Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 8 to 10 hours
3 pound chuck roast (or other inexpensive cut of beef)
3 pounds potatoes
1 pound carrots
1 medium sized onion
2 to 3 cloves garlic
2 cans French Onion soup
garlic salt [optional, can substitute for "regular" salt]
"Italian Seasonings" blend
Cut up the roast into pieces no bigger than 3 inches on an edge.
Sprinkle on salt (or garlic salt), pepper, and chili powder (in that order) on surface of meat.
heat up pan (I prefer a cast iron pan) to medium-hot.
Start searing meat -- seasoned side down. Season top side with salt, pepper, and chili powder as described above. As you sear each side, season the exposed side. Continue until browned. You probably want a fan on and windows open during this step -- I have yet to figure out how to brown meat without causing smoke.
As you complete the searing of each piece of meat, place in bottom of slow cooker, till it is filled with meat.
Chop the cloves of garlic and onions. Salt lightly, and saute in olive oil. If you are pressed for time, using onion flakes and garlic salt instead of the sauteed version is perfectly acceptable.
Put the sauteed onions/garlic (or garlic salt/onion flakes) on top of beef in cooker.
Sprinkle with Italian seasoning.
Wash potatoes, remove eyes and any bad spots. Cut into small pieces (unless using baby potatoes) no bigger than 1 1/2 inches. I often use baby Yukon Gold potatoes. Put on top of beef and onions in cooker.
Wash carrots and cut into coins or small strips (or use shaped baby carrots). Place on top of potatoes in cooker.
Pour two cans of French onion soup on top of contents of cooker. Put lid on.
Set the slow cooker to high. Cook for one hour then lower it to "low". Let cook 8 to 9 hours (can leave on longer if you need to). No peeking!!!!
When you're ready to serve, use slotted spoon to remove beef and vegetables (I usually place them in separate bows but it's whatever you want to do).
Note that the spices don't have specific amounts -- it's really up to your preferences. The main things that make this work are the chili powder, the onion/garlic mix, and the French onion soup.