crock pot pot roast instant pot pot roast recipe beef broth juniper berries bay leaf onion peppercorns

Back pocket Pot Roast

crock pot pot roast instant pot pot roast recipe beef broth juniper berries bay leaf onion peppercorns

Back Pocket Pot Roast


  • Ingredients: 3 pound bottom round Any cut that benefits from slow cooking will do
  • Trim meat of any excess fat reserve fat trimmings.
  • Beef broth 1 cup more to cover roast if you're doing a larger one
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup your favorite beer I'm using white wheat beer (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons minced onion frozen or fresh (or 1 tbsp dried minced onion)
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 2-3 whole peppercorns or 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 2 dried juniper berries optional
  • 2-3 tablespoons All Purpose flour
  • Dash of Worcester sauce
  • 1 tsp of sugar to taste
  • 1 tsp. of sherry to taste


  1. Method: Spray slow cooker with oil, grease, or use slow cooker liner. Add all ingredients, including trimmed fat,slow cook on low 4-6 hours or high 2-3 hours. Finish off the beer while it cooks. Ignore delicious smells as stomach rumbles.
  2. When 1 hour is left, remove bay leaf, beef trimmings, peppercorns, juniper berries. Sprinkle 2-3 tablespoons flour in slow cooker and whisk together. Allow to cook additional hour and gravy to thicken. Season gravy to taste, using sherry or sugar as needed. Cut roast against the grain in slices or chunks.
  3. Instant Pot method variation:
  4. Saute onion, beef trimmings, brown beef on all sides. Add liquids and spices, set instant pot on meat setting according to manufacturers directions. Remove beef trimmings, bay leaf, peppercorns, juniper berries, thicken with 2-3 tablespoons flour mixed in 5 tablespoons cold water on saute setting. Season gravy to taste. Cut roast against grain in chunks or slices.
  5. Gluten free variation: Thicken with cornstarch or arrowroot powder.
  6. Flavor variations: As usual, season to taste.
  7. If you have time, browning the onions and pot roast on every side will add depth of flavor.
  8. If you'd like a more classic version, omit the beer, peppercorns, and juniper berries. Carrots (shredded, baby, or spears) diced celery, and diced potatoes make this an easy one pot meal.

Recipe Notes

For a more elegant finish, use frozen pearl onions. Mushrooms would be delicious for a Jaeger style gravy. If you're watching fat content, you can discard beef trimmings without cooking.

Today is a struggle bun day.

The washing machine is running, my baby is sleeping, I’m in the pajamas I wore last night. The baby took four hours to put to sleep last night. I’ve spilled my morning coffee.

We start our day with tickles. Is there anything better than a giggling baby ? Of course not.  He’s so chubby he has a double chin that crinkles up when he smiles. Sometimes I tickle the milk out of him. How can I stop when he’s eyeing me with a big smile hoping I’ll keep going? This is the chaotic, perfect heaven I am blessed to live every day.

I’d much rather spend time with my baby than cook! Thanks to the slow cooker, I can whack a roast in the Crock pot, give it minimal effort, and still have a delicious meal on the table. Today I’m still on my German kick, so there’s a bit of influence with the beer, juniper berries, and whole peppercorns. Sometimes I’m just not in the mood for a normal pot roast.

This is called a back pocket pot roast because it is a standby I keep in my back pocket. I do my best to keep a piece of beef in the freezer that I can toss in the slow cooker or instant pot frozen. (I might forget to defrost things. That would involve planning ahead.)

I realize that 2 of my three posts already involve beef and gravy. I’m not even sorry.

Why are you keeping the beef trimmings in to cook with? Oh friends. Fat equals flavor. Don’t toss the trimmings without cooking them! As Americans we are so averse to fat, all over the world these pieces are not wasted, they are used for their flavorful, life giving properties. I promise it will add some delicious depth to your gravy. Just wait until we get into using bones!


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