you, Aldi is upping the roast game from March 1 – 5 with Verde Farms 100% organic, 100% grass-fed chuck roast. Click here to see the Aldi special.