Slow cooker roast beef: the easiest roast ever

This slow cooker roast beef recipe is super easy to make – and saves you on all the washing up afterwards

slow cooker roast beef recipe
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This slow cooker roast beef recipe will take the guesswork out of your Sunday lunch main. How long does it need in the oven, again? It doesn't matter, because it's so easy to control the results with your slow cooker  – preferably one the best slow cookers, of course. If yo don't already have one, we advise getting the largest size you can find – it makes cooking whole joints a whole lot easier.  

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Slow cooker roast beef recipe

For this classic roast beef recipe, enough for four people, you'll need:

  • Roasting joint, rump cut, or beef brisket, one kilo;
  • Sunflower oil, a couple of tablespoons;
  • Red onions, two;
  • Garlic, two cloves;
  • Rapeseed oil, two to four tablespoons;
  • Potatoes, 500 grams;
  • Carrots, 250 grams;
  • Parsnips, 250 grams;
  • Fine green beans, to serve on the side, 500 grams;
  • Beef stock, 750 ml
  • Plain flour, a couple of tablespoons;
  • Butter, 25 grams;
  • Rosemary and thyme, a couple of sprigs each
  • Bay leaves, two
  • Red wine, a glug

1. If your slow cooker has a sear function, set it to 'sear', add a couple of tablespoons of sunflower oil and sear the beef on both sides first. Otherwise, you can do this in a pan. Remove the beef from the slow cooker and put it to one side, leaving the juices where they are.

2. Line the bottom of your slow cooker with roughly chopped onion, roughly chopped, unpeeled potatoes, carrots (peel first), and the parsnips. Tuck in the garlic cloves. Drizzle with the oil (rapeseed or sunflower will do, too) and lightly season with salt. 

2. Place your roasting joint on top of the vegetables and completely cover with beef stock and a good glug of red wine (a glass full will do). Add the rosemary, thyme, and bay. Put the lid on and cook on a medium setting for about 1.5 hours.

3. After 1.5 hours have passed, pour the remaining liquid carefully out of your cooker and into a pyrex glass jug; let cool. In a small pan, make a roux by mixing the butter and the flour, then gradually add the stock you've just removed from the slow cooker, whisking constantly. Once you've achieved a smooth consistency, you have your gravy. Keep it on a very low heat to warm.

4. Boil the green beans for five to seven minutes; strain.

5. At around the 2.5 to three hour mark, your roast should be done; if you like your meat very well done, you might want to cook for an extra 20 minutes. 

6. Serve with the gravy and the boiled green beans.

How to store cooked roast beef

The most important thing with storing roast beef is refrigerating it as soon as possible after you've finished cooking it; ideally, no longer than half an hour after you've served it. For best results, refrigerate sliced, in an airtight container, and the beef will keep for three to four days. If you don't have a container handy, just wrap it in cling film or foil. 

Roast beef can also be successfully frozen. The best way to do this is by pouring your leftover gravy over the beef slices prior to freezing; you can then defrost the beef with the gravy on the hob, and if won't dry out. Frozen roast beef will keep in the freezer for up to two months.