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THIS is the way to make a show stopping Sunday roast without any of the hassle… put your beef joint in the slow cooker!

This Slow Cooker Roast Beef cooks long and low for mouthwatering results, while also leaving you time to get on with your day. A double, delicious win for your family dinner (any day of the week).

Cooked Slow Cooker Beef Joint, ready to serve on a platter.

There’s something about the ritual of sitting down together for a Sunday roast that never fails to warm my cockles, but how often do any of us get the chance to do it these days?

Life is so busy and chaotic, and a Sunday dinner can be time consuming and a lot of effort!

THIS is the way around that. This easy Slow Cooker Roast Beef has all the flavour and tradition of a classic Sunday lunch, without any of the faff.

Of course, it’s not exactly a ‘roast’ in the way it’s cooked, but it is by the way we associate eating a joint of beef.

It also really shouldn’t only be served up on a Sunday – any day of the week will work for this easy, no-fuss roast beef recipe.


Why you’ll love this Slow Cooker Beef Joint recipe

⭐️ Topside beef is great value

⭐️ Hardly any preparation needed

⭐️ Magically creates rich gravy as it cooks


Sliced Roast Beef with gravy being poured over it.

Making a Slow Cooker Joint of Beef

A joint of beef in the slow cooker takes between 5-7 hours, depending on your setting. All you have to do is season your joint, seal it in a pan (this is optional, see below for the Maillard reaction information), then add your ingredients to the slow cooker pan, turn on and leave. Then it’s a matter of making your quick gravy towards the end.

Serve it with some hearty sides, such as Roast Potatoes, Cauliflower Cheese or Yorkshire Puddings. Any vegetables, creamy mashed potatoes or Colcannon would also work. Boulangere Potatoes are simple but special.

Often if I do a midweek roast, I won’t do all the trimmings. Instead, I’ll just do some simple cooked vegetables and mash or sautéed potatoes.


Why use a slow cooker to cook a joint of beef?

Saves electricity: These devices are so energy efficient compared to ovens or hobs, using only about 1.3kWh for 8 hours cooking time. The Energy Saving Trust say they use about the same amount of electricity as a standard light bulb.

Depth of flavour: Cooking a joint of meat long and slow creates a delicious depth of flavour.

Convenience: There is just something so lifesaving about being able to put everything in and know a meal is going to be ready later, when time might be tighter. Yes it requires a bit of thinking ahead, but the rewards are great.

More room in the oven: If you are making this as part of a bigger roast dinner, using a slow cooker means you’ve got plenty of room left in the oven for everything else (especially pudding!)


Ingredients nOTES

  • Beef – This should be a topside joint of beef. We’ll be drying and sealing it before putting it in the slow cooker, and I’d urge you to follow these tips (see below)
  • Beef stock – You can make this with a cube or stock pot, that’s fine. However, for something a little richer, you can also use beef consommé if you can find it

How to make Slow Cooker Roast Beef

Step 1 in the recipe for how to make a beef joint in the slow cooker. A raw joint being rolled in flour on a wooden board.

1. Dry the beef with kitchen roll and coat in flour, thyme, garlic powder and salt and pepper.

A browned beef joint next to carrots and onion, put in a slow cooker ready to be slow cooked.

2. Fry the joint until brown, add the vegetables. Add everything to the slow cooker pan, along with the stock.

A slow cooker joint of beef in gravy with tong around it, about to bring it out.

3. Cook on HIGH as per the recipe below. When cooked, remove the meat, along with the whole cooked carrots and onions. Set aside.

A little pot filled with a slurry and spoon stirring it, which is cornflour and gravy to make a thick paste to thicken the gravy.

4. For the gravy, remove a small amount of the liquid and stir in the cornflour until it dissolves. Add this ‘slurry’ back and stir. Leave in your slow cooker on HIGH for about 30 minutes, or cook in a pan for 10 minutes.


Substitutions

  • Beef consommé – If you can find it, you can use a can of this in place of some of the stock.

    This comes from clarified broth or stock and is a fantastic shortcut to getting rich beef gravy.

    You can buy it in the supermarkets (and it has a long shelf life so you can have some in the cupboard for when you need it).

Leftover Roast Beef

Leftover slow cooker beef makes the BEST sandwiches! For maximum flavour, reheat the meat in your leftover gravy to keep it moist. Serve in sliced bread or bread rolls (OR adapt this Philly Cheesesteak sandwich). It should stay fresh for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. 

I often serve beef leftovers with orzo pasta because it’s super quick to cook and soaks up the gravy beautifully. 

For any surplus gravy (there will be plenty), freeze it to save for another day’s delicious beef gravy. Store in freezer bags so you can keep them flat to save space.

For leftover beef, it freezes fine in the gravy for another day’s feasting. Defrost thoroughly before reheating in the microwave or oven.

Top tips

Dry the beef

Make sure you dry your topside of beef as much as possible with kitchen roll before rolling it in the flour mixture. A drier piece of meat will brown better and quicker.

Sealing the meat

With many of my recipes I tend to skip the browning meat part if I’m using the slow cooker, but for this I do try to do the extra step.

