This Slow Cooker Beef Joint is a true tried and tested family recipe at my house. Like most things, I came rather late in life to the Slow Cooker (Crock Pot) but I have been absolutely revelling in it's many fabulous foodie facets ever since. This is a gamechanger of a recipe.
What cut of beef is best for slow cooking roast beef?
There are three main options:
Brisket is my favorite cut of beef to cook like this and a real beef taste sensation because of the fat running through it so the gravy is sensational.
But Brisket usually needs longer to tenderise than other cuts, up to 9 hours on Low in the Slow Cooker for a large joint and it cannot be cooked for 4-5 hours on High as it will still be tough.
So when I am cooking brisket this way (Low) I rely on a carving fork plunged into it to tell me how tender it is around the 6 hour mark. If it isn't ready I will keep cooking and checking another hour at a time until it becomes soft enough.
I do find it difficult to find a large Brisket joint without visiting the butcher. Make sure you get the thicker end too though as the thinner end can be too fatty.
If there is too much fat for the gravy left in the brisket juices after cooking then I will spoon some of it off and keep it in a mug in the fridge and use for the roast potatoes or to add in my Slow Cooker Beef Casserole at another time.
This cut is a very popular cut for roasting joints and I used Silverside, or Rump Roast if you're in the U.S, in these photos for the recipe, as it was on a half price offer at my supermarket. It was delicious.
It is a joint that is easily available in supermarkets this size and loves long and slow cooking.
Topside is another fabulous choice and one that is often on offer too at the supermarkets. I like to buy when discounted and freeze.
It is a great choice for the Slow Cooker as it loves to be cooked long and slow with big beefy flavours.
Another important point is oftentimes joints of beef are just labelled Roasting Joints in supermarkets. It doesn't even say what it exactly is. The slow cooker will make all of them tender so I just grab and go.
Here is a great article on the different cuts of beef. Scroll down for the British Guide.
How long does it need in the slow cooker?
Basically you have 2 options. Cook with some liquid for 4-5 hours on High or 6-8 hours on Low (up to 9 hours Low for a large Brisket). Use your time constraints to make your choice.
I personally prefer to cook this for longer on Low rather than High as it generally produces softer, more tender meat.
1.5 kg (53 oz) beef joint
500 mls double strength beef stock
2 heaped tsp cornflour
2 tbsp olive oil
I'm afraid I am rather traditional and DON'T like my beef gravy to have anything else other than beef in it but I do understand that most do.
So you can add couple of carrots, celery and an onion in the bottom of the slow cooker here for the beef to hunker down on and flavour the gravy if you prefer. Feel free to add your favourite beef combo flavours.
- Firstly the joint requires a jolly good salt and peppering on all sides.
- Sear in a very hot to trot pan, also on all sides. It is this that gives a good flavour to the whole shebang. You want serious browning. Don't be shy.
- If you would rather you can put the joint into a very hot oven 220 C/425F/Gas Mark 7 for 20-30 minutes to sear instead of the frying pan. I often do.
- Place the beef in the slow cooker and pour in 500 mls of hot Beef Stock.
- Put the lid on and simply let the bronzed beauty cook away for the next 4-5 on High or Low for 6-8 hours (9 hours Low for Brisket). Sometimes the meat will be cooked an hour or so earlier (if cooking on the Low setting) use a carving fork or similar after 6 hours to test how soft the meat is. As you get more experienced you will be able to know straight away if it's ready.
- Ideally 71 C internal temperature (if you have a meat thermometer).
- When the joint is ready, remove and rest for at least 30 minutes.
- I cover mine in silver foil and a couple of clean tea towels to rest.
How to make the beef gravy
- Decant the liquid into a saucepan from the slow cooker pot.
- Put two heaped tablespoons of cornflour into a mug and add a couple of inches of cold water. Stir to dissolve all the corn flour into the water.
- Put the saucepan on the heat. Once the liquid is bubbling a little, pour in the cornflour mixture and, using a whisk, stir until it begins to thicken.
- Repeat if the gravy is not thick enough. So simple I'm snoozing....
- Sometimes I use Bisto gravy granules to thicken the gravy. Whatever suits you sir. It's a great cheat.
- Carve the meat when ready and serve with gravy to rapturous applause
Can you overcook it?
If you have enough liquid in there and the heat is on Low then there is some significant wiggle room here.
