Black Forest Pot Roast – A Five Star Crock-pot Recipe

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. 🙂

Black Forest Pot Roast


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.


Cut the stems off the shiitake mushrooms.

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.


Sliced Shiitake Mushrooms

Aren’t they lovely?


Boneless Shoulder Roast

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.


Merlot wine

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.


Crockpot Black Forest Pot Roast

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.


Corn startch

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.


Crockpot Black Forest Pot Roast

 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.


5.0 from 1 reviews
Black Forest Pot Roast
A rich gravy made with shiitake mushrooms, onions, garlic and red wine smother fork tender beef. An impressive entree for entertaining. But, be sure to add bread, mashed potatoes or something else for your guests to sop up the suberb sauce.
Serves: Varies based upon beef roast size
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup dry red wine
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Dash of pepper
  • 1 cup onion, roughly chopped (about half of an onion)
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced (shiitake or mushroom of choice)
  • Boneless beef shoulder roast, 2 to 4 pounds
  • 2 Tablespoons corn starch
  • 3 Tablespoons water
  1. Mix the first 8 ingredients together in a bowl.
  2. Add onions that have been roughly chopped..
  3. Add mushrooms that have been cleaned and thinly sliced.
  4. Trim fat from beef roast and place in crock-pot.
  5. Pour sauce mixture over the beef roast.
  6. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  7. Remove meat from crock-pot and keep warm.
  8. Mix corn starch with 3 Tablespoons of cold water.
  9. Add corn starch mixture to the juices in the crock-pot and stir.
  10. Turn the heat to high and cook for 15-20 minutes more.
  11. Serve sauce over meat.
This recipe can be made ahead of time and frozen. Mix all of the ingredients (except for the corn starch/water mixture) in a ziplock bag. Add beef roast. Store in freezer 2-4 months for best quality. Defrost completely in refrigerator before cooking.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: Allow ½ pound pre-cooked beef per person



  1. OMG! another deeelish recipe…thank you,

  2. I had this the other night and the flavor was wonderful and the meat was tender. I would definitely make this again and serve it over mashed potatoes. I loved the taste of the sauce!

  3. Hi
    Can I use brisket instead of the shoulder roast? I’ve got one in my freezer that’s looking for a good recipe like this.

  4. Perfect, thanks for the fast reply!

  5. I intend on making this for dinner tomorrow and was wondering if adding some baby carrots and cubed Yukon Gold potatoes would detract from the flavor and/or amount of gravy in this recipe. I have been searching for a recipe for hours and this honestly looks and sounds like the best so far, but I would like all the vegetables to be cooked with the roast.

  6. Diana Wilson says:

    Made this tonight and it was wonderful. Not a big fan of pot roasts, but I will definitely be making this again. The gravy was delicious. I will double the next time. Thanks so much for sharing.

  7. Can I cook on high in crock pot for 4 hours?

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