Saturday, November 24, 2012

Slow Cooker (Crockpot) Recipe for Pot Roast with Sweet and Sour Tomato Sauce

Slow Cooker Pot Roast with Sweet and Sour Tomato Sauce
Pot Roast with Sweet and Sour Tomato Sauce, made in the slow cooker.

(Updated with improved photos and step-by-step instructions, November 2012.)  I know some people are still looking for leftover turkey recipes, but if your turkey is gone and you're looking for something comforting but still pretty healthy to make in the slow cooker this weekend, this Slow Cooker Pot Roast with Sweet and Sour Tomato Sauce makes great leftovers too.  I love those two-in-a-pack chuck roasts they sell at Costco, and this recipe from 2007 is one of my favorite ways to use them.  The sauce is a little chunky, but if you'd like a smoother sauce use onion powder instead of the chopped onion.  Here's How to Make Pot Roast in the Crockpot which you might want to read before you make this.

Trim the pieces of chuck roast so most of the visible fat is removed.  (For the South Beach Diet, remember the guidelines are not more than 10% fat.  I use all the trimmed pieces to make beef stock.)

Rub the meat with steak seasoning.  Then heat olive oil in a large frying pan and brown the pieces of meat until they're nicely browned.  (For best flavor, don't skip this step.)

While the meat browns, puree together the chopped onion or onion powder, garlic, ginger, sweetener of your choice, rice vinegar, diced tomatoes, soy sauce, and anchovy paste (if using.)  

Put the pieces of meat into the slow cooker, trying to get them in a single layer if you can.  (I used my newest Crock-Pot 3-1/2-Quart Slow Cooker for this recipe.)

Deglaze the frying pan with a little water or beef stock, then add the sauce mixture and cook about 3 minutes.

Pour the sauce over the meat in the slow cooker and cook on low for 7-8 hours, or until the meat is very tender.  (You can cook for a shorter time in high, but I think pot roast is more tender when cooked on low.)

When the pot roast is done, remove from the slow cooker and keep warm.  Skim off any fat from the sauce and them simmer about 10 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly thickened and reduced by 1/3.

And here's the original photo of this pot roast with the sauce from back in 2007, not bad at all for those days!

Pot Roast with Sweet and Sour Tomato Sauce
(About 6 servings, some ideas for the sauce in this recipe came from a recipe for Ginger Beef in 500 Low-Carb Recipes.

3 1/2 - 4 lb. boneless chuck roast, trimmed well
1 T olive oil
steak rub, to season meat (I  used homemade Montreal Steak Seasoning)
black pepper, to season meat
1/4 cup water with 1 tsp. beef soup base

Sauce Ingredients:
1/2 small onion finely chopped (or use 1 T onion powder)
2 T garlic puree (in a jar, also called ground garlic)
2 T ginger puree (in a jar, also called ground ginger)
2 T sugar, Splenda, or Stevia in the Raw granulated (Use Splenda or Stevia for South Beach Diet)
1/4 cup rice vinegar (not seasoned vinegar which has sugar)
1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes with juice
2 T soy sauce
1 tsp. anchovy paste, optional

I used a Crock-Pot 3-1/2-Quart Slow Cooker for this recipe.

Trim as much fat as you can from roast, and cut if necessary to fit into Crockpot. Rub meat well with steak seasoning and black pepper. Heat heavy pan with small amount of olive oil and brown roast well on both sides. This will take a few minutes; don't rush the browning step.

While meat browns, combine onion or onion powder, garlic, ginger, sweetener of your choice, rice vinegar, diced tomatoes, soy sauce, and anchovy paste (if using) in food processor. Process several minutes with steel blade until tomatoes are pureed and ingredients are well combined.

Put browned roast into slow cooker.  Deglaze frying pan with 1/4 cup water to which you have added beef soup base. Add the sauce mixture from the food processor and cook about 3 minutes. Pour sauce mixture over the meat in the slow cooker.

Cook on low 7-8 hours or more, until meat is very tender. (If I'm home I usually turn it a couple of times, but it's not necessary.) Remove meat from slow cooker and keep warm. Skim off any visible fat from sauce mixture, or use a fat separator. Transfer sauce mixture to small saucepan and simmer to reduce, about 10 minutes, until sauce is reduced by about 1/3.

Serve hot, with sauce spooned over meat.

