If you've got a slow cooker this is the simplest, most impressive meal that you can make with cheap ingredients and only about 20 minutes of hands-on time. This pot roast cooks in its own juices and comes out falling apart, delicious and with a pre-made gravy for your side dishes. I've included the recipe and some directions below!
Simple Slow-Cooker Pot Roast
Prep time: 20 minutes; Cook time: 8 hours
Beef chuck pot roast (3 lbs for a group of 6)
8 small yellow potatoes, washed and halved
1 red or yellow onion
1 can cream of mushroom soup
Carrots, cut into 1" sections (not pictured)
Salt and pepper
I usually chop up all the veggies first - one yellow onion (the pictured one is red and worked just fine, but I prefer yellow), a bunch of small potatoes with the skin on (yukon gold are delicious in this meal), and big chunks of peeled carrot. The above meal doesn't picture the carrots because we forgot to pick them up at the store but they add variety and color you won't want to miss out on.
To prep the chuck roast, I dry off the excess liquid with a paper towel and then rub it down with a liberal dose of kosher salt and pepper on each side. Recommended to lock in the juices is a quick searing of the meat. Drizzle some peanut oil into a hot cast iron, cover your smoke detector with a plastic bag, and sear the meat on high for one minute on each side. Once the meat is done, haul it out of the cast iron and start clearing the meat smoke so you can find your slow cooker. The roast goes into the slow cooker surrounded by all of the expertly arranged veggies, as above, and then is topped with a can of cream of mushroom soup. I know... it seems like an unlikely ingredient to the meal but it forms the gravy and melts all the way down into a great bowl of juice for the meat to cook in.
We turn our slow cooker onto low and give it about eight painful hours of smelling the roast cook before we're done. Last time we served pot roast we had it with a side salad and homemade vinaigrette and some yams. Though this photo isn't of the roast above (we didn't take time to make it fancy and plate it the other night), the below photo is the roast I made for our Christmas dinner. Delicious!