On a cold and blustery day in Nebraska, there is nothing better that coming home to a dinner that is almost ready. Especially when there are still places to go and dinner needs to be on the table as quickly as possible. Beef pot roast is the perfect meal for nights like this. Once the beef is cooked, the finishing touches take only about 10 minutes and the meal is ready to go. Just add a hearty loaf of bread to soak up the gravy and you have a meal that will satisfy the biggest hunger.
Beef roasts are perfectly suited for the crockpot. The slow, moist cooking method ensures the beef will become very tender. Even the toughest cuts of beef can be used for this meal. I prefer a chuck roast, but any roast will work. The key to tenderizing the beef is to cook it long and low. I usually cook mine on the low setting for at least 12 hours (sometimes as long as 16). This process breaks down the connective tissue in the meat, resulting in a very tender roast that will fall apart due to its tenderness.
Root vegetables are ideal for this dish because they can stand up to the long cooking times. Potatoes and carrots, the usual accompaniments for pot roast, cook in the same liquid as the beef, allowing them to absorb the flavors of the meat. On this instance, I added some parsnips that were in my refrigerator. At the end of 12 hours of cooking time, the vegetables were very tender but still held their shape.
Beef Pot Roast
3-4 lb beef roast
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
5 potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4" cubes
1 lb baby carrots
4 parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2" pieces
1 envelope powdered onion soup mix
1 cup water
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
Salt and pepper. to taste