Mississippi Pot Roast is a new classic – a simple but hearty, homey dish packed with flavor and the promise of a satisfying supper. Your crock pot does all the work, and you get all the credit!
The slow cooker was introduced in the early 1970s (Rival’s “Crock Pot” being the first one on the market), and I’d be willing to bet the first meal ever made in that new working-mom miracle was a Sunday pot roast.
“Set it and forget it,” is still a busy home cook’s battle cry decades later, so I’m sharing a recipe for Mississippi Pot Roast, a slow-cooker favorite that’s a lot easier to put together than that notorious state is to spell.
The original Mississippi roast recipe was invented in Ripley, Mississippi, and rose to fame the way a lot of Southern recipes do: through the wrinkled and sauce-stained pages of a small-town church cookbook.
Robin Chapman, the brilliant author of this amazing recipe, shared it with her best friend, who shared it with her church and published it. About 10 years later, the recipe hit the blogosphere, and in the last three years, the recipe has been pinned over one million times on Pinterest.
You’ve probably even seen the Mississippi roast on Facebook (it has its own page, guys), and yes, this is the same Mississippi roast Today Show featured.
The Mississippi Pot Roast recipe is genius in its simplicity, maximizing on the convenience of the slow cooker so you can just dump all the ingredients in your crock pot and be done. Unlike most pot roast recipes, you don’t even have to sear the roast first!
If you have extra time on your hands and want the perfect “crust,” plus the little bits of fond to add to your slow cooker, go ahead and do it. But frankly, any time I can end up with a yummy result like this without the grease splatter all over my kitchen, I’m choosing the way that doesn’t involve extra clean up after dinner.
So what about that roast?
Well, chuck is my favorite choice for this and any other pot roast recipe. It has lots of marbling which means lots of flavor.
Chuck roasts are notoriously tough cuts of beef, but, when slow-cooked over a long period of time, all that tough stuff breaks down into gelatin that transforms the roast into a fall-apart tender meal, soaked in rich pan juices that make some pretty spectacular gravy.
You really won’t believe the amount of flavor here, with just a few ingredients.
The au jus gravy mix has concentrated beefy goodness, and it, combined with the ranch dressing mix, adds garlic, onion, and herbs, all things you’d have to go to the trouble of chopping and measuring to get the same flavors. Both of these ingredients also include some type of starch, so you’ll be left with thicker, richer pan juices when it’s all said and done.
The special surprise ingredient that makes Mississippi Pot Roast tasty, and sets it apart from other pot roast recipes, is pepperoncini.
The classic European pepper, often found garnishing your favorite Greek salad, has just a touch of heat (it lands closer to a bell pepper than a jalapeno on the Scoville scale) and is usually found pickled. That tangy, acidic quality balances the richness of your perfectly cooked (and seasoned!) Mississippi Pot Roast.
Make sure you use the whole peppers in this recipe rather than the slices, because the slices will fall apart too much in the long cooking process.
Slow cookers are great for so many reasons! During the hot summer months, they’ll definitely heat up your house less than cooking in the oven or on the stove.
They’re also pretty portable, so you can grab your Mississippi roast crock-pot-and-all and head straight to the dining table or straight on over to a tailgate party. It’s also pretty awesome slow cookers have inspired recipes like this one that make managing the day-to-day a little easier knowing supper’s waiting around for you to be ready rather than you being a slave to your stovetop.
This recipe is definitely one of my working-mom miracles, and I bet it’s going be one of yours soon.
Meat Matters: Although it used to be a relatively inexpensive cut of beef, chuck roast prices have increased a bit over the years. I try to look for sales at my local market or good deals at Costco or Sam’s and then stock up my freezer. You might also try substituting a bottom round roast.
Serving Options: Once you have this delish dish all queued up in the slow cooker and ready to go, you have some serving options to consider. As-is with some roasted potatoes and a veggie is always a good bet, but you can also serve it (or leftovers) over noodles or mashed potatoes.
The shredded beef also makes great sandwiches. Pile some on top of your favorite toasted hamburger bun or hoagie roll, along with some homemade buttermilk ranch dressing and extra sliced pepperoncini, or maybe some melted mozzarella and thin-sliced, sweet onion.
Variations: If you like a little more Italian flair and/or a little extra heat, you can take a trick from the pepperoncini roast Pioneer Woman makes and add a 14 oz. can of crushed, fire-roasted tomatoes, along with a little of the pepperoncini juice.
Cook it faster: Sometimes I’m not quite as organized as I’d like to be, which means an eight-hour cook time just isn’t feasible.
If you find yourself pondering dinner sometime after noon, which I often do, you can still enjoy this awesome recipe. Just cook the Mississippi roast on high in your slow cooker for about four hours.
You can also cook this Mississippi Pot Roast in the oven (again, after browning or not) in a big Dutch oven wrapped in foil, then covered with the lid, for 3 – 4 hours at 350 degrees.
If it’s after 4:00pm, and you’re just thinking about dinner, you’re still not out of luck! You can do a Mississippi pot roast Instant Pot version, browning it first, if you want to, on the “Saute” setting, then adding all your ingredients to the pot before cooking for 45 minutes on the “Meat” setting. A few minutes to naturally release the pressure, and dinner is served!
- Yield: Serves 4-6
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 8 hours minutes
Mississippi Pot Roast
- Chuck Roast - 1 (3-5 Pound)
- Au Jus Gravy Mix - 1 Package
- Dry Ranch Dressing Mix - 1 Package
- Whole Pepperoncini Peppers - 5-6
- Butter - 1/2 Cup (1 Stick)
- Fresh Parsley, Chopped (Optional) - 2 Tablespoons
- Place the Chuck roast in a large crockpot.
- Sprinkle the au jus mix and the dry ranch mix evenly over the roast. Top with pepperoncinis and stick of butter. Cover.
- Cook on low for 8 hours or until roast is fork tender. Using 2 forks, shred the meat. Remove meat and Pepperoncinis to a platter. Whisk all the cooking liquids together and spoon over the meat. Sprinkle meat with chopped parsley and serve.