Recreating Grandma’s Recipe

My grandma used to make her pot roast for me, when I visited her, as a child. It was memorable and one of my favorite things to eat. Grandma didn’t really allow me to cook with her, and never handed down the recipe to me. But I was recently gifted a sizeable chuck roast and I thought I’d try my hand at recreating the flavor of my grandma’s pot roast. I remember it being salty, sour, sweet, herby, and savory.

I think I did a really good job of guessing at the ingredients and I was quite pleased with the results. Here’s what’s in it:

Meat: beef chuck rib roast

Veggies: onions, carrots, celery, small red potatoes, chopped garlic

Ingredients for Pot Roast (Crock Pot Recipe) - Jazzed at Home

Marinade: apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, olive oil, ground thyme, paprika, salt, pepper, maple syrup, unsweetened ketchup, granulated garlic

Liquid: beef broth

Note: Yes, I did intentionally use two types of garlic. The granulated kind is for the marinade and the raw kind is to toss in with the veggies. I advise against using garlic powder, because it is too spicy and it might overpower the dish. 

Using My Crock Pot

The pot roast needs to cook for a long time, because the chunk of beef is tough and it requires a lot of breaking down. I imagine that my grandma made hers in a dutch oven, which is the traditional method of cooking a pot roast.

I had a busy schedule, gearing up for the holidays, and I didn’t have time to sit around and babysit the pot roast, while it cooked in the oven. I decided to use my crock pot, instead, so this would cook as I went about my business.

I put this on, around 10 a.m.. Then, I went out to run errands. By the time I made it back, I was hungry. I had forgotten that I had this cooking, but when I came in the door of my apartment, the scent of the pot roast washed over me and it was heavenly. Having it for dinner was such a treat and I was glad that I outsmarted myself, LOL. 

Searing in a Marinade

Searing is often recommended for prepping the meat, before it goes in the crock pot. It’s meant to help lock in the juices and add flavor to the meat.

One thing that often gets missed, though (IMHO), is seasoning before searing. Usually, people just toss the beef onto the oil, naked, and expect it to pick up the seasonings later.

I feel strongly that that’s a missed opportunity for flavor. So, what I like to do is season the beef and then sear it in the hot oil. 

To that effect, I decided to create a marinade. I mixed it together and then rubbed half of it into the beef, allowing it to sit while the oil was heating up in my cast iron pan. The other half went into the crock pot.

Pro tip: when the beef is finished searing, remove the pan from the heat and place the beef in the crock pot. Then, pour a bit of beef stock into the pan to “deglaze it”. You can use a wooden spoon to help get the stuck-on bits of beef and spices off of the bottom of the pan. When that’s done pour the liquid (along with the bits and spices) from the pan into the crock pot. 

You could use beef bone broth for this crock pot recipe, BTW, if you wanted to sneak some extra nutrition into this dish. It might not have as much flavor, so you may have to adjust for that, with the spices and other flavorings. 

Low-Carb Substitutions

Warning: this is not a low-carb recipe. There are potatoes, carrots, and maple syrup in it. That being said, it comes out to be about 23 grams of net carbs, per serving, which is still low-carb enough, for me. 

This pot roast recipe could be adjusted to be very low-carb, by using substitutions. For example, you could use your favorite low-carb sweetener, in place of the maple syrup. You could also use celery root, instead of the potatoes and carrots. If you haven’t had celery root, it tastes like a cross between a potato and celery. Or perhaps you could try turnips.

Maybe toss in some bright radishes for a pop of color and flavor? Don’t worry. The spiciness usually mellows out, when they’re cooked, and what you’re left with is a delightfully tasty little nugget. When I say little, I do mean little, because they shrink, quite a lot. 

Pot Roast (Crock Pot Recipe) - Jazzed at Home

Pot Roast (Crock Pot Recipe)

Claire Amber
This pot roast recipe is really easy to make in a crock pot! Assemble it in the morning and have it ready, in time for dinner.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 439 kcal


  • 1 small mixing bowl
  • 1 medium mixing bowl
  • 1 garbage bowl
  • 1 cutting board
  • 1 chopping knife
  • 1 small silicone spatula
  • 1 large plate or pie dish
  • 1 large cast iron skillet
  • 1 large mesh splash guard
  • 1 pair of tongs
  • 1 crock pot


  • 1.25 pound beef chuck rib roast


  • 4 small onions 2 1/2 inch diameter, halved
  • 3 medium carrots julienned into 2 inch long pieces
  • 3 medium stalks of celery cut into 2 1/2 long pieces
  • 8 small red potatoes halved
  • 4 large cloves of garlic rough chopped (chunky...not too fine)


  • 3 T apple cider vinegar
  • 1 T dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 T ground thyme
  • 1 T paprika regular, not smoked
  • 1/2 T salt
  • 1 t pepper
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened ketchup Primal Kitchen
  • 1 t granulated garlic


  • 2 cups beef broth low-sodium (or regular, but reduce added salt amount)


  • In a small mixing bowl, combine the apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, olive oil, ground thyme, paprika, salt, pepper, maple syrup, unsweetened, ketchup, and granulated garlic.
  • Put a cast iron pan onto the stove and turn it onto medium.
  • While that's heating up, put your meat onto the pie dish and pour half of the marinade onto it. Rub into both sides.
  • When the pan is hot, transfer the meat to the pan and cover with a splash guard. Allow it to cook for 4-5 minutes, searing the marinade into the beef, before turning it over.
  • While the beef is cooking, cut the vegetables and garlic. Place them into the medium mixing bowl and set aside.
  • When both sides of the beef are seared, put it into the crock pot.
  • Top with vegetables and pour beef broth over it.
  • Cover with the lid.
  • Set the crock pot to high and cook for 6 hours.
  • The 2 cups of beef broth will not quite cover the meat. If you can, turn the meat over every 2-3 hours, so that it doesn't get too crusty. Adding more broth might make the vegetables too mushy, so I would advise against that, unless you won't be around to turn the meat.
  • At the 6 hour mark, check the pot roast. What you are looking for is that the vegetables still hold their shape, but the meat falls apart, when prodded with a fork. If the meat is not quite tender enough, turn it over and cook for another hour, on high.
  • Serve and enjoy!


Allow 8 hours for this to cook, just to be on the safe side. Let's say you're serving dinner at 6. You'll want to have the crock pot going by 10 a.m., to have dinner ready on time.
I used a 20 oz. beef chuck rib roast, because that's what I was given. That made for 4 rather sizeable servings. If you need more servings or you're starting with a larger piece of beef, adjust the ingredients accordingly. 
I recommend serving this with a nice red wine. 
Keywordscrock pot, pot roast, pot roast crock pot, Sunday pot roast

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