I've made this recipe several times this winter and LOVE it! I took others advice on searing the meat first, I have been using chuck roast so it is more like a giant steak shape. It takes less time to cook I have found and the first time it was a little too done for me, so I shortened the cooking time on low to more around 6 hours. I also have added carrots, mushrooms, onions, shallot, garlic and this time celery right when I put the roast into the crock. I also subbed beef broth for water and "Beefy Onion" soup mix instead of regular Onion flavor soup mix. I have found it makes the gravy very flavorful and the veggies always turn out perfectly tender. The meat shrinks up a lot and once it's gone, hubby and I still eat the gravy with egg noodles since there are still so many tasty veggies left over! This is also one of those recipes that gets better and better each time you reheat it!
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I've made this recipe several times this winter and LOVE it! I took others advice on searing...