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How to Make a Pot Roast Like Mama Used to Make

Updated on May 12, 2015
Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran is a writer & former newspaper reporter/editor who traveled the world as a soldier's better half. Her works are on Amazon.

5 stars from 2 ratings of Pot Roast

Her secret was using a crock pot.

Sunday wasn't Sunday without a pot roast for dinner. For years my Mother worried if the preacher went too long with his sermon her pot roast at home in the oven would be the Sabbath's burnt sacrifice by the time her family got home.

Those fears were banished forever with the invention of the crock pot. The longer the roast slowly cooked, the better it turned out. The test for a great roast was whether or not it fell apart when you cut it for serving.

I don't know of a more delicious way to cook vegetables (especially carrots) than in the pot along with the roast. They simply absorb the flavors of the beef and spices as the hours go by.

Homemade rolls, crescent rolls, or plain old sliced white bread and butter are the perfect complement to the meal. (It also comes in handy for sopping up the extra gravy.)

Don't get discouraged if the gravy doesn't turn out exactly right the first time you try to make it. Gravy-making is not an exact science and takes a fair amount of trial and error to master. Even old hands at it mess it up from time to time, usually because a phone call, a crying child, or an unexpected visitor right at mealtime distracts her attention. Never walk away from gravy in the process of being made. It doesn't take long for it to turn out right and takes even less time for it to turn out wrong.

I always make more of this dish than I know will be eaten at one meal. The leftovers make absolutely the best soup in the world.


Thanks, Grandma, for another great meal!

Cook Time

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 6 hours
Ready in: 6 hours 30 min
Yields: Serves four hungry adults

Ingredients

  • 1/4 pound per serving Chuck Roast, for Pot Roast
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter, for browning meat
  • To taste Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Celery Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Lawry's Seasoning
  • 1 large Onion, Cut in quarters
  • 4 large Potatoes, Cut in quarters
  • 4 large Carrots, Cut into bite-size
  1. Brown the roast in butter on all sides, good and crispy
  2. Peel and cut onion and carrots and potatoes. (Potatoes may be used unpeeled.)
  3. Put all ingredients in a crock pot with spices.
  4. Cover and set crock pot on low setting
  5. Roast should fall apart when cut
  6. Use roast drippings for flour-based gravy.
  7. Make a rue with 1 Tablespoon drippings, 1 Tablespoon four for each person. Combine on medium heat in frying pan. Reduce heat and add drippings to make amount of gravy desired. Taste with a piece of bread to test flavor and thickness. Use water or milk instead of additional drippings to reduce the grease in the gravy.
  8. Correction for step 7: 1 Tablespoon drippings, 1 Tablespoon flour for each person.

Comments

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    • Kathleen Cochran profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathleen Cochran 

      3 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      One of things I remember about my Mom on Mother's Day this year.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathleen Cochran 

      13 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      In this hot weather, making a pot roast might be the last thing you would consider doing. With this recipe, you don't have to turn on your oven or stand over a hot stove. Enjoy!

    • Kathleen Cochran profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathleen Cochran 

      3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      My mother in law used to turn out the most amazing dishes using her pressure cooker - and in half the time in would otherwise take. I just need to learn to use one!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      3 years ago from Florida

      I like a pressure cooker because you can buy cheap cuts of meat and after cooking in the Pressure cooker, they are very nice and tender. If you use one with common sense and care, they are nothing to be scared of!

    • Kathleen Cochran profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathleen Cochran 

      3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      mary615: Pressure cookers are the original "magic" for making a great pot roast. I think a crock pot is for those of us who didn't grow up using the other tool. They scare me, but I know good cooks swear by them.

      Country-Sunshine: Give this a try. It takes all day, but all the work is done in about a half hour. Let me know how yours turns out.

    • Country-Sunshine profile image

      Country Sunshine 

      3 years ago from Texas

      My mom always made the best pot roast! She cooked hers in the oven, and I've never mastered it that way. I'll have to try one in the crock pot with your recipe. If it is half as good as Mother's, it will be a winner!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      3 years ago from Florida

      I make a pot roast once a week. I make enough to freeze in serving sized containers for later dinners.

      I don't have a crock pot; I use a pressure cooker to cook the meat, then add the veggies later on.

      Voted UP, etc. and shared.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathleen Cochran 

      4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      CC: How do you make your gravy?

    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 

      4 years ago

      Oh this sounds so good. It sure is bringing back memories. I do make a mean potroast, but this sounds even better!

