This classic pot roast recipe cooked in the slow cooker is fall-apart tender and full of so much flavor.
Everyone needs a pot roast recipe for family dinners and special occasions and this is mine! The pot roast is cooked in the slow cooker for most of the day along with fresh herbs, onions, garlic and carrots. By the time it’s done, it’s so tender you can pull it apart with your fork (and go ahead, sneak yourself a taste while you’re at it).
I love this pot roast because it’s such a winner of a meal, but also so easy to make! Make a quick gravy with the intensely flavorful broth and serve it all over the best mashed potatoes for a completely comforting and satisfying meal.
Pot roast ingredients
Here’s what you’ll need to make this slow cooker pot roast:
- 3-4 lb beef roast
- Beef broth
- Fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme and/or sage
What is the best cut of beef for pot roast?
Tougher, lean cuts of beef actually make for the best pot roast, as all that time simmering breaks it down and tenderizes it (read this article from The Kitchn for more info). Look for the following cuts when shopping for a roast:
- Chuck (from the front of the animal)— Labeled as chuck roast, shoulder steak, boneless chuck roast, chuck shoulder pot roast.
- Brisket (from the chest)— Either the flat cut or point cut.
- Round (from the rear leg)— Look for rump roast or bottom round.
Tips for making the best pot roast
- Do not skip the searing step! This is so important for the best flavor, and definitely worth the extra 10 minutes and dirty pan.
- Once the meat is seared, add the broth to the pan to release all the browned bits from the bottom. This will give the gravy and pot roast even more flavor.
- I like to use fresh herbs when I make roasts, but dried herbs will work too. I use whatever I have, usually rosemary, thyme and/or sage.
- The vegetables cooked along with this pot roast are to flavor the pot roast, and aren’t necessarily meant to be served with it. But that’s completely up to you! The carrots can be a little mushy after all that cooking time, so often I’ll discard everything but the meat and broth and make another vegetable side.
- I prefer to serve pot roast with mashed potatoes instead of cooking potatoes along with the pot roast, as potatoes tend to get mushy also.
- You can opt out of making the gravy and instead serve the pot roast with the broth as-is, but this easy homemade gravy is done in just a few minutes and takes this meal to the next level!
Shop tools for this recipe
Note: This recipe was originally created for Go Bold With Butter. You can find the original post here.
Slow Cooker Pot Roast
- 3-4 lb boneless beef chuck roast
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoon butter, divided
- 14 oz can (about 2 cups) beef broth
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 3 carrots, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2-3 stems of fresh herbs such as thyme, rosemary and sage
- 1 tablespoon flour
- Generously season the roast with salt and pepper.
- In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium high heat. Add the seasoned roast and brown on 2 or more sides for several minutes on each side. Transfer roast to a 6-quart sized or larger slow cooker.
- Pour beef broth into the hot skillet and use a spatula to scrape up all the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Pour the broth into the slow cooker and add the onions, carrots, garlic cloves, and herbs.
- Cover slow cooker with lid and cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 6-8 hours, or until roast shreds easily with a fork.
- Remove roast from slow cooker and cover to keep warm.
- Dump the broth and vegetables through a strainer, reserving the broth. Use a spoon to skim as much fat off the top of the broth as possible. Set aside vegetables to serve with roast, if desired.
- To make gravy, add the remaining tablespoon of butter to a skillet set over medium heat. Once melted, add the flour and whisk together. Add the broth to the skillet and whisk constantly until smooth. Bring to a boil and continue to whisk until thickened, about 2 minutes.
- Shred roast and serve with gravy over mashed potatoes, or as desired.