I do suggest you use Topside when cooking it for 4-5 hours on High as it is not as lean as Silverside and therefore generally requires less cooking time to tenderise.
It all depends on the amount of fat and collagen running through the meat. Brisket is much more forgiving than a leaner cut such as Silverside.
But that said, I would try to stick to the advised cooking times in your recipe until you are experienced in cooking it.
I usually cook it the day before and reheat it back to temperature in the slow cooker with the beef gravy. If you leave it to go cold and then wrap it up and put it in the fridge, it is super easy to slice the next day and does not crumble at all. Something that can happen if you cook it for the 8 hours (9 hours for Brisket) and serve it straight away.
I have served it here as a traditional Sunday Lunch Roast Beef with gravy. Low on effort and washing up as well as super easy peasy reheating options.
Slow Cooker Sunday Lunch Beef Joint Top Tips
- The ultimate game changer for me is that I like to make slow cooker beef joint the day before and allow to go cold before wrapping up and putting in the fridge. It slices very well then. I reheat it in the slow cooker sliced and covered with the gravy. It makes life so easy!
- I use any leftover gravy for a Cottage Pie or Sausage Bake. The gravy is almost as good as the joint. Keep sharing the leftover love.
- A smaller or bigger piece of meat may require shorter or longer cooking times although not significantly. The best test is to plunge a fork in to feel if it is soft yet.
- The meat should have an internal temperature of 71 C.
- Use Bisto gravy granules or similar to thicken the gravy for a quick cheat. You may have to add some more water or beef stock.
IF YOU LIKE THIS RECIPE YOU MAY LIKE
Slow Cooker Beef Joint
- 1.5 kgs joint of beef at room temp
- 500 mls double strength beef stock 2 x stock pot jelly/cube
- 2 heaped tsps corn flour
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- Take out the beef from the fridge 30 mins before you are ready to go, so as to allow the joint to reach room temp. Season with salt.
- Put a large frying pan on a high heat and add the olive oil. Standing in the braced position and using some serious tongs, sear the bejesus out of your joint. It will hiss and spit. Don't do it in a bikini or speedos.You can also cook for 20 minutes in a really hot oven 220 °C/425 F/Gas Mark 7 to brown it instead.
- Place the browned joint in the slow cooker. Pour over the 500 mls stock and put on the lid. Cook for 4-5 hours on High or Low 6/8 hours (maybe 9 hours on Low for Brisket).If cooking on Low I rely on a carving fork plunged into it to tell me how ready it is around the 6 hour mark. If it isn't ready I will keep cooking and checking another hour at a time until it becomes soft enough.
- The internal temperature should reach 71°C especially if you're reheating it. Remove the beef and set aside to rest for 30 mins covered with foil. Remove the left behind stock and decant into a saucepan. Carve the beef when you are ready for it. If you are serving the beef at a later date allow to cool before putting in the fridge covered.
- To make the gravy put the cornflour in a mug and add a couple of inches of cold water. Stir well to dissolve. Put the saucepan on the heat and making sure the stock in the saucepan is bubbling a bit add the cornflour mixture. Using a whisk keep whisking as the stock bubbles. It should be nicely thickened, if it isn't then repeat with another couple of tsps of cornflour and water.You can use Bisto gravy granules to thicken the gravy too. I scatter a couple of tbsps in at a time until I get the thickness and flavour I want.
- Use the joint in whatever way you want. If you are just using the beef without gravy then cover gravy when cool and put in the fridge for sausages and mash or a cottage pie. Having homemade gravy in the fridge always makes me feel like Delia.
- Apply to Big Up The Beef Face.
All nutritional information is approximate and intended only as a guide.
Other options for Slow Cooker Beef Joint
Slice it thickly for serious Roast Beef Rolls with caramelised onions and mustard or horseradish and rocket served with chunky chips and coleslaw.
I do something similar with my brisket buns here. In fact it's one of my favourite ways to easily feed a crowd. It is an outstanding recipe.
I serve it in big dirty baps with spoonfuls of gravy and have done so for many a standing ovation.
It is also really great to have it just sat cold and covered in the fridge for salads and sandwiches at the drop of a beefy hat.
The children go bonkers for warm roast beef sandwiches and ketchup and one of my husband's all time favourites is cold roast beef and chips.
Beef brownie points all round.
Do let me know how you get on in the comments below. I would love to hear from you. Or do come on over and join me on my Instagram or Facebook Page. I love a good old hairy chin wag.