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Slow-Cooked Pot Roast with Mustard & Horseradish Gravy


Serves 4

A slow cooker makes this aromatic pot roast largely hands-off, but if you don't have one, just follow the modifications at the end of the recipe. Serve over egg noodles or mashed potatoes, along with roasted root vegetables or sautéed greens.


  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut in half widthwise
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled, root trimmed but left intact, and sliced into 4 wedges
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 3 whole cloves or allspice berries
  • 1 cup homemade or low-salt canned chicken broth
  • 1 cup dry white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 2 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 1 boneless beef chuck roast (2-1/2 to 3 lb.)
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. brandy
  • 1/2 tsp. prepared horseradish
  • 1/2 tsp. grainy prepared mustard
  • 2 Tbs. sour cream
  • 1 tsp. all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbs. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

Put the carrots, onion, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, and cloves or allspice in the bottom of a slow cooker crock. In a measuring cup or bowl, whisk together the broth, wine, and tomato paste to blend.

Set a large heavy-based skillet over medium high heat. Pat the roast dry with paper towels, rub both sides with the olive oil, and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Sear the roast in the skillet until a dark crust forms on one side, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn and sear the other side, 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and put the roast on top of the vegetables in the crock. Add the broth mixture to the skillet, bring to a simmer, and scrape the pan bottom to loosen any browned bits. Pour the liquid over the roast and cover the crock; don't stir. Turn the slow cooker to low heat; cook gently without lifting the lid until the roast is fall-apart tender, 8 to 10 hours.

Transfer the roast to a cutting board and tent with foil to keep warm. Strain the contents of the crock through a sieve set over a medium saucepan. Discard the solids. Skim the fat from the top of the strained liquid (or use a fat separator). Bring to a boil and then simmer rapidly until reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Whisk in the brandy, horseradish, and mustard. In a small bowl, mix the flour into the sour cream, stir in a few tablespoons of the sauce, and then pour the sour cream mixture into the sauce, whisking vigorously to blend. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes to blend the flavors. Meanwhile, slice the roast thinly. Serve with the gravy and a sprinkling of parsley.

Pot roast without a slow cooker:

If you don't have a slow cooker, you can still make this pot roast, just make the following modifications to the recipe. Heat the oven to 250° F. Sear the meat in a heavy Dutch oven or similar pot. Transfer the meat to a plate. Add the broth mixture to the pot and bring to a simmer. Return the meat to the pot and turn once to coat the meat in the broth. Scatter the vegetables and herbs around the meat, return to a simmer, cover tightly, and roast in the oven until the meat is very tender, about 4 hours. Check occasionally to be sure the broth isn't bubbling too rapidly, and flip the meat if the top surface looks dry.

This recipe appears in Comfort Food: Soups, Stews & Pot Roasts, a recipe collection from the editors of  Fine Cooking. You'll find recipes that are sophisticated enough to serve guests, plus new takes on classic American favorites.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 590, Fat (kcal): 24, Fat Calories (g): 210, Saturated Fat (g): 9, Protein (g): 67, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 13, Carbohydrates (mg): 10, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 1, Sodium (g): 420, Cholesterol (g): 200, Fiber (g): 2,

Excellent recipe. Gravy has just the right balance of ingredients to present an interesting flavor without overwhelming the meat and accompanying noodles or potatoes.

I thought it was great! I substituted the sour cream with canned ccnut milk cream and the flour with gluten free substitute (food sensitivities in the house), and gave the meat a horseradish/mustard rub-down-slathering before searing it. I also threw in a few extra spices, for giggles. It was AWESOME and made the house smell delicious. Thank you! :D

I love slow cooked pot roast but I was very disappointed in this recipe. It was very bland and I love horseradish and mustard. I will not make it again.

The sauce was a nice change. Easy.

Decent pot roast recipe. A few splashes of white wine vinegar really help the gravy.

THis is amazing. You have almost nothing to do except a little prep. I do this in the oven as I don't own a slow cooker - I also give it an extra hour as I like my meat fall-apart tender. Wonderful!

Get rid of every other pot roast recipe you have in the coffers, and make this one. RIGHT NOW. I have eaten a LOT of pot roast in my life, and this one, at every bite, had me going "Wow! This is amazing! This is delicious! This is so tasty!" I did not find the gravy to be anything remarkable or exciting, so I will not make it next time - the roast was so delicious and moist on its own that it did not call for any gravy whatsoever. We served with mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli, and it was a huge hit. Even my pickiest eaters went back for seconds and THIRDS! Fine Cooking, you consistently produce the best recipes, and this was no exception!

What a tasty recipe! The addition of the cloves really made it stand out. Definitely a keeper!

I have been making this for years, since I first saw it in FC. I recommend adding the cognac! The sauce is thin, and sometimes I make more of a roux to thicken it. I question whether I should keep the vegetables but toss them as directed because they look pretty greasy. It's a delicious, easy dish. I have even seared the beef the night before and poured everything in the crock pot, so in the morning on my way out to work I put it in and turn it on. Seriously good.

Made this as written with the exception of the brandy. My husband is still raving about it. The sauce makes the difference. Definitely will make again.

An absolute winner! I made this for my in laws last night. My idea was to mimic a Pot roast entree as served at a pricey and chic L.A. restaurant. My rendition blew the restaurant version out of the tender and flavorful. I cooked the dish a day in advance, chilling the meat overnight, and separately chilling the juices which I had strained. The next day, it was easy to slice the meat against the grain, and remove any residual parts that I would not want to eat. As for the juices, every bit of fat solidified at the top, and it was easy to discard, before proceeding with the gravy. I laid slices of the meat, carrot and onion into a casserole. To reheat the dish, I poured the gravy over all, covered the dish with foil, and heated the dish in the oven. Not only was this entree delicious, but it was a way to "wow" company economically! Cheers, Jeff

Having grownup eating 50'ish style pot roast I was dubious about trying this recipe. I've now made this twice. I made this once for my son who is a chef and he thought it was the most delicious roast ever. I serve it with mashed yukon gold potatoes and whipped celery root. Both very good side dishes. Another outstanding recipe from FineCooking!

This turned out better than I thought it would. It was a big hit. I prepared the pot roast a day ahead. On the day of serving, I sliced the roast and warmed it through while I prepared the gravy and other sides. I served it with mashed cauliflower which turned out to be another hit with my family. The gravy was outstanding and the beef was very tender. This will be on my return performance list. Easy to prepare with wonderful flavor.

Very, very good, and so! Cheap. Easy to make. I cooked it Le Creuset Dutch oven. Came out perfect after 4 hours convection @ 225. Finished the sauce the night after, and it worked very well.

Loved it! I made a few modifications to the recipe, but all in all, it was fabulous, and loved by the friends we shared it with. I added potatoes and more carrots to the bottom of the crock-pot and then forgot the cloves/all-spice. I also did not discard the veggies when completed, but instead served them as a side dish. By adding the potatoes, however, the dish needed salt added (which I did not realize until complete). I also realized too late that I did not have brandy, but made the gravy without it, to rave reviews. We will be making this again, as it was much easier than it even sounded. The gravy was the hardest part, and that was easy too!

I've never cooked a pot roast before because I always thought it would be too much work, having to sear the meat first, then cook for a very long time. This recipe has convinced me I should do it often. I made three modifications: red wine instead of white, no brandy as the cupboard was bare, and I didn't reduce the liquid as it was already quite concentrated. In spite of the changes I felt it was a complete success. The meat was so tender, and the gravy, absolutely divine. The preparation was not difficult. The only difficult part was organising myself with respect to the timing as I don't usually start cooking meals so far in advance.

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