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Pot Roast

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 1/2 pounds beef bottom round roast, trimmed and tied
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 onions, sliced
2 carrots, cut into 1/2" rounds
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the
roast and cook, turning often, until browned on all sides, about
10 minutes. Transfer the roast to a plate and season with 1/2
teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper.

Add more oil to the skillet, if necessary, and heat over medium
heat. Add the onions, carrots, and potatoes and cook over medium
heat, stirring often, until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes.
Transfer the vegetables to a slow cooker. Add the bay leaves, and
season with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
Place the roast on top of the vegetables.

Add the water to the skillet and bring to a boil, scraping up the
browned bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Pour
into the slow cooker.

Cover and slow-cook until the roast is very tender, 8 to 10 hours
on Low. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the roast and vegetables
to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm. Skim the fat from
the surface of the cooking liquid.

In a saucepan, melt the butter over very low heat. Add the flour
and let bubble, stirring constantly, until lightly browned, about
1 minute. Whisk in the cooking liquid and bring to a simmer. Cook,
whisking often, until thickened and reduced to about 1 cup, about
5 minutes.

Using a sharp, thin knife, slice the roast crosswise across the
grain. Serve with the vegetables and gravy.


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