This is comfort food at its best, ladies and gentleman. When it’s cold and dreary out, one of my favorite things to do is throw a bunch of delicious things into the slow cooker, set it, and FORGET IT for about 6-8 hours. This pot roast fits the bill. Adding a silky, beefy gravy and piling it all on top of crispy golden French fries makes it too good to handle.
Paula Deen is one of the culinary mothers of southern comfort food IMO, and so I turn to her recipe as my base (find it here) with a few of my own modifications because I have yet to find anything better! If you are watching your sodium intake, you might want to skip this recipe and move right along… This one’s a cheat meal, folks.
You start with a big, beautiful chuck roast like this one, and you sear it on the stove top:
Few moments in life are as satisfying as flipping over a hunk of beef and discovering that you successfully crushed the searing game. Liberal seasoning and a VERY hot pan is key.
Then you’re going to set aside your meat and saute onion slices and garlic cloves in that leftover beef fat. It’s called #FlavorTown (thanks Guy Fieri!)
Those will be placed into the slow cooker on top of the roast with some bay leaves because #EverybodyInThePool. Did you know that most recipes call for one or two bay leaves, but in reality you need to DOUBLE that in order to get the full effect of their flavor??
Then the magic happens – the key to the rich, deep flavors of this roast is the mixture of goodness that gets poured over it just before popping the lid on. It’s red wine, cream of mushroom soup, Worcestershire sauce, and beef bouillon. Wow.
It looks like a pretty gross concoction at this point, but trust me – it’s EVERYTHING. Like I said, this is NOT a low sodium recipe, don’t judge me!!
Everything cooks low and slow while you go on about your business (adding potatoes, carrots, and mushrooms shortly before completion), then you will pull out the fall-off-the-bone tender meat and some of the veggies, immersion blend the remaining liquid and veggies into the world’s tastiest gravy, and serve on top of your favorite fries! Top with giardiniera for spice mmm.
Pot Roast Fries with Gravy
1 3-4 lb chuck roast
2 tbs canola oil
1 cup thinly sliced onions
6 cloves garlic, crushed
4 bay leaves
1 10 3/4 oz can cream of mushroom soup
1/4 cup red wine
2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 tbs beef bouillon granules
3/4 cup water
1 lb white mushrooms, halved
3 large carrots, chopped
2 potatoes, chopped
1 lb French fries*
Fresh cracked black pepper
*I highly recommend this Serious Eats recipe for perfect homemade French fries. J made ours, and they were fast food delicious.
- Liberally season your roast on each side with salt and pepper (the roast should be at room temperature). Heat the canola oil over medium-high heat, and sear both sides of the roast in a large pan. Remove the roast from the pan, and set it aside in the slow cooker.
- Add the onions and garlic cloves to the pan in the beef fat. Saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the contents of the pan to the slow cooker on top of the beef. Add the bay leaves on top of the onions.
- In a medium bowl, combine the red wine, Worcestershire sauce, beef bouillon granules, and mushroom soup. Pour over top the roast in the slow cooker. Add the water.
- Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours depending on your desired level of tenderness (adding the potatoes, mushrooms, and carrots at about the 4-5 hour mark).
- Remove the meat and half of the vegetables from the slow cooker and set them aside. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Using an immersion blender, blend together the leftover liquid and vegetables in the slow cooker.
- Pile your French fries (homemade or store-bought) onto your plates, top with a layer of gravy, add the pot roast meat and veggies, pour on another layer of gravy, and top with as much giardiniera as you like!