Now that the holidays are over and we’re all working towards our Farm Fresh New Year’s Resolutions, how about preparing our Simple Slow-Cooker Pot Roast Recipe made with locally-raised grass-fed beef shoulder? A slow-simmered all-in-one meal sounds perfectly tantalizing after the fuss of the holidays, and using all local ingredients from our farmers’ market makes it a smart and healthier meal choice.
For this recipe, we chose a grass-fed Beaverdam Creek Farm beef shoulder roast that melted in our mouths after a morning in the slow-cooker. Beaverdam Creek Farm raises their cattle without antibiotics or growth stimulants and feeds them a diet of natural green grass, ensuring a happy herd and a healthful cut of meat for you and your family. Beaverdam Creek Farm offers a wide selection of freshly-harvested produce as well, so we grabbed a few sweet potatoes to accompany our hearty meal as a side dish.
To begin our pot roast, we started with two very important s’s — salt and searing! Liberally sprinkling salt and pepper to both sides of our shoulder roast and searing it in a hot skillet ensures beautiful browning and maximum flavor. This step can always be skipped, but why not go the extra mile when the remainder of the recipe is so simple?
While our roast browned, we turned to our vegetables. We opted for staples such as bright orange carrots and tasty turnips from Colvin Family Farm and meaty shitake mushrooms from Bloomin’ Shrooms, LLC, that we sliced and added to really boost the earthiness of the roast.
Begin building your roast by slicing 1 large onion and adding it to the bottom of your slow-cooker, then place the Beaverdam Creek Farm shoulder roast on top. Next, nestle in the carrots and turnips, and top the whole shebang with shitake mushrooms.
Now comes the question of liquid. We prefer to add about 1 cup of liquid to our pot roasts, because — you guessed it — we love to make gravy! Adding a bit of liquid results in more juicy goodness that can be whisked into a roux and simmered down after the pot roast has finished. (We added 1/4 cup of red table wine and 3/4 cup of beef stock.)
Set your slow-cooker to 4-6 hours for a 2-3 pound roast and 8-10 hours for a 3-5 pounder. If possible, stir the contents in between once or twice to ensure the top of your roast and all those lovely shitakes so not dry out.
Once your pot roast is tender and succulent, remove the meat, carrots, turnips, and shitakes with a pair of tongs, and strain and reserve the juices. Create a pan gravy by cooking 1 tablespoon butter or vegetable oil with 1 tablespoon flour in a skillet and then whisking in the juices until a smooth glistening gravy comes together.
To accompany our pot roast, we thought we’d select one of the many green vegetables available right now during our winter market. Both Delvin Farms and Kirkview Farm have beautiful brussel sprouts that we pan-browned with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Instead of traditional mashed potatoes, we roasted our Beaverdam Creek sweet potatoes whole in the oven at 400 degrees for 1 hour until they were gooey and candy-like. We prefer to mash these gems as-is, but they’re delicious with a little Hatcher Family Dairy cream and brown sugar if you like them extra-sweet, or plenty of salt and pepper for a more savory sweet potato mash. Voila!
With every pot roast the question of leftovers arises, and with all the skilled bakers at the Franklin Farmers Market, a drippy, crusty sandwich is the way to go. We love to spoon our succulent pot roast and creamy pan gravy onto loaves of freshly-baked Jones Mill Farm Italian bread. Top with a wad of fried onions and chopped leftover brussel sprouts, and you’ve got a second delicious meal of leftovers that is just as savory as the first.
Simple Slow-Cooker Pot Roast Recipe
1 Beaverdam Creek Farm beef shoulder roast
2-3 Beaverdam Creek sweet potatoes
1 pint Delvin Farms or Kirkview Farm brussel sprouts
1 pound of mixed carrots and turnips from Colvin Family Farm
1 quart Bloomin’ Shrooms, LLC shitake mushrooms, sliced
1 large onion
1 loaf Jones Mill Farm Italian loaf
1/4 cup red wine (optional)
3/4 cup beef stock (optional)
1 tablespoon butter or oil for gravy
1 tablespoon flour for gravy
salt and pepper