Is there a crock-pot recipe fancy enough for a special occasion? Black Forest Pot Roast gets the top rating because a rich gravy made with red wine, garlic, shiitake mushrooms and sweet onions smother fork-tender beef. You will want to soak up every last drop of the gravy with mashed potatoes, fresh bread…I wanted to lick the plate clean!
Of course, forget that last part if it is a really special dinner.
The preparation is super simple which makes this recipe especially attractive for entertaining. It can be made ahead of time and is freezer-friendly. Dinner prep doesn’t get any better.
The recipe is aptly named “Black Forest” when shiitake mushrooms are used because this type of mushroom is cultivated in forests. It has a smoky flavor and holds it own in this recipe.
However, please note that ANY mushroom will work in this recipe and I have used all different types including white, baby bella and cremini mushrooms. One cup of sliced mushrooms is all you need.
Should you decide to go with fresh shiitake mushrooms, here are a few tips:
- The stems are tough and should be cut off close to the cap and discarded.
- They are very porous, so it’s best to wipe off any dirt with a damp paper towel rather than dousing the shroom with water.
- Slice the mushroom caps in thin slices.
- Dried shiitake mushrooms can be used after they have been reconstituted.
Aren’t they lovely?
This is a boneless beef shoulder roast. Use a roast that is between 2 and 4 pounds, depending upon your needs. (I always use the same amount of sauce ingredients. Did I mention that the gravy is superb…so you will want to have a lot on hand.)
I love this cut because it is relatively low in fat and still works well in a crock-pot.
As for wine, I used a Merlot. Other dry red wine options include Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir. Use whatever you like to drink or just buy the little bottles and store them in a cool place for your next recipe.
The preparation is simple. Mix together ketchup, red wine, water, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, minced garlic, sliced mushrooms and chopped onions. Place the beef shoulder in the crock-pot and then cover it with the sauce.
Cook on low heat for about 8 hours.
Food allergy tip: Worcestershire sauce contains soy and often gluten. We leave this ingredient out…and it still tastes great.
A really fun part of this recipe is turning the juices into the rich gravy. Remove the meat from the crock-pot and keep it warm. Combine 2 Tablespoons of corn starch with 3 Tablespoons of cold water. Stir the corn starch mixture into the juices in the crock pot. Cover and turn the heat up to high. Cook for about 15-20 minutes. Like magic, a thick gravy develops.
Drum roll please…Black Forest Pot Roast…with lots of gravy for pouring, dipping and sopping!
We made this recipe in our store for many years and it was based upon a recipe in and old crock-pot instruction booklet. Make it ahead of time (except for the corn starch/water add-in) and freeze it by preparing all the ingredients in a ziplock freezer bag. Add the beef shoulder roast and seal, removing any extra air. It stores well in the freezer for about 2-4 months. Completely defrost in the refrigerator before cooking.