The slow cooker is one of the best inventions for that back-to-school time of year when everybody is busy all day long and then they all show up hungry at the same time, craving a warm, comforting meal. Prep this the night before and put it in the fridge, or the morning of, if you have time. Don’t skip the searing step—it adds great flavor. Load up the slow cooker before you leave for the day (or before you get to work in your home office), and you’ll come home to the tantalizing aroma of pot roast with a delectable, velvety texture. Add a quick side salad drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice, and fresh fruit for dessert. (Apples are just coming into season and are delicious sliced, sprinkled with cinnamon, and dipped in pecan butter.)

Ingredients

  • 1 2-pound chuck roast 
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder 
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt 
  • 1 teaspoon pepper 
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil 
  • 2 cups cubed butternut squash (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup baby carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 3 cups bone broth of choice (or any beef broth)
  • 3 cloves garlic minced 
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • 2 sprigs rosemary minced 

Instructions

  1. Season the chuck roast on both sides with the garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Put a large cast-iron skillet on medium-high heat and add the avocado oil. Once the pan is hot, sear the roast on all sides for about 3 to 4 minutes, then put it into the slow cooker.
  2. Without cleaning the pan or turning off the heat, add the veggies and toss them to sear, for about 1 minute, then add the bone broth, garlic, and herbs, scraping the pan to remove all the browned bits.
  3. Dump the vegetable mixture over the pot roast. Turn the slow cooker to low and cook for 8 hours (or medium for 5 to 6 hours).
  4. Before serving, pull out the thyme sprigs and discard. Put the roast on a platter and arrange the veggies around it, drizzling with the juices. Let the roast sit for at least 5 minutes before slicing. Serve family style.

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