Crock a Chuck Roast

In my previous post Crock a Roast, I used a top round roast. Although the techniques used to make the roast were OK, the meat itself came out tough. A coworker who had done butchering work in a past life recommended I use either a chuck roast or bottom round – with chuck roast being preferred. The top round is too lean for the way I’m cooking it but the chuck roast has good marbling throughout.

While I’m not an avid fan of fat – I decided to try the chuck roast. Am I glad I did! It turned out beautifully. Here are the steps:

  • Step 1: Chop the vegetables. Today I used carrots, Vidalia onions and potatoes. Put them into the crockpot. TIP: Vegetables go into the bottom of the crockpot – meat goes on top.
    Vegetables ready for crockpot

    Vegetables ready for crockpot

    Vegetables in crockpot

    Vegetables in crockpot

  • Step 2: Season the roast. I prefer to keep it simple and let the flavor of the meat shine through. I use salt, pepper and garlic power. I oil the roast and then rub the combined seasonings on the meat prior to putting it into the pan to sear.
Chuck roast rub

Chuck roast rub

  • Step 3: Sear the roast. Select a pan into which the roast just fits; this helps sear the edges. Heat the pan and add the meat. Let it cook for about 3 minutes on each side. Make sure you sear the sides and ends as well. You will have a nice brown color on all sides when you are finished. TIP: Use a large meat fork to hold the roast up to sear the edges.
Begin Searing Chuck Roast

Begin Searing Chuck Roast

Seared Chuck Roast

Seared Chuck Roast

Seared Chuck Roast ready for Crockpot

Seared Chuck Roast ready for Crockpot

  • Step 4: Add liquid and cook. Add 1 cup of lower sodium beef broth to the crockpot and place the roast on top of the veggies in the crockpot. Set the temp to low and the timer for 6 hours.
Crockpot liquid for chuck roast

Crockpot liquid for chuck roast

Chuck roast atop vegetables in crockpot

Chuck roast atop vegetables in crockpot

  • Step 5: Make the gravy. About twenty minutes before the roast is done, gather the ingredients for the gravy. This gravy is actually called ‘Quick Brown Sauce’ from the Joy of Cooking cookbook. I leave out the wine and port which gives me a sweeter gravy – you can adjust as you want. I use the cooking liquid from the crockpot as the broth base for my sauce. When the crockpot is done, remove the roast and veggies to a large serving dish and pour the cooking liquid into a measuring cup – you need about 2 cups for the gravy.
Joy of Cooking Cookbook

Joy of Cooking Cookbook

Gravy Seasonings

Gravy Seasonings

The ingredients are flour, sugar, butter, onions, olive oil and thyme. The recipe calls for vegetable oil; I prefer olive oil. In the picture you see 2 cups of the cooking liquid from the crockpot.

  • Step 6: Following the recipe (I halved it), you will make a roux on the stove. Melt the butter and cook the onions for about 3 minutes, add the flour and cook until it is brownish – about 5 minutes. Whisk in the cooking liquid and cook until it thickens. Strain out the onions if you wish. Because I halved the recipe and left out some liquid, I had to adjust the amount of flour until the gravy was as thick as I liked.
Boiling the gravy base

Boiling the gravy base

Strained gravy base

Strained gravy base

Gravy aka Quick Brown Sauce

Gravy aka Quick Brown Sauce

  • Step 7: Serve. TIP: I didn’t eat this at all this day – I packed it into individual lunch containers for the freezer. It made 9 servings so I estimate it would save me about $90 by eating this for lunches at work instead of going out.
Chuck roast and gravy ready to serve

Chuck roast and gravy ready to serve

Some alternatives to my method:

  • Substitute other vegetables – I use celery instead of potatoes. In that case, serve with a side of noodles or make mashed potatoes
  • Use the cooking liquid as-is instead of making a gravy
  • Use store bought gravy instead of the cooking liquid

Let me know how you do on this…

Crock A Roast

Here are the steps I use to crockpot a roast:

  1. Chop the veggies
    carrot_cel_save        frozen_vadalia I usually clean and chop a bunch of veggies at one time – this saves time during the week. I put the carrots and celery I’m not using right away in a plastic tub with water. The second pic is frozen valdalia onions. When they are in season, I chop pounds of them, wrap them in individual plastic packets and then double bag them in freezer bags. They are great for use in cooking – not in raw preps. CLEAN UP TIP: I use a plastic bag to collect all the prep trash as I work — easy to throw away and keeps the kitchen clean! prep_trash
  2. Put the veggies into the crock pot – they need to go on the bottom. Don’t plug the crock in yet. veg_crock
  3. Next make a marinade for the meat (you could do this before chopping the veggies if you wish). roast_marinade For this marinade I use garlic powder, nutmeg, torn up bay leaves, salt, pepper and olive oil. Rinse the roast and pat dry. Put the roast into the marinade and coat all sides of the roast.
  4. Sear the roast on all sides. Heat the pan until drops of water sizzle away and then put the roast in – make sure you watch it and turn it to another side after it gets a nice color – don’t burn it. roast_sear2 
  5. Put the roast atop the veggies in the crock roast_veg_crock
  6. Add some liquid. Here is where I cheat :) . I use a can of Campbell’s Chunky Soup with another half can of water. Imparts alot of flavor without much fat!chunky_soup
  7. Put the lid on the crockpot and set to Low for 6 hours. roast_crock_time
  8. Remove the roast and let it rest for about 15 minutes. In the meantime, transfer the veggies and broth into a large serving dish.
  9. Slice the roast as you wish and place atop the veggies and broth.
  10. Serve with your favorite starch – mashed potatoes, noodles or stuffing. Note: if you used potatoes in the crockpot, you won’t need a side starch.

Enjoy