Pot roast is one of my favorite comfort meals. It automatically brings me back to my childhood and family dinners with my grandparents. I usually make my mom's, or my grandma's, standard version of pot roast; never really venturing out to try new flavors. I figure the original is such a hit, why mess with what works???? Well, that was the old pot roast philosophy, at least. I think I may have a new way of thinking about it, thanks to this dish.
I think what caught my attention about this recipe, was the gravy. You see, I love paprika gravy. Actually, I love paprika in general. The color, the smell, the flavor...it's my favorite spice. I know I've shared this before but, if I had a prison/death row "last meal" request situation it would be for my mom's version of a childhood dish we call "Chicken Paprika"...mainly for the paprika gravy in that recipe. So, when I found a pot roast version with paprika gravy I knew I had to try it immediately.
Slow Cooker Hungarian Pot Roast with Sour Cream and Paprika Gravy
From: Kalyn's Kitchen website
2 tsp. + 1 T olive oil
1 rump roast, about 2.5 pounds (trim visible fat if there is any)
generous amount of steak seasoning (about 1 T) to rub on roast before browning
4 large yellow onions, cut into slices at least 1/2 inch thick
2 T sweet Hungarian or Spanish paprika (or more)
1/2 tsp. sharp Hungarian paprika or smoked Spanish paprika (optional, but good)
1 jar (12 oz.) roasted red bell peppers
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes with juice (I like petite dice for this)
2 cups homemade beef stock or low-sodium beef broth
fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups sour cream (I used light sour cream, do not use fat-free)
Trim any visible fat from rump roast, then rub roast on all sides with steak seasoning. Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in heavy frying pan, add roast and brown well on all sides. (Don't rush this step., it may take 15-20 minutes to get the roast nicely browned.) When roast is well-browned, place in crockpot.
While roast browns, peel onions and cut into slices at least 1/2 inch thick. Heat additional 1 T olive oil in pan, then add onions and paprika and saute onions until lightly browned, turning often to brown all the onion slices. Put onions in crockpot on top of and around the roast. Add 2 cups beef stock to frying pan, scraping off any browned bits and simmering until beef stock is reduced to about 1 cup.
While onions brown and stock reduces, drain jar of roasted red peppers, then cut into lengthwise slices about 1/2 inch thick. Put sliced peppers and canned tomatoes into crockpot, seasoning with black pepper. When stock has reduced to about 1 cup, pour over top of crockpot ingredients.
Cook on high for about 4 hours, or until roast feels tender when pierced with a fork. When roast is tender, remove meat, let cool a few minutes, and then cut into thick slices. While meat cools enough to handle, strain liquid into a saucepan (catching the vegetables) and simmer over medium high heat to reduce for gravy. Add sliced meat and vegetables back into crockpot and keep warm.
****HERE IS WHERE I DEVIATED FROM THE RECIPE****SEE BELOW FOR MY VERSION****
When liquid has reduced by about half, whisk in sour cream. (Edit: A reader named Ned left the suggestion to add a small amount of the liquid to the sour cream and whisk together, then whisk that mixture back into the juice in the pan for easier combining without lumps. I think that sounds like a great idea.) Pour sour cream gravy back over meat and vegetables in crockpot and cook about 20-30 minutes more, or until heated through. Serve hot.
The gravy was orgasmic. The husband and I were literally taking turns licking the empty saucepan as we were cleaning up the dinner dishes. The pot roast itself was delicious enough, with all the onions, peppers, and tomatoes...but that gravy pushed it over the top to awesome. Honestly, this was a little labor-intensive at first. There is a lot of prep work involved to just get this into the slow cooker, and then the gravy itself took awhile to make. However, it was sooooo fantastic! Totally worth the trouble!!!
I didn't follow the gravy instructions as written, but the rest of the recipe I followed as-is. I will note my difference below and in the directions with an asterisks.
This pot roast made me very happy!
****ALTERNATE METHOD FOR GRAVY:****
I let the pot roast liquid reduce by half (from 2 cups to 1 cup) and removed to a separate bowl. Temper in the container of light sour cream with the liquid and set the mixture aside.
In the saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Sprinkle two tablespoons of AP flour over the melted butter and whisk to combine turning into a thick paste. Let flour/butter mixture cook for a couple of minutes. Continually whisk in the pot roast liquid and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat, while still whisking and let the gravy thicken to desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve gravy on the side or pour gravy over meat in the slow cooker and serve immediately.