There are two dishes that us Brits do better than anyone else on the planet – fish and chips, and a roast dinner. Anyone that tries to argue otherwise – well, they’re wrong. This Slow Cooker Roast Beef can’t be beaten for convenience or taste!
If you do some research you’ll find many “one pot roast” recipes for the slow cooker that involve throwing everything (potatoes included) into the crockpot and leaving it to cook. Boiled potatoes in gravy? No thanks. It should be illegal to eat a roast without proper oven-baked roast potatoes! Also, they usually use a brisket cut of beef – which works better for pulled beef style recipes (like our Spicy Beef Tacos), and doesn’t slice too well.
Bec and I have spent a long time refining this recipe. We’ve tried different cuts of beef, different gravy, different ways of serving the veg with it. When we had that “OH MY GOD THIS IS AMAZING” moment, we knew we’d nailed it!
What cut of meat should I use for Slow Cooker Roast Beef?
After much experimentation, we can confirm that the best cut to use for a Slow Cooker Sunday Roast Beef – is topside of beef. Topside is a lean cut that comes from the top of the cow’s rear-end. It works so well slow cooked as the long cooking times break down the meat, and it literally melts in your mouth as you eat it.
Topside also cuts really nicely. Rather than falling apart once cooked (brisket – I’m looking at you) it’s possible to cut beautiful slices (as you can see from our pictures!) – but it’s still really tender and flavoursome.
In terms of price you’ll find topside is at the cheaper end of the roasting joints that you can find in supermarkets, so it makes for an excellent thrifty Sunday roast. Brilliant if you have a lot of mouths to feed!
Note for our US and Canadian friends: Over on your side of the pond cows are butchered and named slightly differently. Look for a “top round”.
What’s the best gravy for Roast Beef?
The most flavoursome gravy is made with the meat juices produced whilst cooking the meat. This recipe cooks the beef in red wine and beef stock, which is then reduced, seasoned and tweaked at the end – so literally nothing goes to waste. I can’t explain to you how good the red wine gravy in this recipe is!
What vegetables should I serve with Roast Beef?
You can serve whatever vegetables you like with roast beef – the list is pretty much endless. When we ate the beef you can see in the pictures (yes, we do eat everything we make!), we served it with roast potatoes, winter greens, and carrot and swede mash.
You could also serve roast beef with:
- Brussels sprouts
- Cauliflower (or cauliflower cheese!)
Vegetables aside, don’t forget your Yorkshire Puddings!
Slow Cooker Roast Beef
- 1 kg (2.2 lb) topside or top round beef
- 500 ml (2.1 cups) beef stock
- 187.5 ml (0.8 cups) red wine – ¼ bottle
- 2 carrots – roughly chopped
- 1 onion – sliced
- 6 tbsp cornflour
- 3 tbsp tomato puree
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Add the carrots and onions to the slow cooker, then add 3 tbsp of cornflour and stir to ensure an even coating. Rub a little oil all over the beef and season well with salt and pepper. Sear the beef all over in a hot pan, and transfer to the slow cooker.
- Add the beef stock, red wine, tomato puree and sugar, ensuring that the beef is mostly covered by the liquid. Cook on low for 6 hours, or high for 3.5 hours. Once cooked, remove the beef from the slow cooker and cover with foil to keep warm.
- Reduce the remaining liquid and vegetables in the slow cooker to a gravy consistency, adding 3 tbsp of cornflour to thicken (remove a little liquid, mix in the cornflour to make a paste, and mix it back into the gravy). If you've got a slow cooker with a metal pot (see the equipment list for a recommendation) you can do this by transferring it straight to the hob, if not, you'll need to transfer the contents of the slow cooker to a pan.
- When you're ready to serve, slice the beef with a sharp knife and coat with plenty of red wine gravy!