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Slow Cooker German Pot Roast

This slow cooker German Pot Roast is too good to miss. The beef is tender, the gravy is amazing, and with veggies cooked right with the beef, it’s a whole meal in one slow cooker! Pickles are the secret ingredient and beer, and combined, they transform a humble chuck roast into a delish feast!

Roast beef with red cabbage and potatoes on a white plate.

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I love my slow cooker, and I use it all the time for dishes like this German Pot Roast. Don’t confuse this dish with sauerbraten, which is another kind of slow-cooked roast. This one is slow-cooked in beer, and with potatoes, carrots, and red cabbage, it’s a whole meal in one Crock Pot.

This is also a cheap slow cooker meal. Affordable chuck roast is the star, and you can use a bone-in or boneless cut. A bone-in roast will take longer to cook. Like all slow-cooked pot roasts, cook until the meat starts to pull apart easily. It may take more or less time, depending on the temperature of the beef and the size and cooking temperature of your slow cooker.

I make pot roasts all the time, and this German Pot Roast is easily one of my favorites!

A cast iron skillet with roast beef, carrots and potatoes.

What you’ll love about German Pot Roast


  • This is an affordable dish. Buy chuck roasts when they’re on sale, and keep them in the freezer for dishes like this. Just thaw the roast before preparing.
  • There’s so much flavor in this dish. Take the extra step to thicken the gravy and don’t forget the sour cream. The sour cream adds a tangy note and extra creaminess to the gravy.
  • It’s an easy dish to make. You’ll add the veggies about halfway through the cooking time so they don’t overcook. Other than that, it’s a set-it-and-forget-it slow cooker meal!
A plate of roast beef with a sauce being poured over it.

Ingredients

  • Bacon – About 4 slices.
  • Chuck roast – 3-4 pound roast, boneless. You’ll need extra cooking time if you have a bone-in roast.
  • Salt and pepper – I use kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper.
  • Onions – You’ll need about 1 cup of diced onions.
  • Celery – Optional. 2-3 stalks, diced.
  • Dill pickles – Go for extra garlicky, extra tangy pickles for the best flavor. Drain them and dice them.
  • German beer – Any kind that’s not too strong. A pilsner is great in this pot roast.
  • Grainy mustard – German mustard, if you have it! Any other whole-grain mustard will also work.
  • Bay leaves – 2-3 dried bay leaves.
  • Thyme – I use 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme because I have it growing out the back door. Use ½ teaspoon dried thyme if that’s what you have.
  • Garlic  – Fresh garlic is a must in this recipe.
  • Baby potatoes – About ¾ pound. Scrubbed and trimmed and cut in half if they’re larger.
  • Carrots – 3-4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch hunks.
  • Red cabbage – About ½ a head. Cored and sliced. 
  • Sour cream – Whole-fat sour cream works best and is less likely to break when added to the hot gravy. See my notes for how to temper sour cream.
  • All-purpose flour
Ingredients for a bbq brisket.
Carrots, cabbage, carrots, and potatoes on a marble countertop.

How to Make German Pot Roast in a Slow Cooker

  1. Cook the bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Transfer the bacon to a dish and set aside.
  2. Season the chuck roast with salt and pepper and sear it in the bacon fat until brown on all sides, 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer the browned roast to your slow cooker.
  3. Saute the onions (and optional celery) in the remaining bacon fat for 3-4 minutes or until they start to soften.
  4. Deglaze the pan with the beer, scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom. Transfer the liquid and onions to the slow cooker.
  5. Add the mustard, thyme, bay leaves, chopped dill pickle, and chopped bacon to the slow cooker and set it on high for about 2 hours.
  6. Add the baby potatoes, carrots, pickles, reserved chopped bacon, and red cabbage to the slow cooker, working the veggies into the liquid as much as possible.
  7. Cook an additional 2-3 hours or until the beef is fall-apart tender.
  8. Transfer the meat to a cutting board and tent to keep warm. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl to keep warm.
  9. Make a gravy by mixing 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour with 1/4 cup of water or beef broth and whisk this into the liquid in the slow cooker. Turn on high to simmer and thicken.
  10. Temper the sour cream before adding it to the gravy. To do this, add 1/4 cup of gravy to the sour cream and stir it in to raise the temperature of the sour cream, then whisk the sour cream into the gravy. Do not boil the gravy with the sour cream in it or it might break.
  11. Season with salt and pepper. Slice the beef and serve with the veggies and gravy.

