No Envelope Pot Roast

Like so many other people lately, I have become addicted to Pinterest. I love that I can pull up a myriad of recipe ideas with a simple keyword. A few nights ago I was looking for a good hearty pot roast with a rich brown gravy sauce. I love my pot roast recipe, but I was just in the mood for something a little different. However, I was dismayed to find that every single pot roast recipe was practically the same thing – the 3 envelope pot roast. Now, I’m not opposed to using pre-made mixes and spices occasionally, but the idea of using 3 packets of preservative filled powdered mix is not what I had in mind, and I’m not a fan of ranch dressing anyway; so I decided to just make something on my own. I am so glad that I did. This is hands down the most delicious pot roast I have ever made, and probably that I’ve ever eaten. No joke. It’s easy too! No preservatives, no dyes, no hidden msg or dehydrated soybean oil, just good wholesome ingredients. Bon Appétit!

-Pot Roast and Gravy-
Dried porcini mushrooms (1/2 oz)
1 cup of flour
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Kosher salt
2 cups of beef broth
Grapeseed or similar oil
1 chuck roast (mine was 3 lbs)
1 large onion
A bag of baby carrots or 6 large carrots peeled and chopped

Start by powdering your porcini mushrooms – I used a hand held food processor.
(Note* I am not a mushroom fan, I can’t handle the texture, but trust me when I say this provides an amazing depth and flavor to the dish, but you would never know it was mushroom)

It’s ready when it looks like this

Then mix your mushroom “powder” with the flour, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper and pour it onto a large platter that will be big enough to fit the roast you have.

Now heat up a heavy bottomed pan – like cast iron or a dutch oven – on medium/high heat on your stove top.

While your pan is heating season your chuck roast with a little bit of oil and some kosher salt – be generous with the salt.

Then oil/season the top side, and flip it over to coat that side as well. Knead the flour into the meat with your fingers to get as much of the flour mixture absorbed in as you can. Save the rest of the flour.

Once you have it completely dredged, return to your now hot pan and add 2 – 3 tablespoons of oil.

Let the oil heat for a moment (but not so long that it starts to smoke) and then carefully (with tongs!) place your roast in the pan. Let it sear for 30 – 60 seconds, and then flip it over and repeat on the other side.

When a brown crust has formed turn off the heat and transfer the roast to your crock pot, scrape the drippings off the bottom of the pan and add them as well.

Now take the rest of the leftover flour mixture and sprinkle it evenly over the roast.

If you haven’t already coarsely chopped your onion and carrots, now is the time to do that. Once you have, add them on top of the meat.

Now pour the 2 cups of beef broth over the vegetables.

And that’s it! Cover with the lid and turn the crock pot on high, and resist the urge to open for a peak for the next few hours.

After about 6 hours open the lid and check the meat with a fork. If there’s still some resistance replace the lid for another hour or so. If the meat easily pulls apart then it is ready.

You will see that the roast will be fairly liquidy still. If you prefer this, simply taste for seasonings, and then go ahead and enjoy it now, but that wasn’t what I was after. I wanted a creamy, thicker, brown gravy consistency, so I left the lid off to allow the liquid to condense.

Note* At this point I placed a large strainer inside a large glass bowl, and then dumped the contents of the slow cooker into the strainer, removing all the liquid from the meat and returned the meat and vegetables to the crockpot. I then poured all of my liquid into a fat separator like this, and returned only the juices to the crockpot, discarding the grease that floated to the top. This is not necessary, but I prefer not to have a layer of fat floating at the top of my food, and would highly recommend investing in one of these little gadgets!

I like my gravy rather thick, so before adding the liquid back to the pot I sprinkled some flour and mixed it in, but that’s personal preference!

After another two hours of cooking without the lid, the gravy was finally the consistency that I was looking for.

Instead of roasting potatoes with the meat I chose to serve it over freshly made mashed potatoes.

Mmmm-mmm! Come to mama!

I chose to shred the meat a bit and mix it with the gravy, but you can serve it in “chunks” topped with the gravy if you prefer. It’ll be delicious either way.

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoy! If you do choose to make this meal I would love to hear your feedback!