Frying a little before putting it into the slow cooker creates something called the Maillard reaction, which brings about a depth of flavour. That said, it’s not the end of the world if you miss this step. You’ll still end up with a tasty roast.

How to make slow cooker roast beef gravy

It’s so easy. Remove the beef when it’s almost ready and as many whole carrots as you can from the slow cooker.

Mix the cornflour with a little of the cooking liquid until it makes a paste (or a ‘slurry’). Then put it back into the gravy, stir through and cook for a little longer.

FAQs

Can you recommend a good slow cooker?

The Morphy Richards Sear & Stew Slow Cooker is my all-time favourite and works really well for this recipe because you can use it for initial browning on the hob (saving on washing up!) and it’s really light.

For induction hobs, I recommend the Lakeland Digital 6.5l Slow Cooker instead.

Can I make this roast beef recipe gluten free?

Yes you can. Simply substitute the plain flour for gluten free flour, like cornflour (make sure you check the labels first).

Do you have any other slow cooker ‘roast’ recipes?

My other slow cooker joints that work really well for time and hassle-saving are my Slow Cooker Ham, Slow Cooker Lamb Shoulder and Slow Cooker Chicken.

Can you cook an overnight Slow Cooker Beef Joint?

You might want to cook this for as low and long as possible to get your meat as tender as you can, which might involve cooking it overnight if you want it ready for lunchtime.

It will take 7 hours on the lowest setting, so the best thing to do is to invest in this inexpensive smart plug (it’s my favourite) that allows you to set a timer to switch your slow cooker on at a particular time during the night. Don’t forget to press the ‘on’ switch!

Let me know how you got on and what you thought of these recipes. Please rate the recipe using the ⭐️ below.

Also I’d LOVE to see your cooking creations. If you’d like to share yours with me, you can tag me on Instagram (@tamingtwins).

4.68 from 198 votes

Slow Cooker Beef Joint {Best EVER Roast!}

This Slow Cooker Beef Joint recipe is the easiest and most delicious 'roast' dinner. Pop your meat and vegetables in to stew in the morning and then blend the gravy before serving. So tasty.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours 15 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 6 People

Ingredients 

  • 1.5 kg Beef topside joint
  • 2 tbsp Plain flour
  • 1 tbsp Dried or fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp Garlic powder
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 3 Cloves garlic, Peeled and chopped/crushed
  • 2 Large onions, Peeled and cut into chunks
  • 3 Large carrots, Peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 400 ml Beef stock, See notes
  • 3 tbsp Cornflour

Instructions 

  • Sprinkle your flour, thyme, garlic powder and salt and pepper onto a chopping board. Dry off your topside well with some kitchen paper, and then roll all over in the flour mixture.
  • Heat your oil in a large frying pan, or if your slow cooker allows it, by putting the cooking dish onto the hob. Brown off the flour coated meat on all sides.
  • Remove the meat from the pan and add the garlic, onions and carrots and brown for 5 minutes until starting to soften. If you're using your slow cooker pan, add the meat back in. If you're using a frying pan, transfer everything to your slow cooker pan.
  • Pour in the beef stock.
  • Cook on HIGH for 5 hours or LOW for 7 hours.
  • When cooked, remove the meat to a pan, along with the whole cooked carrots and onions (as many as you can fish out!)

To make the gravy:

  • Remove a small amount of the liquid from the pan and stir in the cornflour until it dissolves. Add a small amount at first and stir in, keep adding until you get a thick paste.
  • Add this 'slurry' back into the pan and stir. You can leave this in your slow cooker on HIGH for about 30 minutes, or if your pan is able to go on the hob, pop onto the hob to bubble for 10 minutes until thick.

Notes

Stock: Make this up with a cube or stock pot.
Dry the beef: Make sure you dry your topside of beef as much as possible with kitchen roll before rolling it in the flour mixture. A drier piece of meat will brown better and quicker.
Sealing the meat: With many of my recipes I tend to skip the browning meat part if I’m using the slow cooker, but for this I do try to do the extra step.
How to make slow cooker roast beef gravy: Remove the beef when it’s almost ready and as many whole carrots as you can from the slow cooker. Mix the cornflour with a little of the cooking liquid until it makes a paste (or a ‘slurry’). Then put it back into the gravy, stir through and cook for a little longer.
To make this gluten free: Simply substitute the plain flour for gluten free flour, like cornflour (make sure you check the labels first).
For any surplus gravy: Store in the freezer in freezer bags. Lay flat so you save space.

Nutrition

Calories: 615kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 53gFat: 38gSaturated Fat: 16gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 153mgSodium: 292mgPotassium: 1008mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 6053IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 51mgIron: 5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Family Food
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This recipe was originally published on November 28, 2020 and updated on November 14, 2023.

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Sarah Rossi founder of TamingTwins.com and author of 'What's for Dinner?' books.

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39 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this the other week and OMG it is amazing! So delicious and tender. I had enough for a little roast dinner that evening, the rest I box up in the freeze for either sandwiches or mid week dinners. I will definitely be making this again 🥰