Have you cooked the most popular recipe on the web? It’s called the Mississippi Roast, and you make it in a slow cooker.

My daughter, who spends a lot more time on the internet than I do, kept seeing the recipe on Pinterest and eventually gave it a try. She thought it was really good, but because I didn’t have a slow cooker, I just forgot about it.

Then Tommy Simmons, the former food editor at The Advocate who now lives in Georgia, came to town for the sale of her home. In a walk through her almost empty house, we found a brand-new slow cooker.

“Don’t you want this new Crock-Pot?”

Well, there you have it. It seems like fate stepped in to make sure I gave the Mississippi Roast a good old Louisiana try.

I was in for a surprise when I got home and did a search for Mississippi Roast. In the past two years, this recipe has been pinned over a million times and links to various blogs are in the tens of thousands.

This now-famous recipe was actually created about 10 years ago when Robin Chapman, from Ripley, Mississippi, put a chuck roast in her slow cooker with a stick of butter, a packet of ranch dressing mix, a packet of “au jus” gravy mix and a few pepperoncini peppers. It was her version of her aunt’s recipe. She put the lid on the slow cooker and cooked it on low for a long time until it was tender. Her family loved it.

Chapman shared the recipe with her best friend, Karen Farese, who submitted the “Roast Beef” recipe to her church cookbook. The recipe was popular around Ripley and neighboring towns, but a couple of years ago, thanks to social media, it appeared on a blog. And the rest, as they say, is internet history.

Christened “Mississippi Roast,” the recipe has gone viral. It’s even been written about in The New York Times.

Like any recipe that gets passed around that many times, cooks tend to put their own spin on it. So now there are lots of variations on the original dish.

The one thing they all have in common? It doesn’t get much easier than this.

You don’t have to brown the meat, just sprinkle the seasoning packets over the top, add butter pats, lay the peppers on top, cover and forget about it for seven or eight hours.

While that was cooking, I made a quick Lemon Loaf Freeze for dessert and had that waiting in the freezer.

As a side dish to the roast, I steamed, then chilled, fresh green beans and had them ready to reheat later with a lemon/butter dressing. I also toasted some almonds to garnish the beans.

Right before dinner, I cooked rice and sliced homegrown tomatoes. It was a true Southern dinner, and my grandchildren loved it.


Corinne Cook is a columnist for The Advocate. Reach her at food@theadvocate.com.