Pot roasts are pretty synonymous with the holidays. Although not particularly on sale, I still wanted to cook something with a nice beef round. Don’t even get me started on the different cuts for beef round – because I have no idea the difference between bottom round and top round. I’ve never seen a more mismatched label for meat – round center bottom round? Like what?
As with most pot roasts, vegetables are just as much a requirement as the meat. Speaking of meat, if it comes with butcher twine holding it together, just keep it on during the searing process. You can remove it prior to putting it into the Crock Pot.
The meat should be patted down with paper towels to remove any residual liquid from the packaging. This will ensure a more crispy brown exterior when searing. Also, and I can’t say this enough, but liberally season the beef! Lots of coarse salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.
In a strong skillet, preferably cast iron, heat oil on high. Once you see the heat wafting and oil starting to bubble, throw the bad boy on there. Each side needs a solid sear. Yep, even the sides.
Get your longest tongs out, as you’ll most likely get shot at with hot oil in the process.
While the searing is going on, make sure all the veggies are chopped and thrown into the bottom of the Crock Pot.
There should be a pool of not only oil but tasty burnt bits floating around. Do not dump anything!
On top of the veggies in the Crock Pot, add the seared pot roast and dump the fatty, tasty liquid. Throw a few bay leaves in and put the lid on.
About 5-6 hours on high should be all that’s needed for 3 lbs of meat. You can check after the 5th hour with a fork to see if meat is tender. If not, continue for another hour or so. Once the meat gets close to being completed, boil some water in a separate pot and cook the pasta just short of a few minutes from what the instructions ask.
Pull the meat out to cool, then shred into bite-size pieces. I found using a butter knife and sawing pieces off was the easiest.
Into the Crock Pot on low, add the al dente pasta and the meat. Continue to stir until pasta is fully cooked through. Most of the liquid should be absorbed by this point, but if there is a large enough amount remaining, pulling a little out and adding cornstarch would be the easiest. I didn’t have that problem though.
- 3 lbs of beef round (I used bottom round but any long stewing cut would work)
- 3 large carrots, chopped
- 3 large celery stalks, chopped
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 1 head of garlic, diced
- Seasonings: kosher salt, cracked pepper, garlic powder
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 lb pasta of your choice (I used rotini)
- Pat dry the piece of meat with paper towels and place it on a clean flat surface. This will ensure the browning process goes well once the searing happens.
- If it came packaged with butcher twine like mine did, it’s fine to keep in tact so the meat remains together. Liberally season with course kosher salt, ground black pepper, and garlic powder on all sides.
- In a skillet (preferably cast iron), heat vegetable oil or another high smoke point oil on High until lightly smoking.
- Sear each side of the meat, taking time to make sure each part of the exterior develops a deep brown color. It should only take 3-5 minutes each if the oil is hot enough.
- In the interim, use the searing time to chop all the vegetables and dump them in the bottom of the Crock Pot.
- Once the meat is seared on all sides, dump both the meat and the drippings into the Crock Pot. Remove any twine if there was any; don’t want any string getting lost in the pot.
- Add bay leaves and turn on high for about 5-6 hours. It depends on the size of your meat, but 5 hours is usually good for 3 lbs.
- After the 5+ hours, check that the meat is tender and can pull apart easily. If so, remove and set aside to cool. Turn Crock Pot on low and let the juices sit.
- Cook a pound of pasta in a separate pot, just slightly under al dente (about 2-3 minutes short of what is on the instructions). Throw pasta into the Crock Pot while still on low and close the lid.
- Shred the meat with a serrated knife into small pieces and throw into the pot with the pasta. Continue to stir until all liquid has been soaked up.