The Sharp Ingredient To Upgrade The Flavor Of Slow Cooker Pot Roast

The eternal appeal of a pot roast dinner is the promise of a comforting meal with minimal effort. Whether using a slow cooker or stove top, most of the work is done without the cook, as low, slow heat tenderizes a chuck roast and accompanying potatoes and carrots into a meltingly soft feast. Still, this method of prolonged cooking can sometimes take the flavorful edge off of the meal, making everything a bit blah. But fret not — there's a pantry ingredient that can rescue your roast from the land of the bland. The ingredient in question? Dijon mustard.

Bringing both acidity and heat, a little bit of Dijon mustard goes a long way to revitalizing the flavor of your pot roast. Of the many kinds of mustard available, Dijon is set apart by its use of verjuice, an acidic grape juice compound that works like vinegar and white wine. Dijon mustard has always been intertwined with the production of white wine, as it too hails from the Burgundy region of France. Unlike tart-yellow or spicy-brown mustards, Dijon has a delicate balance of heat and acidity, making it the mustard of choice for many chefs. Unsurprisingly, this umami-rich ingredient works as way more than just a condiment, and for pot roast, it contributes a boost of tangy flavor. 

The tangy power of Dijon mustard

So how should you go about adding this ingredient to your next pot roast meal? Assuming you're working with a traditional recipe, you'll probably only need a tablespoon or two to freshen up the flavor. As for what variety of Dijon mustard to use, the choice is yours. You can go with the coarsely ground whole-grain variety of Dijon mustard or the smooth version, just know that the latter will be easier to incorporate into the dish. 

And how should you incorporate it exactly? Well, it depends on the recipe. If your recipe calls for the roast to be covered in a rub, consider slathering the Dijon mustard there. If it only calls for a bit of salt and pepper and searing, stir the mustard into the cooking liquid, whether it's water, broth, or wine.   

The only thing to remember is to hold back from adding this Dijon hack into a pot roast recipe with plenty of acids present, like in the Mississippi Roast, which is distinguished by its inclusion of pickled pepperoncini. But for most other recipes, Dijon is the quickest way to tangy roast flavor.