A Slow Cooker Pot Roast Recipe from Mississippi
I read about this tasty recipe back in January in a New York Times article by Sam Sifton. If you’ve already heard about this extremely simple way to make a delicious crock-pot pot roast, please check out this version or go check out some of my other fun recipes.
For those of you who haven’t heard of this 15 year old recipe, like me, you are in for a treat especially if you like slow cooked beef chuck roasts that are fork tender.
Basically, a woman from Ripley, Mississippi by the name of Robin Chapman cooked up some beef chuck in her slow cooker with some everyday ingredients based on a recipe she learned from her aunt. She didn’t call it a pot roast or crock-pot roast, just roast.
According to the NY Times article, the recipe made its way to a church cookbook where it was called – roast beef. One of the parishioners decided to give the recipe a try, loved it and made it for her niece, Laurie Ormon who wrote about it on her blog and the genie was out of the bottle.
Another blogger tried it, liked it and called the recipe, “Mississippi roast. A photo of the dish was posted on a Pinterest board with a link to the recipe. More and more Internet foodies learned about the recipe, tried it, liked it and the word continued to spread but only on the Net until recently. Now professional food writers are even talking about it.
Robin Chapman’s Initial Ingredients
You may not like the sound of some of these ingredients. I know I didn’t when I first read them but keep reading. I’ll be offering Sam’s alternative recipe with a couple of my own changes that may be more palatable to you.
Ms. Chapman original recipe starts with a beef chuck roast, adds a packet of dry ranch-dressing mix on top of the meat, then a packet of dry “au jus” gravy, a stick of butter and a few pepperoncini peppers. You can typically find these peppers in most supermarkets in the pickles section.
This all goes into the slow cooker and cooks for hours until the meat becomes so tender you can shred it with a couple of forks. When the NY Times author tried the recipe with these ingredients, he liked the end results but not all the salt and artificial everything so he came up with the recipe below which I adapted just a little to pump up the flavor and pump out some of the salt and monosodium glutamate.
One of the changes I made was to add baby-cut carrots for the last hour only because everyone in our house loves them.
Mississippi Pot Roast Recipe
1 boneless chuck roast, 3 to 4 pounds
2 teaspoons salt, plus more for seasoning at the end
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning at the end
All-purpose flour to sprinkle onto the meat
3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
10 pepperoncini peppers
2 tablespoons commercial mayonnaise
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon dried dill
¼ teaspoon sweet paprika
12 - 24 baby-cut carrots (Optional)
Chopped parsley, for garnish
How To Prepare At Home
Start by gathering and prepping all the ingredients.
Season the chuck roast with the salt and pepper and just before you start browning the meat, sprinkle some flour over the roast and rub into the flesh. The flour will help make a base for the sauce and replace the packet of dry gravy mix.
(Next time I make this recipe, I'm going to add a tablespoon of demi glace to give the sauce some extra flavor and create a base.)
Heat a fry pan big enough to hold the chuck roast and when hot, add the oil. When the oil is hot but not smoking, brown the chuck on all sides to create a nice sear. I like to brown most meats before slow cooking for a variety of reasons.
One, I think it gives the meat a better appearance. In this recipe, we're going to shred the meat at the end so it doesn't matter too much. Two, I think searing the meat adds flavor to the end results. And third, by adding flour to the meat and then browning helps create a better base for making a rich sauce.
Remove the meat from the pan and transfer to a slow cooker or crock-pot. Add the 1/2 stick of butter and then the pepperoncini peppers. Cover and set the slow cooker to low.
Make the Dressing
In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, dill and paprika with a whisk. Keep whisking to emulsify (blend all the ingredients so they hold together). Add this mixture to the slow cooker, cover and cook for 6 to 8 hours until the meat is fork tender.
For the last hour of cooking, add the carrots. (Optional)
Using a couple of forks, shred the meat while combining with the liquids in the pot. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt & pepper. When serving, top with a little chopped parsley for garnish.
Serve the shredded Mississippi Roast with mashed or roasted potatoes, egg noodles or all by itself. And I think you'll find this dish tastes just as good, if not better, the next day.
The cooking time can range from 6 - 8 hours depending on your slow cooker so after 6 hours, start checking the meat for tenderness.
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