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This slow cooker beef shoulder roast recipe with red wine mushroom sauce is special occasion fancy and weeknight dinner friendly. It's a pot roast that always received top ratings at our meal assembly stores because of the AMAZING “gravy" that smothers fork-tender beef.
Have plenty of mashed potatoes or cauliflower mash on hand to soak up every last drop of the gravy, which becomes silky smooth once it thickens in the crock-pot. You're going to want to lick the plate clean!
It's a comforting mid-week dinner. But, because of its beautiful presentation, we also included this crock-pot shoulder roast in our Special Occasion Dinners collection.
There's no rushing around in the kitchen as guests arrive with this dinner. And, the aroma that fills your house is very, very inviting.
Select quality main ingredients to take this slow cooker pot roast over the top.
- Beef Shoulder - We used this boneless cut of meat at our stores. When cooked slowly over low heat, beef shoulders are moist, tender, and easy to slice. Other types you can use include: blade roast, chuck, brisket, or round roasts.
- Mushrooms - Any type of mushroom will work. We used shiitake mushrooms. It's equally delicious with white button, baby Bella, or cremini mushrooms. Or, use a mixture of all your favorites. Be adventurous! The recipe calls for 8 ounces, but mushroom lovers may want to use up to 16 ounces.
- Red wine - Use dry red wine. We used Merlot. Other options include Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir. Use whatever you like to drink. And, if you don't drink wine, just buy little bottles and store them in a cool place for your next recipe!
- Onion - Roughly chopped white or sweet onion.
- Everything else - You'll also need ketchup, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, salt, pepper, and corn starch.
Food allergy tip: Worcestershire sauce contains soy and often gluten. If necessary, leave this ingredient out. We have and still marveled at the result.
Optional: Add potatoes, carrots, and other hearty vegetables. If you do, double the amount of the sauce.
The preparation of this crock-pot shoulder roast is simple, which is one of the reasons you'll put it on repeat.
1. Brown the Meat
I love beef shoulder roasts because they are relatively low in fat and still cook well in a crock-pot. You do not need to brown the meat on the stovetop first. But you definitely can, and it only adds to the flavor!
To brown the outside of the beef, heat oil (canola, vegetable, or avocado oil) in a large pan over medium-high heat. Pat the shoulder roast dry and add it to the skillet. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side or until browned to your liking.
2. Prepare Mushrooms
Shiitake mushrooms have a smoky flavor and add to the rich flavor of this recipe. No matter what type of mushroom is used, here are a few tips:
- The tough stems should be cut off close to the cap and discarded.
- Mushrooms are very porous, so it's best to wipe off any dirt which a damp paper towel rather than dousing them with water. This is true no matter which type of mushroom you use.
- Slice the mushroom caps into thin slices.
- Use dried shiitake mushrooms after they've been reconstituted.
3. Combine Sauce Ingredients
Mix ketchup, red wine, water, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, minced garlic, salt, and pepper to make red wine mushroom sauce. That combination may sound odd. But, trust me. It's delicious when it's finished.
4. Add Everything to a Crock-Pot
Place the beef shoulder roast, mushrooms, and onions into the slow cooker and pour the sauce over the top.
We suggest cooking a shoulder pot roast on low for about 6-8 hours for the very best result. However, it can also be cooked on high for about 4-6 hours.
5. Thicken Sauce
The magic occurs at the very end of the cooking process. Lift out the shoulder roast and stir a slushy mixture of corn starch and water into the liquid, mushrooms, and onions. Turn the temperature to high and cook for about 10 minutes more. Keep the meat warm.
The sauce turns into a velvety, delicious gravy that you absolutely have to use on everything in sight.
This was known as Crock-Pot Black Forest Pot Roast at our meal assembly stores. So, it's definitely freezer-friendly before you cook it!
Make an extra bag when shoulder roasts go on sale, and you have everything out.
To make a freezer bag, add all ingredients (except for the slushy corn starch and water mixture) to a large freezer-safe bag. Remove any excess air as you close it. Then, place that bag inside another one as a safety precaution.
This recipe stores well in the freezer for about 2-4 months. Defrost in the refrigerator before cooking as you usually would. Be sure to label it and note that you need to add the corn starch at the end.
Pot roast can be tough if cooked too long, not long enough, or if there is not enough liquid in the slow cooker. The proportions and timing for this recipe should yield a fork-tender pot roast with lots of extra sauce. If you add extra ingredients, then double the sauce too.
Add hearty vegetables that can withstand 6-8 hours in a crock-pot, such as carrots. Be mindful of how many extra ingredients you add so there is still enough liquid to keep the shoulder roast moist.
Spoon extra sauce over the pot roast. For small servings, you can cover and microwave for several minutes without it becoming dry. For larger portions, place meat topped with sauce in a covered baking dish and reheat at 300 °F until warmed through, about 20 minutes, depending upon the amount and thickness.
For gravy that is stored separately from the meat, cover and microwave on high for 1 minute. Remove cover, stir and continue heating at 30-second intervals until warmed through.
I'm sure it could be. Check out the instructions and tips for Oven Baked Chuck Roast by the Cooking Frog.
Other Slow Cooker Shoulder Roast Recipes
We use the same cut of beef to make these dinners:
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Slow Cooker Beef Shoulder Roast
- 2 pounds Boneless beef shoulder roast Up to 3 pounds
- 1 medium onion roughly chopped, about half of an onion
- 8 ounces mushrooms sliced, shiitake or mushroom of choice
- ½ cup ketchup
- ½ cup dry red wine such as Merlot
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup Dijon Mustard
- 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 Tablespoons corn starch
- 3 Tablespoons water
- Place beef shoulder roast in crock-pot.
- Add chopped onions and sliced mushrooms.
- Mix ketchup, red wine, water, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, minced garlic, salt and pepper together in a medium-sized bowl.
- Pour sauce mixture over shoulder roast.
- Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
- Remove meat from crock-pot and keep warm.
- Mix corn starch with 3 Tablespoons of cold water.
- Add corn starch mixture to the juices in the crock-pot and stir.
- Turn the heat to high and cook for 10-15 minutes more.
- Serve sauce over meat.
This recipe was originally published 2/15/2013. It was updated to improve the reader experience.