A hunk of muscle from the heavily exercised shoulder of the beef, the chuck may not be the tenderest roast, but it is definitely one of the most flavorful. Simmering the meat gently in the Crock-Pot breaks down the tough fibers and creates a succulent roast you can cut with a fork. The addition of vegetables turns this simple roast into a hearty, healthy, one-pot feast. Add a salad and crusty bread and you're all set.
Coat the bottom of a heavy skillet with a small amount of olive or canola oil. Heat the skillet over medium-high heat.
Sprinkle the roast with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Alternatively, sprinkle the meat lightly with seasonings such as thyme, oregano or sage. Brown the roast in the hot skillet, turning as needed, until all sides are dark brown.
Transfer the roast to the slow cooker. Turn the skillet to medium heat, and add aromatics like chopped onion, minced garlic, celery or bell peppers. Cook the vegetables until they are soft.
Place the vegetables in the slow cooker, then pour in approximately 1 to 1 1/2 cups of water or beef broth. For extra flavor, add liquids such as dry red wine, tomato juice, apple cider or a combination of these.
Add root vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, turnips, parsnips or rutabagas, if desired. Cut the vegetables into uniformly-sized chunks so they cook evenly.
Cook the roast on low for 7 to 9 hours, or until the meat is tender, and a meat thermometer registers 145 degrees Fahrenheit when inserted into the thickest part of the meat.
Transfer the roast to a serving platter, and arrange the vegetables around it. Cover the roast with aluminum foil, and allow it to rest for 4 minutes before serving. Garnish the roast with sprigs of fresh parsley, if desired.