Slow Cooker Pot Roast (Sans the Processed Stuff) {Freezer Meal}


Pot Roast with no processed ingredients. Just real food that's really good!

I try my hardest to cook from scratch and avoid processed foods when possible.  My favorite Pot Roast recipe from the past included a brown gravy packet mix and Italian dressing packet mix…bummer! So, I began the search for how to create one without the use of those packets (full of MSG, sodium, and who knows what) or a “cream of something” soup, which is what 99% of the recipes online call for.

Pot Roast with no processed ingredients. Just real food that's really good!

I realize there are many paths to an excellent homemade roast, but this one I researched and have tested MANY times over the years. This real food Pot Roast, along with some Homemade Wheat Sandwich Bread to sop up the sauce, might well be my favorite comfort meal of all time.

Pot Roast with no processed ingredients. Just real food that's really good!Photo credit: My dad, Curt

Slow Cooker Pot Roast (Sans the Processed Stuff)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: Serves: 8-10
Ingredients
  • 2-3 pounds rump roast (trim off visible fat)
  • all-natural steak seasoning
  • olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 (8 ounces) no-salt tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup red wine
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon whole wheat flour
  • 3-5 large carrots, chopped into 1-inch pieces (or about 2 cups)
  • 4-6 medium russet potatoes, chopped into 1-inch pieces (or about 5-7 cups)
Instructions
  1. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Season the roast on all sides with steak seasoning and brown on all sides. This takes about 2 minutes per side. Place roast in slow cooker.
  3. Next, add a little more olive oil (if necessary) to the pan and saute onions, celery, and garlic until tender, about 3-5 minutes. While sauteing veggies, lightly season with salt and pepper. Be sure to use a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits in the bottom, as this adds flavor.
  4. Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl, whisk together tomato sauce, red wine, chicken stock, bay leaf, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, black pepper, salt, and whole wheat flour. Pour over meat in the slow cooker.
  5. Add the onion/celery/garlic mixture to the slow cooker. Stir everything around, making sure all the veggies and meat are coated with sauce.
  6. Slow cook on low for 4-5 hours (or longer if desired). Then, add carrots and potatoes to sauce in slow cooker and cook another 2 hours, or until vegetables are tender.
  7. Remove the roast and let rest on wooden cutting board for about 10 minutes (or turn off slow cooker, remove lid and let rest). Then shred using two forks. Gently stir the meat back into the veggies and sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed.
Notes
Freezer Meal Instructions:
Fully cook and cool pot roast (do not leave out of refrigerator or freezer more than 2 hours). Place in a freezer bag or freezer-safe container. Try to remove as much air as possible and seal and/or wrap it well before placing in the freezer.
To reheat, thaw for 24-48 hours in the refrigerator (preferred method) or in the microwave using the defrost setting. Then, warm over low to medium-low heat on the stove, gently stirring occasionally.




Comments

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  4. Stacey Howard says

    Am I right to assume that after slow cooking you would portion this, then freeze?
    Many thanks

    • Rachel says

      Yes, that’s what I usually do. Make sure to wrap it up tightly.

  5. Elissa says

    Okay, i just finished preparing this for dinner tonight. I made 2 (hopefully small modifications): 1. Instead of wine I used beer. Why you ask? Well, the wine I purchased for this recipe magically disappeared 2 nights ago (I think my fiance felt he needed it more than the pot roast). We had a couple of craft beers left over from the other night so I used about 3/4 cup. 2. Instead of whole wheat flour I used spelt flour. I do realize the flour is the thickening agent and we do not use traditional wheat products at home, i didn’t research it first, but I’m hoping the spelt flour will have a similar effect on the meat.

    All of the prep was easy and fast, it smells wonderful already! I cannot wait to have this for dinner tonight!

  6. Melody says

    Would it be okay to leave out the red wine? It’s not something I typically have (we don’t drink wine at all and I don’t generally cook with it either).

    • Rachel says

      Absolutely. It adds some flavor but definitely not necessary. Note: Do not add red wine vinegar in place, though. It will not add the same flavor at all.

