the easiest pot roast

If you live anywhere near the Midwest and have had to drive to work every day this week; if you shoveled your driveway Tuesday, then Wednesday, and felt your nose hairs crystallize while you got into your car Thursday; if you (heaven, help you) were on Metra Wednesday morning, in the midst of the gun scare that turned out to be just a misunderstanding; this is for you.

[By the way, if you also, I don’t know, had to go out and buy the biggest, cheapest puffy parka you could find, one with a crazy fur collar and an extra layer of lining underneath, just so you could survive through the rest of your Chicago winter: well, send me an e-mail, would you? I’d like to know I’m not alone.]

Maybe it’s the fact that so many of the storms this year have hit during my commutes to and from work, maybe it’s the fact that I am always, no matter where I am, cold, down to my toes. Whatever the case, I have to tell you something: it’s high time for some comfort food.

[I’m glad to know I’m not alone in this, at least.] Yesterday, @ChicagoBites: “I need comfort food but I don’t want to go out to get it.” Well said. Maybe you feel the same?

pot roast on blue table

This pot roast may not be the prettiest, but it makes up for its modest appearance with a very dependable character: you can really count on this one. The first time I made it, I was in college, I think, home for an extended period of time. It was the kind of meal you make when you’re pretty green in the kitchen, not completely sure of what you’re doing. You make it because it’s easy, with a short list of ingredients and an even shorter list of instructions. You make it again, though, (and again and again) because it’s delicious. Really delicious.

Pot roast, essentially, is as good as it gets this time of year (well, short of a vacation to someplace like Miami, but I digress). It’s warm and hearty, paired with chunks of potatoes and chopped carrots, and it’s tender, succulent, flaky, falling onto your fork and moist with its own gravy.

Because it’s so easy, this is the perfect recipe for a lazy weekend: assemble everything into the crock pot before going to bed and have it ready for the next day, or start it all when you wake up and have a satisfying dinner.

It’s the perfect way to get your comfort food without leaving the house, and, let’s be honest, at least around here, that’s what we all need right now.

Crockpot Pot Roast
Adapted from Fix It and Forget about It

4 baking potatoes, cut into chunks (halves or quarters)
2 large carrots, cut into large pieces (or a desired amount of baby carrots)
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 to 4 pounds pot roast, cut into chunks
1/2 cup water

Put vegetables in bottom of crock pot, and stir in salt and pepper. Add chunks of pot roast meat, and then add water.

Cover pot. Cook on low for 10 to 12 hours.

Shanna Mallon

Shanna Mallon started Food Loves Writing back in 2008, as a way to remember her grandma and write about her life through food. Since then it's become a place leading her to a lifestyle of eating whole foods, a new home in Nashville and the love of her life, Tim. Follow Shanna on Twitter @foodloves, keep up with Food Loves Writing on Facebook and stay inspired with the monthly newsletter.

This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. Kate

    You are certainly not alone in having to go get a new fluffy coat for survival purposes. Especially this morning, with winds dropping the temp where I am to -35! And pot roast is indeed good for these winter days when the climate is trying to kill you.

  2. Lan

    i seriously think the whole Global Warming is a crock. haha, get it. {sorry!}

    anyway, it is cold here too, a balmy 12degrees but with the wind, more like -5. i can’t complain as your friend Kate and you are probably even colder. but cold is cold is cold, isn’t it?

    a trick for you: heating pads or rice sock to heat up to keep in your lap as you wait for your car to warm up or keep in your jacket to keep a smidge warmer. i carry mine around like a security blanket.

    i love pot roast, and you’re right, it’s easy to assemble and forget about. plop in the crock pot and haul ass back to your seat on the couch with a heavy blanket over top. stay warm this weekend!

  3. Joanna

    Well it is the upper 50s here (and people are saying they are freezing), but potroast actually sounds great, and it doesn’t have wheat so I can actually eat it. :)

  4. Jacqui

    crock pot? comfort food? dinner ready when i get home from work? -14 degrees? ridiculous metra commutes?

    yes, this post definitely is for me. thank you.

    btw, i wasn’t on the train with the secret service agent (whew! what a mess!) and i (somehow) managed to squeeze into one of the few trains leaving the night of the horrible amtrak derailment (did you hear about that one? yikes.). i’ve been lucky. which scares me.

    chicagoans should get a medal for surviving these winters. or at least a pizza party.

  5. The Duo Dishes

    We should probably not mention that it has been in the 80s and 90s in Los Angeles for the last week or two. No, we should not!

    But pot roast is good even in the summery winter!

  6. Kate

    The Duo Dishes – only if you send plane tickets! 😉

  7. Rachel

    i like to use a can of coke and packet of onion soup mix.. mmm….

  8. Rachel

    btw, no fluffy coats down here…. just my age old bright green sweatshirt….

  9. My First Kitchen

    After I saw Sandra Bullock in While You Were Sleeping, I declared that I loved the cold and wanted to live in Chicago. I wanted to wear a trench coat and ride the train and have a cute wool hat and marry a carpenter from a funny family. It’s 12 degrees outside now, and I have no intention of leaving my house until it’s at least above freezing. That’s not supposed to be for another two days. I COULD NOT make it in Chicago no matter how cute my hat was. Enjoy your pot roast. It looks awesome.

  10. E.P.

    Yum! In my opinion, you cannot go wrong with pot roast. It’s so perfect for a cold day!

  11. Shannalee

    Oh, Kate. Dear, sweet Kate. THANK YOU for telling me somewhere is colder than here. THANK YOU! I heard someone say that Chicago and Wasilla, AK, were 40 degrees apart the other day, and Wasilla was the warmer one. That, I think, was the day I hit bottom, LOL.

    Lan: Double points for the crock comment—clever! (But seriously, WHYTHECOLDCOLDCOLD if there’s global warming? Am I the only one confused?) I’m intrigued about a rice sock and have no idea what you mean. Can I put rice in a sock and heat it up? *wondering what it would smell like*

    Jacqui: Write someone a letter about the pizza party because I am SO IN. My brother does crazy Metra commutes, and he was delayed, I swear, almost every day this week. INSANE. A friend of mine was on the gun train, so she had some fun stories—mainly about all the water cooler talk amongst the passengers. At least it was all just a misunderstanding. And, um, hats off to you for surviving (and being so lucky, knock on wood!).

    Duo Dishes: You. Stink. (And can I come?)

    Rae: Is that all you stick in there? Meat, coke and onion soup mix? I’m interested!

    Kendra @ MFK: I always swore I’d never want a parka (went to college in Wisconsin without one, after all), but, well, this has been the worst winter ever, and, I swear, I think it’s cute now. You’re right, though: the cutest hat (or coat) does not make up for it. My family has been talking about relocating. PS: Love Sandra Bullock and While You Were Sleeping. Cool points for you.

    E.P.: Indeed it is. I’m sure it’d be nice on a warm day, too, but I can’t really remember what those feel like.

  12. Lan

    i saw wise craft’s tutorial for a rce pillow and since i don’t know how to sew, i used socks instead:

    i put in mint tea bags to have a minty smell but then again, i love the smell of rice so it’s ok without. my friend trish made me a heating pad with deer corn, that does not pop into popcorn. i love it, it’s in a pretty little pillow and i’m going to have to crochet a cover for it because i carry it around everywhere with me.

  13. Shannalee

    Lan, You’re awesome. Seriously.

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