Slow Cooker Guinness Pot Roast
Today, we're making Slow Cooker Guinness Pot Roast!
Slow cooker meals while you're working from home are an equal mix of pleasure and torture, especially when your work station is in the kitchen like mine. But, it is all worth the distractions from the heavenly smells wafting around you all day long for the rich, tender, incredible meal that awaits you.
To start, we need a big ol' hunk of chuck roast. Chuck roast is a fairly inexpensive cut of beef that is perfect for slow cooking. The time it spends braising away in its flavorful beefy bath really helps it become a melt in your mouth piece of meat.
In order to make sure we're getting as much flavor as possible out of our meat, we're going to generously coat it in salt and pepper, and give it a good sear in some canola oil before we transfer the meat to the slow cooker. Browning the meat first really helps to deepen and lock in that delicious beefy flavor. If you're in a major hurry, you could skip this step. But, I highly recommend taking the extra few minutes to give our roast a beautifully golden crust.
After we get our seared beef in the slow cooker, we're going to top it with lots of delicious veggies. Some onion, celery, potatoes, and carrots all get layered right over top our meat. Pro tip, I like to use baby potatoes and baby carrots for this recipe, because there's a lot less prep work. For the baby potatoes, all we need to do is cut them in half and throw them straight in with the skin on. And even easier, the baby carrots can go right in as they are! If you're using up potatoes and carrots that you already have, you could certainly use full sized veggies and chop them up. But, the baby veggies are just too easy.
Once our meat and veg are in the slow cooker, we need to give them a super flavorful bath to soak in all day. To do this, we'll take some beef stock, some stout beer, plenty of garlic, a little mustard, some worcestershire sauce, a few spices, and a hint of brown sugar; then we'll whisk them all together, and pour it all over everything in our slow cooker. From there, the lid goes on, and the beef enjoys an 8 hour spa day.
Now, a few things to note about the beef stock here. First, don't forget to reserve some beef stock in the fridge so we can thicken our sauce later. We can't cheat and use our cooking liquid, because the cornstarch will get all weird and clumpy if we mix it with hot liquid instead of cold. Second, not all stocks are created equal. Different brands have different sodium levels which will yield different results in the final product. This is one of those times that I don't recommend using unsalted beef broth. We actually need that extra savory flavor from the sodium to soak into our meat. But either way, we're going to taste and season this meat at the end of cooking, so we'll have a perfectly finished product at the end.
After our meat has finished cooking, we'll remove any glaring fatty pieces from the meat, transfer our meat to a serving platter, and strain the cooking liquid through a strainer to remove any particles and into a saucepan. Then we'll bring that to a simmer, mix our chilled beef stock with some cornstarch to create a slurry, whisk that in, and let the gravy slightly thicken. This doesn't become a super thick gravy, but it will have just enough body to coat our gorgeous meat in the most luxurious way.
The meat will fall apart as you transfer it to its serving platter, so it will naturally create portions for you. So we'll load up our platter with our beef and veggies, and we'll smother it all in that beautifully rich sauce. This is a little bit of a brown dish, so adding some fresh parsley for garnish gives this dish the exact pop of color and freshness the dish needs.
This meal is so hearty. The beef is soft and melts in your mouth. The veggies are tender with just enough bite. And, the gravy is absolutely everything. It's rich and velvety. It's slightly sweet but has a little tang from the beer. It's perfectly savory. And, it's the perfect texture for dipping some buttered bread in once all your meat and veggies are gone.
Talk about a big ol' plate of comfort food!
Ok, everyone. This is what I'll be having on St. Patrick's day, for sure. What's on your menus??
As always, enjoy! And, let's eat!
Slow Cooker Guinness Pot Roast
- 2.5-3 lbs chuck roast
- 1 tbsp salt, plus more to taste
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 cup baby carrots
- 1 onion, sliced
- 2 ½ lbs baby red potatoes, halved
- 1 cup + 3 tbsp beef stock, divided
- 1 bottle (12 oz) stout beer (I used Guinness)
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp stone ground mustard
- ½ tbsp worcestershire sauce
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp paprika
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- minced parsley, for garnish
- Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Season chuck roast all over the top, bottom, and sides with 1 tbsp salt and 1 tsp pepper. Once the oil starts to shimmer in the pan, add the meat. Sear for 6-7 minutes per side, until the beef forms a brown crust. Transfer meat to a 6 qt slow cooker.
- Add 1 cup beef stock, beer, garlic, mustard, worcestershire, brown sugar, and paprika to a large measuring cup or mixing bowl. Whisk well to combine. Set aside. Refrigerate remaining 3 tbsp of beef stock.
- Add carrots, celery, onion, and potatoes to the slow cooker. Season the veggies with salt, to taste. Pour the liquid mix all over the meat and veggies in the slow cooker. Cook on Low for 8 hrs.
- After 8 hours, transfer the meat and veggies to a serving platter. Strain the cooking liquid through a fine mesh strainer into a medium saucepan. Bring the liquid to a simmer over medium high heat. Mix 3 tbsp chilled beef stock with the cornstarch until it's smooth. Whisk cornstarch slurry into the simmering stock, and continue whisking until the liquid is slightly thickened, about 1 min. Taste for seasoning, and add salt, if desired. Pour the gravy over the meat and potatoes. Garnish with parsley. Serve!
- *This meat does best cooked in the the slow cooker on Low. You can cook on High for about 4 hrs if you're really pressed for time, but the meat will not be as tender.
- *Searing the meat before putting it in the slow cooker adds a nice extra layer of flavor. You can skip this step if you need to, but I think it's worth the extra few minutes of work.
- *You can use sliced carrots in place of the baby carrots or yukon gold potatoes in place of the red potatoes.