Crock Pot Italian Style Pot Roast

For me growing up Sundays were typically a huge pot roast dinner.  This is one of those recipes that I can really only ever remembering my Dad make though I’m sure Mom was there with him adding stuff while he wasn’t looking.  While Dad never wrote down recipes, heck Mom almost never did, I had to recreate this all from memory and taste.  This recipe took me FOREVER to  get to near perfect like his.  I still think I’m missing “something” but for the life of me I can’t figure it out however I’m persistent.  Or if all else fails I’ll take some to my sister and brother and see if they can recall.

I’m sure you can recall (unless you’re brand spankin’ new to the site – if so, welcome to the TKW Family!), growing up we had a big household/big eaters.  4 older brothers, my sister, parents and at least 3-6 friends were at every meal.  These people ate a lot.  I mean A LOT!  This recipe is made in a standard crock pot (actually one of my favorite crock pots) but when Dad made it he made in Mom’s HUGE 21.5 quart blue pot that she used for canning (like this one!).  No for real, he made 21.5 quarts of pot roast for dinner!

Italian Style Pot Roast1

In this pot would easily be 15 pounds of pot roast, a 10lb bag of potatoes, 2-3 pounds of carrots and a whole bunch of other stuff.  We almost never had leftovers either from all of that. Yes they were big eaters but honestly it was so amazing! The roast would just fall apart as soon as your fork touched it.  So incredibly juicy and tender.  And the flavor it took on from the liquids, herbs and seasonings… oh lord!  There were Sundays when literally all I would put on my plate was a huge chunk of pot roast that I covered in ketchup.

Shush.. don’t judge me.  Yes I like ketchup on my steak as well.  I know, I’m weird but yet you still love me so you’re weird too.  Weirdo *wink*!  This would slow cook all day which made the house smell unbelievable. Now this dish, while made in a single pot, was really 2 full meals in one.  This one, the amazing pot roast with carrots and potatoes, plus also it made beef red soup, which be in an upcoming recipe post.

Italian Style Pot Roast

If I can, let me tantalize you for a moment about that soup.  Think of truly rich tomatoey beef broth packed with herbs and seasonings, shards of shredded beef, carrots and perhaps a rogue potato chunk or two all over extra wide egg noodles. It was hearty and a meal unto itself however in my house, this was the dish served BEFORE you ate the roast and veggies. Let me ask you when it comes to soup noodles do you have a preference?  Growing up we were a house divided when it came to egg noodles.  One half loved the extra wide ones while the other half (including me) loved the extra fine thin ones that were maybe an inch or so long.  Mom would always make two types and put a huge colander of each in the sink (we had a double well sink).

But enough about soup… have to keep something for next time.  Right now I want to focus on this pot roast.  Traditionally when you think of pot roast most think of it in a brown type gravy, cut up into chunks.  That’s great and I make that often but this one, this I wanted to recreate a childhood favorite. See it was a couple of weeks ago I was on Facebook when my Sister from another mother’s (SFAM), Mother posted that she made a huge pot of red soup.  Now this is one dish she has always raved about of her Mom’s.

Italian Style Pot Roast carrots

I asked her Mom to describe it and as she did it immediately triggered my Dad’s beef soup.  It brought up such amazing memories and immediately put a smile on my face.  I just had to make my Dad’s soup. As I said earlier normally he would make his in that huge canner pot but for me I wanted to go more updated and use my crock pot. Plus it allowed me to truly set it and forget about it.  Leaving to me to tend to more important stuff… like working on my blog and editing photos. Oh yeah… and spending quality time with Mr. Fantabulous.  Can’t forget about the man… lol

Now the trick to cooking fall-apart-roast beef is low and slow.  You want it to cook for hours on end in the crock pot.  If you don’t, it’ll be tough.  Pot roast should NOT require a knife. Ever! If it does then you didn’t cook it long enough. And please I implore of you, while you cooking something, anything, in a crock pot do NOT open the lid until it’s done.  Every time you remove the lid, you let all of that precious built up heat escape. To regain that heat and temp again takes up to 30 minutes which in turn extends your cooking time even longer. So please, refrain from removing the lid until the very end.

Italian Style Pot Roast2

As this cooked all day I couldn’t help but have a constant smile on my face just thinking about to various childhood memories.  Since Halloween is coming up I started thinking back to when I was in 4th grade and we got to wear our Halloween costumes to school.  I went as a Barbie Princess (some surprise there huh? lol) only this costume was kinda cheesy.  My Princess robe/cape was made out of this blue plastic type material that was more like one of those plastic table cloths.  The skirt was I swear made for Barbie as it was RIDICULOUSLY small. So small that the whole butt portion didn’t close up so my Mom had to extend the strings to tie it around my waist.  Yes I was a fat child but trust me, this was teeny.

I had some fake plastic jewelery and a tiara.  But the worst… THE WORST part of the costume was that it had a mask.  Yes, a mask that went over my face.  It had that gum band type thing that you’d put behind your head that always, ALWAYS got tangled in your hair and would hurt like a S.O.B. when you took the mask off.  And it was HOT!  Like it had the ends cut out along with the nose holes and mouth but it was HOT.  And the look of it… oh sweet Jesus! I looked like a plasticized-face-melted hooker!  I’m talking about some back alley livin’ on skid row nasty raggedy one.  No seriously it was bad, real bad!  However that’s how the costumes were back then.

