- Place mushrooms, garlic, carrots, onion, celery, plum tomatoes and tomato paste in the bowl of a slow cooker (or see Oven Directions, below). Add seasonings and sugar. Stir to evenly mix. Place meat in slow cooker and spoon vegetable mixture overtop. Cover and cook until beef is fork-tender, 5 to 6 hours on high or 8 to 10 hours on low.
- Remove beef to a cutting board and let stand 5 minutes, then thickly slice. Serve with one-third of sauce. Spoon off any fat that is floating on surface of sauce before serving.
- Thicken remaining sauce to use for pasta by puréeing half of it, then stirring it back into chunky sauce. Taste and add pinches of hot chili flakes if you like it spicy. Sauce will keep well, covered and refrigerated, up to 5 days or freeze up to 3 months.
This is a two-for-one recipe. Do double duty and dish up thick slices of slowly simmered pot roast with a hearty tomato sauce the night you make it. Then whirl leftover sauce into a thick bolognese-style pasta sauce to enjoy down the road.
Following directions above, place all ingredients except beef in a large, wide ovenproof saucepan instead of a slow cooker. Bring sauce to a boil over high heat, stirring often. Add beef and spoon a little sauce overtop. Cover and roast in centre of preheated 325F (160C) oven until fork-tender, turning meat occasionally, 4 hours.
Cooking the pot roast in a slow cooker on low for a long time produced the most tender results. An easy way to do this: put the roast on to cook just before heading to bed and let it simmer while you sleep. Refrigerate it in the morning, then reheat in the microwave for dinner.