Summer Garden Beef Pot Roast (GFCF) recipe

I must say that after about nine months of composting, it is still very satisfying.  It’s satisfying to mix in homemade compost into my garden, and satisfying that those veggie kitchen scraps are going to good use, and not just thrown in the trash.

I was thinking about that this morning as I was peeling carrots.  🙂

I was also thinking about a recent visit to, a site which I really like, and seeing “recipes” for chicken whose sole ingredients were:

  • A chicken
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp paprika

That’s it.  The recipe in question has received more than 1,000 reviews (average of 4.5 stars, out of 5), and nearly 71,000 people have saved it as a favorite.  😮

Call me a snob, but I just don’t consider that a recipe.

My sweet friend Daja blogged about this cultural phenomenon recently:  Recipes that aren’t, which she entitled They just don’t make ’em like they used to, in which she contrasted old fashioned recipes with newer “recipes”.

Or how about this gem: specific instructions on spreading marshmallow cream and peanut butter on bread.  Silly me, I thought that was something we didn’t admit to eating, not something we outlined in great detail.

Lots of good, fresh recipes on the site from which this pic was taken! The Seasonal Gourmet. Perfect.

So, anyway.  I was thinking about all of this, considering whether or not what I was making this morning qualifies as a true recipe.  I decided that, yes, it does, even though I almost never actually use recipes for dinner.  I pretty much just buy what’s on sale and in season (and now, what I can reap from my garden, or what was in my weekly CSA basket), look in the fridge and assess what I have, and come up with a plan that matches what I have on hand.  That’s what I did, this morning.  Since it’s summertime, I used ingredients that I probably wouldn’t have on hand in the winter, like red bells, fresh basil, and zucchini.  And, of course, if you’re going to make a pot roast in the summer, you must use a Crockpot.  Heating up the whole house just makes no sense.

Here ya go:

Summer Garden Beef Pot Roast

serves 6-8
(click here for pdf:  Summer Garden Beef Pot Roast pdf)

  • 3-5 lb beef chuck roast, bone-in
  • 8 medium carrots (about 1 pound)
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 large zucchini (about 1 pound)
  • 4 stalks celery, with leaves
  • 1 – 28 oz can diced tomatoes OR about 3 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp sweet California chili powder OR paprika
  • 1 tsp dry, rubbed sage
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil (about 10 – 15 large leaves)
  • 8 cloves garlic, rough chopped
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp fresh cracked pepper
  • IF you have a very large (8+ quart) Crockpot, 3 lbs Yukon gold and/or red-skinned potatoes.
  1. Place the roast in the bottom of a 6 or 7 quart Crockpot (usually oval-shaped, rather than round).  No need to cut it up.
  2. As you prepare each veggie, just throw it in, atop the roast.
  3. Peel the carrots and slice lengthwise.  Cut each “stick” into 3-4 pieces.
  4. Core and seed the red bell pepper, cut into pieces approximately 1″ x 1″.
  5. Peel and slice the onion into about 16 sections.
  6. Cut the zucchini lengthwise into quarters and chop into pieces about ½” wide.
  7. Chop the celery into pieces about ½” wide.  (Leave the leaves.  They add more flavor!  Or, just do what I do:  Cut off the dried ends of a bunch of celery, then chop from there until you have about 1 cup of pieces.)
  8. Add the tomatoes, chili powder (or paprika), sage, basil, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  9. If you used canned tomatoes, add some water to the can to rinse out the remaining tomatoes and add to the Crockpot.  If you used fresh tomatoes, add 1 cup water.
  10. If you still have room remaining in your Crockpot, cut each potato into 4-6 pieces and continue adding until Crockpot is full.
  11. Gently stir contents of the Crockpot with a wooden spoon (or just plunge your hands in and mix).
  12. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 6-7 hours until meat is fall-apart tender.
  13. If you added potatoes, you have a complete, one-dish meal.  If you did not add potatoes, serve over mashed potatoes or rice.
  14. Enjoy!

About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on August 8, 2011, in Cooking/Baking/Food/Recipes, Dairy-free, Desert Gardening, GF Recipes, GFCF, GFCF Recipes, gluten-free, Summer Plans. Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. This sounds great.
    I couldn’t agree more about what qualifies as a recipe. A pet peeve of mine is when a recipe calls for a package of this, a can of that, with a dash of xyz spice mix and top it off a jar of frosting. Like you said, I can’t believe people openly admit to eating that way. Gross.

    • “and top it off with a a jar of frosting” !! That made me laugh!

      I hope you’re OK with the can of tomatoes. 😉 I used canned tomatoes all the time. I’m *TRYING* to grow tomatoes, and I picked a variety that is supposed to can well. But, the plants are kinda struggling.

      I feel like good recipes should also have some originality to them, which I’m not sure if this one actually does… but one person’s everyday-mundane is a revelation to someone else. 🙂

  2. WOOT! Do you know, i was going to do a roast today in the crockpot and kind of half forgot about it in the fridge defrosting and then decided blech.. i didn’t want it.. but i’d do it 2maro because i HAD to.. and i ahven’t been to your blog in awhile.. and here i am..and here this is 🙂 and 2maro i will make this …more or less. LOL. bec. i am not going to go shopping but have much of what you list as ingredients! this recipe is a little whisper from God!

    • Wow, Amy, that’s really funny! That has happened to me before, too, thinking, “Hmm… should I do that?” and then I read something about it that day or the next. “I guess I should!” Glad to help you!! 😀

  3. I think I will try this but what I would do differently (just preference) is to mix all the vegetables and seasonings in a bowl then pour over the roast. seems kinda hard to “mix in” a 3# roast : )

    • Yeah, I pretty much just let it sit on the bottom and mix/toss around it. Since it’s slow cooking, everything gets pretty much mixed together even if you don’t manually mix it. I tend to dirty the fewest bowls possible!! 😀

  4. Just tracking the comments here lol. and Lynn, that is what i did but just because i was searing the roast in the pan. fyi i am not doing slow cooker- decided to do in the oven. and made some changes. so ill have to blog it too 😉 i have 2 kinds of paprika..sweet and smoky and used the sweet. ooooo i can’t WAITTTTTT!!! house smells great.

    • It’s too hot to do a roast in the oven here!

      Where do you get your smoked paprika? I’ve heard of that before, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen it in a store. I think it would taste amazing.

  5. i get my spices at the spice house. Alton Brown recommended them eons ago and i really do love them. good prices. get on their email list for specials…free shipping etc. i have lots of favorites. i get a couple of the blends too. good stuff. the oven is only at not too hot. i couldn’t resist and just took a bit of the liquid out of the pot and burnt my tongue LOL! that’ll tech me.

    • GREAT!! Also, I found smoked paprika the other day, and have been loving it. I used it in a Crockpot pork roast dish, and on grilled (bone-in, skin-on) chicken breast. The fam said the chicken tasted like it had been wrapped in bacon. 😀 Everyone loved it!

  6. Loved your recipe, so here I am a year on from when you posted, making the pot roast in my oven in Scotland I also used smoked paprika. Thanks for a great recipe.

    • Yay! Thanks for the comment! Now, I’m off to your blog to find out what part of Scotland. I love it there; I’ve been twice.

      And I adore smoked paprika. I’ve been using it so much, it’s almost a joke in my family. I always say, “The good news? It smells like bacon. The bad news? It’s not bacon.” 😀

  1. Pingback: Summer Beef Pot Roast | Farmersgirl Kitchen

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