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:
Did you make this recipe?
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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.
OMG! another deeelish recipe...thank you,
It was a tasty Valentine's dinner!
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!
So glad you enjoyed it. You can freeze the leftover gravy. If necessary, add a little cornstarch to thicken it up when re-heating.
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.
You absolutely could use brisket!
Perfect, thanks for the fast reply!
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.
Hi! You should be able to add carrots and potatoes. I would double the sauce...we often do this anyways to have extra! Enjoy!
Thank you so much for your prompt reply, I can not wait to try this recipe! Thanks again for posting this 🙂
You are so welcome. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
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.
Thanks for your feedback. I'm so glad you liked it. It's good to have lots gravy...and it's still delicious the next day! 🙂
Can I cook on high in crock pot for 4 hours?
Yes you can!
Yikes!! HELP!!! I bought all the ingredients for this before I actually read the directions, and 3/4 of the way thru dicing the roast did I realize this is a pot roast recipe. /. Stew~ ish recipe??? It’s kind of too late, I put the cubed shoulder, doubled the gravy recipe added everything to the crock pot except the corn starch and water... what do you think???
How long should I cook it? Thank you for your help in advance!
Hi! I think it should be fine with beef cubes. You don't need to change the cook time. I'd love to know how it turns out!
This thread looks old but I'll try to reach you anyway.
When you say double the sauce does that mean doubling these ingredients:
Ketsuo, Red wine, Water, Dijon, Worchestershire, garlic, and pepper?
Hi! Yes, double everything except for the meat.
Can I use a frozen beef roast? Forgot to thaw it.
Hi! It's best to defrost the meat before adding it to the crock-pot.
The sauce is AMAZING. This is the best pot roast I think I've ever had and I've tried quite a few. I did add a little red wine vinegar (1/4 cup or less) which gave a little tang without being sour. I'm sure this recipe will be made many more times!
I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I'm going to try a little more red wine vinegar next time...sounds delish!
very delicious..whole family loved it..getting saved for sure
I'm so glad you discovered it! It's a family favorite at our house too!
For a 4.8lb shoulder roast how long to cook? Thanks
You should be fine at 7-8 hours on low. But, be sure to follow any special instructions for your model. Also, be sure to double the sauce! Enjoy!
Thanks so much. I did double up on the sauce.
I don't have a crock pot but I'd love to try this recipe. Do you think I can cook it in the oven? I'd keep it covered and cook it at a low temperature for several hours. Thank you!
You should be able to and I love to know how it turns out! Use a meat thermometer to keep track of the cooking process if possible.
Tried this tonight, doubles as we had lots of meat. It was good, the wine didnt cook off. Next time ill add a bit of sugar as the red wine taste was very overpowering.
When you add the cornstarch slurry to the slow cooker at the end, do you leave it open or cover it with a lid to thicken for the 10 to 15 minutes on high?
Hi! The cornstarch should thicken it either way. But, I typically leave it off.
What can i use instead of the wine
Try a red grape juice! It should substitute one for one. To make the juice less sweet add a 1/2 teaspoon of vinegar or more to taste, if desired.
First time I didn’t use bullion in the sauce and I used onion salt instead of real onions because of stomach issues, but the sauce was so tasty!
Does it matter if I put the roast on top of the veggies or bottom?
Making this today! When should I add the potatoes and carrots?
Hi! You can add these at the beginning or even a few hours afterward if you like!
For doubling the sauce arenyou doubling all ingredients other than the roast. I know probably a silly question but wanted to check. Excited to make this!!
Yes! Double mushrooms and onions too.
This is the best pot roast I've ever made, and I've used many pot roast recipes over the years! I followed the recipe, with one exception. I used canned sliced mushrooms as that's all I had. This was easy to put together and was really delicious!! Thank you for this recipe! It's definitely a keeper!!
I'm so glad you enjoyed it!
Tammy Marie Blevins
I missed the part where you only pat the mushrooms so I didn't cut off the stems and doused them with water. Ugg. Will my roast still turn out ok with my mistake? This is my first time to make this recipe so I can't rate it at the moment. I pray I haven't messed it up.
Thank you for your time.
I think it will turn out just fine! Stems that are hard or woody won't be as pleasing, but they shouldn't hurt anything. Since the mushrooms are being mixed into a sauce, a little extra water shouldn't be a problem either. I hope you enjoy it!
Absolutely delicious! Loved the gravy and the meat was tender and flavorful. Thank you!