Step By Step Process

Chef Jenn’s Tips

  • To speed up the cooking process, heat the beer in the microwave and make sure your roast is at room temperature before cooking. This could shave up to 30-40 minutes off the total cooking time.
  • Red cabbage is traditional, but you could use green cabbage. Slice it thinly so it cooks evenly.
  • A 3-4 pound chuck roast will serve about 6 people.
  • Make the gravy in a skillet or saucepan – the slow cooker may take forever to come back up to a boil.

Recommended

Make It A Meal

German Pot Roast is a complete meal in itself, but it pairs wonderfully with a crusty loaf of bread or a green salad for added freshness. If you’re feeling adventurous, try serving it with spaetzle or creamy mashed potatoes to soak up that delicious gravy.

Storage

Leftovers store beautifully in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently to maintain the texture of the meat. This dish also freezes well. Portion the roast and gravy into freezer-safe containers and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat gently for a meal that tastes just as good as when it was freshly made.

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Roast beef with red cabbage and potatoes on a white plate.
Print Pin
5 from 50 votes

Slow Cooker German Pot Roast

Set it and forget it to make a fabulous beefy German meal! German Pot Roast is fall-apart tender, and the gravy is so good, you'll lick your plate clean!
Course Main Course
Cuisine German
Keyword beef roast, german pot roast, pot roast, slow cooker pot roast
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 10 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 564kcal
Author Chef Jenn

Ingredients

  • 4 strips bacon chopped
  • 3-4 pounds chuck roast boneless
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 2-3 stalks celery diced, optional
  • 1 cup diced dill pickles
  • 1 cup German beer
  • ¼ cup German mustard or whole-grain mustard
  • 6 cloves garlic peeled and smashed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3-4 carrots peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • ¾ pounds baby potatoes
  • ½ head red cabbage sliced thinly
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream

Instructions

  • Cook the bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Transfer the bacon to a dish and set aside.
  • Season the chuck roast with salt and pepper and sear it in the bacon fat over medium-high heat until brown on all sides, 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer the browned roast to the insert of your slow cooker.
  • Saute the onions (and optional celery) in the remaining bacon fat over medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until they start to soften.
  • Deglaze the pan with the beer, scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom. Transfer the liquid and onions to the slow cooker.
  • Add the mustard, thyme, bay leaves, chopped dill pickle, and chopped bacon to the slow cooker, give it a stir to mix, and set it on high for about 2 hours.
  • Add the baby potatoes, carrots, pickles, reserved chopped bacon, and red cabbage to the slow cooker after 2 hours, working the veggies into the liquid as much as possible.
  • Cook an additional 2-3 hours or until the beef is fall-apart tender.
  • Transfer the meat to a cutting board and tent to keep warm. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl to keep warm.
  • Make a gravy by mixing 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour with 1/4 cup of water or beef broth and whisk this into the liquid in the slow cooker. Turn on high to simmer and thicken.
  • Temper the sour cream before adding it to the gravy. To do this, add 1/4 cup of gravy to the sour cream and stir it in to raise the temperature of the sour cream, then whisk the sour cream into the gravy. Do not boil the gravy with the sour cream in it or it might break and curdle.
  • Season the gravy with salt and pepper. Slice the beef and serve with the veggies and gravy.

Notes

Chef Jenn’s Tips

  • To speed up the cooking process, heat the beer in the microwave and make sure your roast is at room temperature before cooking. This could shave up to 30-40 minutes off the total cooking time.
  • Red cabbage is traditional, but you could use green cabbage. Slice it thinly so it cooks evenly.
  • Make the gravy in a skillet or saucepan – the slow cooker may take forever to come back up to a boil.
  • A 3-4 pound chuck roast will serve about 6 people.

Nutrition

Serving: 6ounces | Calories: 564kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 48g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 159mg | Sodium: 1264mg | Potassium: 1362mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 6007IU | Vitamin C: 57mg | Calcium: 120mg | Iron: 6mg

A Note on Nutritional Information

Nutritional information for this recipe is provided as a courtesy and is calculated based on available online ingredient information. It is only an approximate value. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site cannot be guaranteed.

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2 thoughts on “Slow Cooker German Pot Roast”

  1. 5 stars
    This was so delicious! That bacon + mustard + pickle combo is one of my favorites (I love a German potato salad) so I was really happy to see that here. Everything came out tender and the whole family loved it! Will definitely bookmark to make again. 🙂

    Reply
  2. 5 stars
    Made this German pot roast for the fam and we really enjoyed it! So much flavor and I absolutely love the gravy and the tender meat combination. So delicious!

    Reply
5 from 50 votes (48 ratings without comment)

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