Here is a quick run-down of the types of slow-cooker roasts we offer, followed by a simple recipe that never fails to produce a moist, fork-tender roast in your crock pot.
Arm Roast – Cut from the lower shoulder, this roast has a small round marrow bone in the middle and lots of fine meat texture around that. There is a thin layer of fat around the meat. This is a slightly leaner roast than a chuck roast. We had never heard of an arm roast before becoming beef farmers, but this quickly became a favorite because of its pleasant texture and meatiness.
Chuck Roast – Cut from the upper shoulder, this roast can also be called a “Seven Bone” roast because the bone often looks like a 7. Chuck is the classic slow-cooker roast. This roast is more rectangular with alternating layers of bone, fat, and gristle, and meat. It contains more gristle than an arm roast and has larger meat fibers, but the connective tissue cooks down to deliciously tender morsels of gelatinous flavor. You won’t believe how good it is.
Shank Roast – This roast is like a miniature arm roast, except with more bone. It comes in 1” thick slices that consist of about half bone, half meat. That doesn’t sound appealing until you’ve tried it. The meat from this part of the arm is like tiny little morsels of super-tender meat. The bones produce a rich gravy that is buttery and delicious and can be saved to make broth later. Try this once and it may become your new favorite!
What about the other roasts? I prefer not to use the crock pot cooking method for leaner roasts like sirloin roast and round roast. For those, I like to do English style fast-cooking method that keeps the roast rare in the middle. Slow-cooking is reserved for the otherwise tougher meats that need a long cooking time to release their best qualities.
Basic Slow-cooker Beef Roast Recipe
- 1 Slow-cooker Roast, 3-5 pounds
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3-6 carrots, chopped
- 3 sticks celery, chopped
- 2 tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- Don’t add liquid! See below.
Place the roast snugly into the bottom of the crock pot. Toss the veggies in on top. I usually just layer them, but you can mix them in a bowl with the salt and pepper, and you could even add a little flour (1-2 Tbs) to make a thicker gravy, but that’s optional. I usually skip it out of laziness.
Don’t add any liquid, unless you want the roast to be soupy. It will produce its own drippings with excellent flavor and plenty of moisture. Definitely don’t add any cream-of-chemical soups! Our beef has its own excellent flavor which only needs a bit of salt to bring it out. And it will be tender and delicious on its own!
Cook either on high for 6 hours OR on low for 8 hours. Any less and it will not have time to tenderize. Any more, and the vegetables will start to disintegrate and lose their individual flavors and textures—still edible, but not as enjoyable. Bon appétit!