What was cool is that our teachers then took us around the neighborhood to go trick or treating and put on a parade for the houses.  I think everyone felt bad for me as I got the most candy.  It was either they felt bad for me because I looked like an 8-year-old hooker with a melted plastic face and her butt hanging out with a plastic table-cloth cape or because I was the fat kid.  Either way SCORE for me with the candy.  haha

Italian Style Pot Roast potatoes

God I had forgotten all about that costume until now.  I love when food triggers memories, don’t you?  For this year I have no clue what we’ll dress up as but I do know it will not be Barbie.  LOL  So anyway, after 9 hours in the crock this was ready to eat.  As I lifted the lid all those amazing aromatics hit my nose and immediately I got so super excited.  You know how you just know something is going to taste amazing? Yeah, I just knew it with this one! Using my large slotted spoon I scooped out the potatoes and carrots.  Since I knew the roast was going to be super tender and fall-apart I took 2 very large spatulas and scooped it out.  As soon as I put it down on the plate and touched it with a fork the meat just seemed to shred itself.

I *may or may not have* snuck a few (5) bites while I was plating it.  God you want to talk about AMAZING!!!  It was so incredibly tender and full of rich beef flavor. I couldn’t wait to finish up the photo shoot as I needed this in my belly!  And just like my childhood I plated it the same way…. slice of roast that I rough chopped with my fork and loads of ketchup. For the potatoes and carrots it’s always the same way.  I take the back of my fork and mash them down.  Top with lots of butter, some salt and pepper.

Italian Style Pot Roast3

To me this is the perfect Sunday supper. It’s old-fashioned comfort food for me.  Not only does it warm the tummy but it warms my soul and always brings a smile to my face.

Crock Pot Italian Style Pot Roast


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  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 pound baby carrots
  • 1 boneless beef chuck roast (3-4 lbs)
  • 1 28 ounce can Redpack crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 1 Tbl garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 6-8 medium sized potatoes
  • 10 Fresh basil leaves
  1. Layer onions, garlic and carrots on the bottom of your 5qrt crock pot bowl.
  2. Season roast with salt and pepper and place on top of vegetables in cooker.
  3. Place the potatoes around the roast; cut in half if need be. *If cutting in half face the cut half down.
  4. In a bowl mix together the beef stock, basil, oregano, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and half of the crushed tomatoes.
  5. Pour the mixture over top the roast. *Note the liquid should only come up no more than 1/2-2/3rds the way up the roast. You do not want it submerged in the liquid.
  6. Take the remaining crushed tomatoes and spread out on top of the roast.
  7. Place the fresh basil leaves in the crushed tomatoes.
  8. Cover and cook on LOW 9-10 hours.
  9. When done, the roast will just fall apart so it’s best to use 2 large slotted serving spoon or spatulas to remove.
  10. Allow to rest for 5 minutes on a serving platter.
  11. Remove the potatoes and carrots to the platter.
  12. Strain the broth and reserve for another recipe.
I personally use this Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker! I love it! 6qrt Slow Cooker

If you want an all-in one crock pot, go with this one from All-Clad! I love mine! All-Clad Cast Aluminum Insert 4qrt Slow Cooker

11 Responses to “Crock Pot Italian Style Pot Roast”

  • Rachel says:

    I’m prepping this right now! Yay! So excited!! Do you use fresh garlic and mince it yourself, dried minced garlic or minced garlic in water?? I’m curious as to which will taste better. I have all three but can’t decide!!

    • TKWAdmin says:

      Hi Rachel!

      I always use fresh. You can use minced garlic in water if that’s all you have. Fresh, though, is always best.

      Best Kitchen Wishes!

  • KarenB says:

    Lori, if I read this right, you put ketchup on your pot roast rather than gravy, ie. Brown gravy? Cuz I ALWAYS put ketchup on my pot roast Cuz that’s how we ate it as kids. Also, my husband wants his meatloaf made and placed in a deep corning oval baking dish with 2 or 3 cans of undiluted cream of mushroom soup or Golden mushroom soup, thus it creates gravy for the rice or mashed potatoes on the side. I carefully select my slice of meatloaf or pot roast and put on my plate and then squirt ketchup on it. Lol. Lol.

    • TKWAdmin says:

      Yep, I’m a Pittsburgh girl – ketchup goes on everything 🙂 I like gravy but ketchup, yeah ketchup is king 🙂

      Best Kitchen Wishes and Happy New Year!

  • Jane says:

    FANTASTIC! This was the best pot roast I have ever had in my life! I can’t believe how tender it was and the flavors were incredible!

    Love your recipes and your stories! You’re amazing TKW!

  • Linda says:

    Weird to use ketchup on steak? Ok so I’m weird too. ;-). This pot roast jarred loose a lot of memories for me too. My mom made a great pot roast for Simday dinner. My family does not like pot roast. Can you imagine? Now that is weird! I’ll just enjoy yours.


    • TKWAdmin says:

      Yeah I love a fellow weirdo 🙂 How ya doin’ sis? LOL Whoa wait a minute? Your family doesn’t like pot roast? Oh honey you need to get a new family *wink* LOL Mr. Fantabulous isn’t a huge fan either – he’s weird though. However I still make this because *I* love it.

      Hey you can always make a smaller one just for you and either freeze the leftovers in containers or have them for lunch during the week. There are things that I positively love (like brie en croute) but Mr. Fantabulous despises. Why should I go without because he doesn’t like it. So I’ll just make a personalized version for myself and he can eat cereal. LOL

      Here’s to a blessed Sunday! Best Kitchen Wishes!

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