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What’s a Mississippi Pot Roast?

I admit I wondered that myself when the recipe caught my eye in the NY Times Cooking section.  Pretty far afield for them New Yahkers, right?

Turns out this recipe was invented by a home cook in Mississippi named Robin Chapman.  She never called it anything but Pot Roast, but it was one of those recipes that was so amazingly good, everyone had to have it, and it spread like wildfire throughout the South and eventually even to NYC.  It’s been pinned over a million times on Pinterest, and there are tens of thousands of recipe links if you Google.

The idea is to simmer a chuck roast all day (actually 6-8 hours) in your crock pot with a stick of butter, some “au jus” gravy mix, a package of ranch dressing mix, and a handful of pepperoncini.  You serve it over mashed or roasted potatoes, or over some egg noodles.  You get falling apart tangy beef that’s just exploding with flavor.  Great on sandwiches too.

Drink a robust red with it–the flavors are intense and need a little wrangling from the wine.  A good Cote du Rhone or Chateauneuf-du-Pape work well as do their California equivalents.


1 boneless chuck roast (or top or bottom round roast), 3 to 4 lbs.
2 tsps Kosher salt, plus more to taste.
1 1/2 tsps freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste.
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tbsp neutral oil, like Canola
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
8-12 pepperoncini (whole, not sliced)
2 Tbsp Mayonnaise
2 tsps apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp dried dill
1/4 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp buttermilk, optional
Chopped parsley for garnish


Put your roast on a cutting board and rub the salt and pepper all over it.  Sprinkle the flower over the seasoned meat and massage it into the flesh.

Heat the oil in large saute pan set over high heat until it is shimmering and about to smoke.  Place the roast in the pan and brown on all sides, 4-5 minutes a side.  Brown it until you have a crust.

Remove the roast from the pan and place it in your slow cooker.  Add the butter and the pepperoncini to the meat.  Put the lid on the slow cooker and set it to low heat.

As the roast heats, you can make the ranch dressing.  Combine the mayo, vinegar, dill, and paprika and whish until emulsified.  Add buttermilk (if you are using it) and whisk again.

Remove the lid and add the dressing.  Replace the lid and cook undisturbed for 6 to 8 hours.  You’ll know it’s done when you can shred the meat easily using 2 forks.

Mix the meat with the gravy surrounding it.  Garnish with parsely and serve over your choice of starch: egg noodles or potatoes.  You can also pile it on sandwich rolls.