  7. CYNTHIA GARCIA says

    How long is this pot roast good in the freezer for?….3 months?

    • Rachel says

      I would say 3 months is fine if it is tightly wrapped and stored well. Most sources say you can keep meals longer in a deep freeze–up to 6 months. To be honest, I’ve eaten a meal like this up to a year later! But, I wouldn’t recommend that. 🙂

  8. Maria says

    I’m expecting my first baby in about a month and I think it’s about time I got serious about freezing meals! What sort of container should I use to store this in? I don’t want to cook a bunch of meals and then be devastated at the results when I thaw them. 🙁

    And would I thaw this in the refrigerator? Sorry, I’m such a noob! 🙂

  9. Katrina says

    Do you cook enough to shred with fork before freezing?

    • Rachel says

      Yes, you’ll want to shred it before freezing and then add all the liquid to it. To warm, put in a low oven or on the stove top over low. You may need to add a little more stock at that point, if it needs more moisture.

  10. Diana says

    So excited to try out and freeze your recipes before baby arrives! If I want some for dinner and some to freeze, do I need to double the recipe or are all of your recipes enough for both purposes?

    • Rachel says

      Thanks! Most of my recipes make 4-6 servings (enough for my family), but some make more. Just be sure to check the number of servings on the recipe. Most of them have it.

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  12. brittney says

    I am loving how this recipe is making my house smell! I’m a new cook, and I always double guess my own cooking.. Is there enough liquid in the crock pot to cook down everything?

    • Rachel says

      Oh yes, it’ll be perfect if you followed the directions. And, honestly, it’s hard to mess this one up. It’ll be great even if you didn’t follow it perfectly. I make this often!

  13. Emma says

    What kind of steak seasoning and italian seasoning did you use to avoid the packets? Do you have a receipt for them if you made them yourself?

    • Rachel says

      The Italian Seasoning is just a mix of real herbs in the spice section. Steak seasoning is a little more tricky to find an all-natural version. But I’ve found that Emeril’s All-Natural Steak Seasoning is really good; just beware, it makes me sneeze like crazy though!

  14. Marcy says

    Do you freeze the cooked vegetable as well? I am wondering about the potatoes. Is there a noticeable change in their texture?

    • Rachel says

      You know, there is a little textural change. But as long as it’s covered in liquid from the soup while frozen and warmed slowly once it’s thawed, we still really enjoy it.

  15. Sarah says

    This sounds like an awesome recipe! Do you think one could use sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes?

    • Rachel says

      Oh sure, sweet potatoes would be fine!

  16. Arma Jo Zimmerman says

    Looks scrumptious. Do you ever reheat in a crockpot? I leave the house for about three to four hours every Sunday and would love to come home to this all done.

    • Rachel says

      It’s seriously delicious. I think you could reheat in the crockpot on maybe the warm setting. I’m afraid the low setting for several hours might overcook it though.

  17. Christina says

    For doing this recipe I would like to portion this recipe in two and freeze before cooking so the day of I can put it in the crockpot to cook during the day. If I were to do it this way, so you think I could cook it to the point where you add the carrots and potatoes and then freeze it all together. The day of I could cook it the rest of the way?

    • Rachel says

      I really can’t say without testing. It would only need to slow cook for a few hours at that point. What if you fully cooked the whole thing, cooled it, divided it into smaller portions, and then froze those? Then, it’s just a matter of thawing in the fridge overnight and warming it up the next day. Just an idea.

  18. Bethany says

    I keep having a hard time with this recipe. I love the flavor but my meat always turns out tough. I can’t shred it, I always have to cut it with a knife. And my potatoes and carrots aren’t soft. 🙁

    • Rachel says

      Darn, I hate that. I would say cook it on low and longer then. Every slow cooker is different. Also, what cut of meat are you using? Sometimes the ones with more marbling (fat!) shred more easily.

  19. Liz says

    Even though I did not have celery at hand (but i still wanted to try this), it turned out delicious. Thank you.

    • Rachel says

      Awesome! It’s so easy to sub out ingredients in this recipe. Glad it was a success for you, Liz.

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