    • Kathleen Cochran profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathleen Cochran 

      4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      bearnmom: Turkey was only for those holidays in our house too. We had ham more often then Easter, but absolutely for Easter (with banana pudding!). Everything is smaller now. I often don't have left overs with roast any more. I have to make extra to have enough for soup too.

    • bearnmom profile image

      Laura L Scotty 

      4 years ago from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

      In our house it was beef and pork roasts and stuffed chicken for Sunday fare. We only had turkey twice a year on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Ham was the meat for Easter. Now I make pot roasts at least twice a week. I used to do it for leftovers and additional meals but lately I only get one meal out of a roast.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathleen Cochran 

      4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      T: I think our Moms must have had more than cooking in common for us to get along so well! Pot Roast on Sunday must have its counterpart in other parts of the world. I know in Italy it's lasagna. Even pizza places have it on Sunday. Wonder what takes its place in other countries?

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 

      4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Pot roast with vegetables in the crock pot is absolutely the best. Your mother and my mother were obviously cut from the same cloth - at least cooking -wise. Momma probably did pot roast two Sundays out of the month. Billy was right the intro with the family story and connection is what ties it all together and makes it a great hub. :) Sharing. Theresa

    • Kathleen Cochran profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathleen Cochran 

      4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      tillsontitan: You put it better than me! Thanks

      DDE: Let me know how it turns out. Hope you do find this a better way for the result you want.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Sound advice and a great suggestion I do make a pot roast occasionally but your way sounds so much better

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Nothin says lovin like a pot roast from the crock pot! You definitely picked a winner Kathleen. Anyone who hasn't tried it definitely needs to for real down home cooking.

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathleen Cochran 

      4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Thanks for the advocacy from experience. Nothing stronger than words from those who have tried this method.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      4 years ago from southern USA

      Nothing better than good pot roast! I use a crock pot too, and it is just great with the vegetables and all right there. Thanks for sharing.

      Voted up +++ and sharing

      God bless, Faith Reaper

    • Kathleen Cochran profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathleen Cochran 

      4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Radcliff: Don't let me mislead you. You do adjust the cooking time depending on how big the roast is. But yes, it is easy and basically you put it on in the a.m. and serve it for dinner/supper/evening meal.

      bearnmom: Thanks for this tip. When I need to thicken gravy I use your trick. It keeps the flour from getting lumpy.

      ChitrangadaSharan: Thank you for recognizing this hub as a tribute to my Mother. I lost her in January. Next I need to do a hub about her butterscotch pie!

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 

      4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      Oh my goodness, I need to make this ASAP. I love pot roast--so flavorful and so simple. I'm glad to see that you cook it for only six hours. I tend to forget that I want to use my crock pot until it's too late in the day! Thanks for sharing!

    • bearnmom profile image

      Laura L Scotty 

      4 years ago from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

      My Dad used a mayonnaise jar, but I bought a Tupperware Gravy Cup. In it you mix water and flour, with just a drop or two of Gravy Master for coloring. Shake it up to mix thoroughly and then let sit until ready to make your gravy. It will separate so you will have to shake just before use. Let your drippings cool a little in a pan and then add as much of your flour mixture as you need to thicken your gravy over a medium flame or medium setting on electric stove. Stir constantly until you get your desired thickness. It will thicken more as it gets cool.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      4 years ago from New Delhi, India

      This sounds delicious! In fact a nice tribute to your Mama.

      Thanks for sharing the details!

    • Kathleen Cochran profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathleen Cochran 

      4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      carol777, billybuc, and bearnmom: Thanks! Carol, you are in for a treat if you haven't had roast this way.

      bearnmom, there is nothing like the affirmation of someone who knows from their own experience. Can you improve on my gravy directions? It's always a roll of the dice if it turns out right or not.

      billybuc: Without a story to go with it, I agree, a recipe is just food. I should add that this meal is best during the cool weather months ahead. Though one of the benefits of using the crock pot is that it doesn't heat up your kitchen like the oven does.

    • bearnmom profile image

      Laura L Scotty 

      4 years ago from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

      I've been making this for years and the best tasting beef cut is Chuck. You have captured the essence of thankfulness for your grandmother's recipe. Good job.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Since I'm a big fan of good introductions I give a big thumbs up to this recipe. You made it interesting with the family anecdote. Well done Kathleen.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      4 years ago from Arizona

      Sounds good.. I never had potroast that sounded so tasty.. Thanks for sharing.

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