South Beach Suggestions
Served with a vegetable like Georgette's Greek Zucchini and a simple green salad, this would be phase one for the South Beach Diet. For phase two or three, something like Lake Powell Spicy Rice would taste great with a little of the sauce spooned over it.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Slow Cooker Pot Roast to Try:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Slow Cooker Tex-Mex Pot Roast from The Perfect Pantry
CrockPot Recipe for Southwestern Pot Roast from Kalyn's Kitchen
Slow Cooker Pot Roast with Red Wine and Brandy from Tasty Eats at Home
Hungarian Pot Roast with Sour Cream-Paprika Gravy from Kalyn's Kitchen
Apple Cider Glazed Pot Roast from What's Cookin' Chickago?  
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and this blog earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

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  1. I get those roasts from Costco too! So now I have another way of fixing them from the usual pot roast I usually make :) Your photos look delish!

  2. We make pot roasts all the time, but it seems like I'm always doing it the exact same way. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  3. JMom, aren't those Costco roasts great. I love Costco!

    Kristen, this was a bit unusual for post roast, but really good.

    I hope people don't think I am being snarky deleting the two comments with links that don't relate to this post, but if I start letting people leave links in the comments, pretty soon spammers will be leaving links as "advertisements" for other sites. Even one link left in a comment will encourage them, so I an usually pretty quick to delete them. (I have passed on the link to the WHB host, but would appreciate it if people would e-mail them to me, for the same reason. My e-mail address is posted in my profile, left sidebar.)

  4. How do you manage to always make it looks so wonderful! A good pot roast is always welcome.

  5. mmm...pot roast - looks Dee-lish! I love to eat, I just need to try and make it!

  6. Just discovered your blog, and I love it! Thank you for any new variation to my pot roast!:)

  7. Kalyn, I see you have used Splenda ? It cost a bomb over here :( By the way, I have a very similar pot roast recipe using pork loin and instead of sugar and onions, I used shallots puree only, and I love how the shallots lends such sweetness to the roast, and I didn't have to use sugar at all, just a thought, cheers ! :)

  8. I love the idea of a sweet and sour sauce to change up a pot roast....I tend to make roast the same way so this will be a nice change. gonna have to give this one a try too. :D

  9. Tanna, I think this is going to be one of my favorite pot roast recipes.

    Chris and Vi, thanks.

    MW, the idea of shallots sounds great.

    Naudee, thanks for all your great feedback.

  10. Just letting ya know that I gave it a try and it had a really great zip to it. Love the change from the way I usually make it - thanks for another great recipe!

  11. So glad to hear you liked it.

  12. Kalyn, I made this the other night and it was wonderful. I have to confess I hesitated at first: tomatoes and ginger? But, I trusted you and as always, you knew what you were talking about! I actually didn't have the can of tomatoes on hand, so I used a 6-oz. can of tomato paste and about 4 or 5 oz. of water instead. Really delicious!

  13. Virginia Bluebell, so glad to hear you enjoyed it!

  14. What is rice vinegar? Are there other options to substitute for this?

  15. Rice vinegar is a type of mild Asian vinegar. It's sold by the Asian foods, it's not expensive, and you can find it in any grocery store. If you don't want to use it I would substitute 3 T white vinegar mixed with 1 T water.

  16. I love your website. I have so many allergies and candida that your's is the only one with lots of options - and very tasty too!
    I'm planning on these subsitutions, do you have other ideas?
    Apple cidar vinegar for the rice vinegar - although I like the idea of 3 T vinegar and 1T water.
    1 T of salt instead of the soy sauce. (I have made some from scratch, but I won't be able to this time)
    I have to avoid soy, wheat, yeast and corn as well as sugar.

  17. IPhone so quick reply. I think 1 T sounds like a lot of salt. Can add more later.

  18. Thanks for the suggestion. I think I added 1/2 T and it turned out great. Everybody loved it and I have leftovers - Yahoo!

  19. Elizabeth, so glad that worked for you!

  20. I simply don't make pot roast enough (like, never). You make it look so good!

  21. Kalyn that sauce looks and sounds incredible!

  22. Do you think you could make this with lamb? I have some leftover, rare grilled lamb that I am looking for a crockpot recipe to use it in.

  23. I don't have experience cooking lamb in the slow cooker but I can't think of any reason why it wouldn't work. Would love to hear what you think if you try it.

  24. I made this last was a hit! Thank you. :)


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