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What do you do when, after four weeks of allergies, you finally start to feel better and come down with a head cold? You make pot roast, that’s what. Warm, comforting, and leftovers. Lots of leftovers.

Our pot roast recipe is based on a Southern Living recipe (surprise, surprise). They call it a soup, Peppered Beef Soup to be exact. But it’s more like a traditional pot roast with a lot of gravy in our opinion, so that’s how we eat it.

We also serve it over long-grain rice even though it has potatoes in it, because we like the way the rice soaks up the gravy. And we just like starches in our house.


  • 1 (3.5 to 4-lb.) sirloin tip beef roast
  • All-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 medium-size yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large baking potatoes, peeled and diced, or 2.5 lb. baby red potatoes, quartered
  • 1 (16-oz.) package baby carrots
  • 1 to 2 (12-oz.) bottles lager beer (use 1 bottle if you want a good amount of gravy, 2 if you want a lot. We use Sam Adams Boston Lager)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
  • 1 tablespoon beef bouillon granules
  • 1 1/2 to 3 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt to taste

1. Cut a 1-inch-deep cavity in the shape of an “X” on the top of the roast. (Do not cut all the way through; you’re just making a place to stuff the garlic.) Sprinkle flour over all sides of the roast. I use a tablespoon to sprinkle, and then rub it around with my hands until the roast is lightly covered.
2. Heat the oil in  a Dutch oven or very large pot over medium-high heat. Add the roast, and cook 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. The roast should make a sizzling sound when you put it in the pot–that means your oil is hot enough to get a good, brown crust!
3. Place the roast, X side up, in a 6-qt. slow cooker. Add the onion around it, and stuff the X cavity with garlic. Top with potatoes and baby carrots. Pour the beer, balsamic vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce into the slow cooker. Sprinkle with parsley, bouillon, and ground pepper; stir to blend a bit. Add the bay leaves.
4. Cover and cook on LOW 7 to 8 hours or until the roast is fork-tender (don’t worry, it will be). Transfer the vegetables to a bowl using a slotted spoon, and shred the roast (in the slow cooker, for ease) using two forks. Return the vegetables to the slow cooker. Season each serving with salt and pepper to taste.

(We quarter the onion so that we can remove it easily after cooking because of B’s dietary restrictions, but thinly slicing it, as called for, would allow it to mix in with the other veggies.)

We store the leftover beef, vegetables, and gravy in separate Tupperware containers. It takes time to divide everything up, but it’s worth it to make one of our favorite leftover meals: Beef-and-Swiss Sandwiches with Au Jus. We take a loaf of French bread, cut a sandwich-size (4- to 6-inch) portion for each of us, and then cut them in half. We top the bottom bread halves with the shredded leftover roast, and then Swiss (or other) cheese, and broil it until the cheese melts. Serve this with the leftover gravy for a yummy au jus with the veggies on the side. There, see? Two meals already!

Other Ideas:

  • Add mushrooms! Our slow cooker is already pretty full with what’s already called for, so you’d need to decrease the other veggies to have room.
  • Thicken the gravy by removing it from the slow cooker and adding a slurry of all-purpose flour and cooking it down.
  • Omit the potatoes from the slow cooker (and maybe add mushrooms) and serve the roast over Gruyere mashed potatoes.