Not Your Grandmother’s Pot Roast–Gourmet and Abridged Versions

It’s been a while since I have been on here.  I went through this strange phase where I did not want to cook or go to the grocery store.  I don’t know why, but for some reason it didn’t feel like the thing to do.  But now I’m back with a vengeance!  My dad forwarded me an e-mail from the beef checkoff (the people responsible for “Beef, it’s whats for dinner”) about a recipe contest.  They are asking for the best recipes, and I thought I would enter.  Why not, right?  I was thinking about my best beef recipe, and I think it is my pot roast.  Fortunately, there is a category for revamped retro recipes.  They want you to make an old recipe more modern, healthy, and/or fast.  I decided to take all three challenges on, and try to make a recipe that is modern, can be fast (well, easy to prep in the crock pot), and healthier.  I hope you enjoy my take on it.

As always with my roasts, I have put in rudabegas, turnips, and parsnips.  I know I’ve said this before, but all of you need to grow these in your garden and use them for any roast or stew.  They are so delicious and healthy and easy to grow that they should be used much more widely.

Pot Roast with Mushroom Cream Sauce: Gourmet Version


  1. 3-5 lbs of roast for pot roast.  A chuck is good, as is the 7 bone pot roast, butt, or shoulder.  I used a London Broil (which is a top round) to cut down on the fat.
  2. 2-3 carrots, cut into chunks
  3. 1 small, or 1/2 large, onion, cut into large chunks
  4. 2 russet, or 3-4 small round reds, cut into bite size pieces (peel on).
  5. 1 small turnip, cut into bite size pieces
  6. 1 small rutabaga, cut into bite size pieces
  7. 2 med parsnips (about 2 in diameter at top), cut into chunks
  8. 5 small whole cloves of garlic, or 3 large
  9. 1.5 cups beef broth (or bullion)
  10. 1/4 cup not too sweet red wine (I used a merlot)
  11. 1.5 tsp oregano
  12. 1/2 tsp paprika
  13. 1/4 tsp corriander
  14. 2 bay leaves
  15. salt and pepper
  16. 3 Tbsp ground coffee
  17. 1 Liptons onion soup packet
  18. 1 can low fat cream of mushroom soup
  19. 1/2 lb cremini mushrooms, halved or cut into bite size pieces (depending on how big they are)
  20. 3/4 cup low fat sour cream or plain yogurt
  21. 1 Tbsp butter
  22. 1 Tbsp olive oil


  1. Put a large sautee pan on the stove to preheat over med-low heat.
  2. Chop up your veggies and put them in the bottom of the crock pot. Add in whole garlic cloves too.
  3. Mix together the oregano, paprika, corriander, and salt to taste (or to doctor’s recommendation), about 1/2 tsp.
  4. Pour the seasonings over the veggies, and stir in the crock to distribute seasonings.  Tuck in the bay leaves.
  5. Pour over the broth and wine.
  6. At some point during that process, when the pan is hot, put in a little bit of olive oil.  Season both sides of the beef with salt and pepper and toss on the hot pan to sear on the outside.  Once brown on one side (a couple of minutes), flip to brown the other side.
  7. Put the beef on top of the veggies.  I like to do this so that you are not stewing the meat so deep in the liquid that it boils in it.  The liquid will eventually get high enough to touch it, but this way it roasts more than stews.
  8. In a small bowl, mix together the ground coffee and the Lipton Onion Soup packet.  Rub on one side of the beef, flip over, and rub the remaining on the other side.  (Warning–it turns out that coffee grounds get sticky when you do this.  I still have some stuck to my fingers that I couldn’t scrub off.)
  9. Pour the can of mushroom soup over the beef.
  10. Cook on low in the crock pot 6-8 hrs.
  11. Once the beef is done, take the large sauce pan and melt butter and oil over med heat.  Sautee the mushrooms until they are nice and brown.  Remove the mushrooms to another plate, but keep the goodies in the pan.  Add in a scant Tbsp flour if you like to form a roux with the left over drippings (since mushrooms are so absorbant, you may need to add a little more butter if you want to do this).
  12. Take the beef and veggies out of the crock and put on a platter.  Tent with foil and place in the microwave or oven to keep warm (don’t turn them on.  They are just good, draft free, places to keep it warm).
  13. Ladle or pour the liquid from the crock into the sautee pan.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce and simmer until reduced by about half, or until it is about the thickness you want.  Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
  14. Take off the heat.  Whisk in the sour cream or yogurt quickly so it doesn’t curdle.  Add in the mushrooms and stir to combine.
  15. Pour sauce over roast, enjoy!

Working Mom’s Tuesday Night Pot Roast

Ingredients: Same as above


  1. Weekend Do Ahead: you can pre-chop all your veggies and keep them in a ziplock or tupperware.  You can also pre-measure all the seasonings.
  2. Put in the frozen cut of meat.  Toss in all the veggies, including mushrooms (unless you want to do the sauce).  Put in the seasonings, including the coffee and onion soup mix.  Mix it all together.
  3. Pour the broth, wine, and cream of mushroom soup over everything.
  4. Cook in crock pot on low until you get home from work.
  5. The sauce is optional.  It doesn’t take long to do, so it is a good finishing touch.  So you can do it if you want.  An even easier sauce would be to ladle out half of the liquid from the crock into a saute pan.  Reduce it a little bit on the stove.  Whisk in the sour cream or yogurt, and enjoy.

About dietforfoodies

I am a lawyer who loves to grow, cook, and eat food.
This entry was posted in Beef, Crock Pot, Dinner, Sauces/Dressings, Simple and Quick, Squash/Root Vegetables and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Not Your Grandmother’s Pot Roast–Gourmet and Abridged Versions

  1. Pingback: Lazy Day Pot Roast Recipe « The Cooking Channel

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