A few weeks ago, I was in California visiting family, and I happened to go to a deli that had “pot roast” sandwiches. I was so excited! Until I got my sandwich. I was picturing a gooey, gravy laden, cheesy hot sandwich. You know, like pot roast your grandma used to make…..simmered all day with carrots, onions and potatoes. What I got was a cold sandwich with what looked like sliced roast beef on it. I guess perhaps it was pot roast at one point. Pot roast that was cooled, drained of gravy and sliced thin?
I knew then and there that I was going to go home and make the best possible pot roast sandwich I could. One that was exactly what I didn’t get at the deli. A gooey, cheesy masterpiece was what I was after. I practiced a few times. I read every pot roast recipe I could find on Pinterest. I took random polls over the phone (No I didn’t). I think I came up with a pretty phenomenal pot roast sandwich. It made a mess when I ate it….and I think that is a pretty good indicator.
Like I said, I read every recipe for pot roast that was on Pinterest. Some had liquid, some didn’t, some had exactly five pepperoncini placed atop the roast, and some had butter thrown in. I took some helpful hints from some of these, and came up with a recipe all my own. And no, I didn’t carefully and artfully arrange pepperoncini atop my roast.
I started with a beef chuck roast that actually said on the package “Great for pot roast!” Well, perfect. I knew I was going to use my slow cooker, so I browned my roast on all sides in a large pot first. I am a firm believer in browning my meat before it takes a long bath in the slow cooker. I think this adds flavor and texture.
I set my browned roast on a bed of thinly sliced onions because onions are a must for pot roast. Now it gets fun. Well, fun for me anyway.
I sprinkled a package of mushroom gravy mix over my roast, and then a package of dry ranch dressing mix. I also added two tablespoons of butter, and then I covered the entire thing with one bottle of beer. Any kid will do. I used pale ale, but use what you have.
I let this cook all day on low. When my roast was about thirty minutes from being done, I added a pound of fresh sliced mushrooms to the slow cooker. This gives the mushrooms a bit of time to cook, but not too much. They can’t stand the hot tub all day like onions can.
When the roast is done, it will literally fall apart when you try to take it out of the pot. I shred the meat with two forks and then return it to the slow cooker to absorb all the yummy juices.
I serve my sandwiches on soft, fluffy rolls topped with melted provolone cheese. Every sandwich gets roast, tons of mushrooms and tons of onions. I think my sandwich has everything I was looking for at the deli in California. It was gooey, warm, dripping with juices and melty cheese, and all together fantastic. And anything made in the slow cooker is an automatic win since it is virtually no work.
What to serve on the side….hmmmmmmm. How about Grilled (or roasted) German Sweet Potato Salad? This is one of my favorites. It is packed with sugary grilled sweet potatoes, bacon, green onions and a tangy mustard dressing. And no mayo…….Yes, this salad is perfect for summer parties.
If you happen to have your grill going, by all means, slap your sweet potatoes on there. But, if you used your slow cooker for pot roast, you probably don’t. This salad is equally good with roasted sweet potatoes. I promise.
I start by par-boiling the sweet potatoes. This just means that I threw them in a pot with water and boiled them until they were fork tender, about 20 minutes. I didn’t peel them or cut them for this step. I put the whole potatoes in cold water. Once the water came to a boil, I set the timer for 20 minutes.
Once the potatoes cooled enough that I could touch them without getting third degree burns, I sliced them into wedges. Then, I coated them with a bit of olive oil.
From here, the potato wedges can go straight onto the grill, or straight into a hot oven. If you are grilling the wedges, it is about two minutes per side. The skins might char a bit….no big deal, just toss that part.
If you are broiling them, same idea, just flip them after two minutes. Then go another two.
When the potatoes were done grilling, I chopped them into bite sized pieces and mixed them in with some cooked bacon and green onions.
The dressing for this salad is Gourmet Rooster Carolina Style BBQ sauce (a mustard based BBQ sauce), sugar, apple cider vinegar, olive oil and salt & pepper. This all gets whisked together and poured over the potatoes, bacon and green onions. The warm potatoes soak up the dressing and are filled with flavor. Sweet potatoes are perfect with mustard! And bacon!
This salad gets better the longer it sits. It is perfect for a potluck because it can sit on the table and nobody has to worry about getting food poisoning from rotten mayo. I love mayo as much as the next guy, probably more, but I think this salad is the perfect potato salad. And I know this salad is perfect with a pot roast sandwich! Try it! You’ll like it.
Perfect Pot Roast Sandwich
2 tablespoons oil
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
3-4 pound chuck roast
1 onion, sliced
2 Tablespoons butter
1 package dry mushroom gravy mix (.75 ounce)
1 pacakge dry ranch dressing mix (.4 ounce)
12 ounces beer
1 pound white button mushrooms, sliced
4 to 6 large sandwich or hoagie rolls
6 slices provolone cheese
Brown roast (in oil) on all sides in a large deep pot, about 3 to 4 minutes per side over high heat. Sprinkle roast with salt and pepper.
Layer onion slices in the bottom of slow cooker. Place roast on top of onions. Sprinkle gravy mix and ranch dressing mix over roast. Add butter and beer. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
When roast is 30 minutes from being done, add mushrooms. Cook remaining 30 minutes.
Remove roast from slow cooker and shred meat. Return shredded meat to slow cooker.
Split rolls in half and layer provolone cheese over bottom halves. Broil in oven until cheese is melted and rolls are slightly browned, about 4 minuites.
Top bottom half of rolls with roast, mushrooms, onions and cooking juices.
Makes 4 to 6.
Grilled Sweet Potato German Potato Salad
4 large sweet potatoes
½ cup green onions, diced
10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 tablespoons Gourmet Rooster Carolina Style BBQ sauce
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
½ cup olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
Par boil sweet potatoes in a large pot filled with boiling water until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Let cool, and slice into wedges. Coat wedges with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.
Grill wedges over direct heat for about 1 to 2 minutes per side or broil in oven for 2 minutes per side. Let cool and chop into bite sized pieces. Add grilled potatoes to green onions and bacon. Combine remaining ingredients to make dressing and pour over salad. Serve warm or cold.