Grandma’s Crockpot Pot Roast

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slow cooker pot roast

It’s the week after Memorial Day. Which means you can wear white without subjecting yourself to sartorial ridicule. And you’ve broken that long stretch after President’s Day with no 3 day weekends. And reasonable people start thinking summer! Grilling! Beach Volleyball! (apologies to my Australian readers. I have an admittedly northernhemispheric outlook here).

The weather in Los Angeles seems to have missed the memo. I know you non-Angelenos are quite confused, because this is Southern California, where it is 75 and sunny every blessed day. Daytime is lovely this time of year (or the daylight I can spy from my cubicle seems to be), but mornings and evenings are beset with the annual “May Gray” which will soon turn into “June Gloom”. It is foggy, cold and decidedly chilly.

Which is why pot roast is an eminently reasonable thing to cook this time of year, although it doesn’t scream summer. A nice warming hearty dish is just the thing to cut through the dreariness (or fog-shrouded mysterious noirishness, depending on your outlook) of dinnertime this time of year.

I will offer an additional disclaimer that I hope you know me well enough by now that you know this is not the type of recipe I typically espouse. Name brand ingredients are definitely not my thing, and these particular ones just reek of a certain type of “can of soup” semi-homemadishness that right thinking foodies despise. But, but …

This is a family recipe. It came from my grandmother (you can tell it’s from my family by the addition of liquor. What can I say? We’re WASPs. Liquid lunch isn’t just a saying) and it tastes good (if a wee bit salty. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. But I like salty, it has its place. A somewhat prominent place, if you ask me.) It’s easy, it’s quick, and, besides, I secretly love semi-arcane retrograde recipes that smack of a different era before anyone knew of the evils of high fructose corn syrup.

Just don’t tell Michael Pollan, OK?

Enough apologies. This is my grandmother’s recipe for pot roast, and you know what? It’s delicious.

No Fail Crockpot Pot Roast
Serves: 6
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • 1 2-3 lb. pot roast (chuck will do, but I like brisket best, and I usually make this when I find it on sale)
  • 1 -2 c. carrots, cut into rounds
  • 1 can Campbell's Golden Mushroom Soup (NOT Cream of Mushroom. And I wish I could say "Oh, it's so easy to make at home!" or "This is a substitute!" but nope. Golden Mushroom it is. Also, it needs to be condensed.).
  • 1 package dried Onion Soup Mix (this can be any brand. Classic, is of course, Lipton's. And if you figure out how to make this at home from scratch, please let me know.)
  • ¼ c. bourbon.
  1. Brown the meat on both sides in a hot skillet.
  2. Place the carrots in your crock pot. Put the browned meat on top of the carrots. Pour the soups over the meat, and kind of mush them together so they're all mixed.
  3. Turn your crockpot on, on low, cover, and let cook for 8-10 hours. (This can also be done in a 300 degree oven for 3 hours). In the last 30 minutes of cooking, add the bourbon (optional).
  4. Take out the meat, slice against the grain (or try to, I end up always shredding mine), and serve with carrots and gravy, and a nice, not salty starch to sop up the extra gravy.


  1. alice May 28, 2009
  2. Victoria May 29, 2009
  3. Esi May 29, 2009
  4. Memoria May 30, 2009
  5. Elyse May 30, 2009
  6. Sara @ Culinerapy May 30, 2009
  7. TheKitchenWitch June 7, 2009
  8. Amatuer Cook January 9, 2011
  9. jess July 19, 2011
  10. Katie October 9, 2011
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