This Slow Cooker Roast Beef Joint is a melt in the mouth tried and tested family recipe at my house. This is a gamechanger and always how I make my Sunday Roast.
You can easily get ahead and it produces lots of incredible beef gravy
*Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the full printable recipe. Below is a step by step guide & lots of tips and tricks to help you on your beef journey.*
What cut of beef is best?
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.
Silverside (Rump Roast for Americans)
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.
Topside (Top Rump for Americans)
Topside is another fabulous choice and one that is often on offer too at the supermarkets. I like to buy when discounted and freeze.
Another important point is oftentimes joints of beef are just labelled Roasting Joints in supermarkets. It doesn't even say what it exactly is although it will say if it's brisket. 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 do you cook Roast Beef 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 melt in your mouth meat.
The recipe below is for a standard beef joint bought from the supermarket and labelled as a roasting joint.
I'm afraid I am rather traditional and DON'T like my beef gravy to have anything else other than beef flavour 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.
1.5 kg (53 oz) beef joint
500 mls double strength beef stock
2 heaped tsp cornflour
2 tbsp olive oil
- 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. It is at this point that you can leave to cool covered before wrapping and leaving in the fridge overnight to slice the next day.
- If I'm serving more or less straight away then I cover mine in silver foil and a couple of clean tea towels to rest.
- Carve the meat when ready and serve with gravy to rapturous applause
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.
Can you overcook the beef joint?
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.
I serve it with roast potatoes, mashed potatoes, braised red cabbage, vegetables and my easy yorkshire puddings.
My cauliflower cheese is always a hit here and if I'm feeling a bit swish then I make it with my dauphinoise potatoes rather than roasties.
Slow Cooker Roast Beef 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 do find it difficult to find a large Brisket joint without visiting the butcher. Make sure you get the thicker end 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.
- 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.
You may like these other Sunday Lunch Recipes too
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.
Cat | Curly's Cooking
Ooh this does look tasty! I don't cook enough beef joints (read that as I have never cooked a beef joint!) and this is tempting me to give it a go because of how easy it is.
Oh Cat! Gosh this is def the one to start with. Then I personally recommend the Roast Brisket, almost as easy. The smell of it too is just divine!
I still haven't got a slow cooker but with recipes like this one I am more and more convinced I need to get one soon! Thank you for bringing your lovely recipe to #CookBlogShare
I love my slow cooker and it is great for cooking beef joints in. I need to do that more as I think it's at least a year since I've cooked one in mine so thank you for the reminder too! I definitely need to do it again. Thanks for sharing with #CookOnceEatTwice too!
My wife and I are now converts.
That's brilliant! Did you make it the night before or on the day? It's such a great way to cook it. So glad you enjoyed it and thanks so much for leaving your comment. It has made my day!
Just reading the whole recipe made my day let alone the actual eating. Have you thought of writing a book your brilliant.
Thank you for your kind words!
I could eat the whole lot!!
And almost did!
Top recipe bird
Thank you Clare! I look forward to it every Sunday that I cook it. Which is most!
Can I sow cook it for 6 hours and then take it out to brown it of in the oven for about 30 minutes then I would have the gravy from the slow cooker and the juice from the roasting top quality gravy
I would think so. I have never done it that way round but can't see it being a problem. It's a great recipe for beef and I do it most Sundays. I can't see it ever changing either. Enjoy!
Made this today and normally the slow cooker isn't my favourite tool as previous efforts using it have been a let down but this was awesome and definitely one to add to my repertoire! I love your witty stle of writing and did as you said and seared the bejesus out of it! Brilliant
Squeal! I love that you thought it brilliant! It so is. I made it today too! I put it in at 8 a.m and then got it out at 5 pm. It was Brisket so gave it that extra time. Just incredible. The slow cooker is your best friend here. Thanks so much for letting me know x
How do you know what type of meat it is though - mine just says roasting joint (from Morrisons). Been in on high for 1 hr then I turned it down to low (still in now after 4 further hours - I did flip it though - so opening the lid may add an extra time - nervous about how long I should leave it in for (as I don't think it's brisket!)
Hi David, it won't be brisket or it would have said so on the packet. Obviously I can only give you general advice because I don't know enough details but I would say if it's been in there that long with an hour on high it should either be ready now or after another hour. I tell by how soft it is when i push a carving fork in. I always want it to go in without too much resistance. I know not the easiest point to get across but experience will tell you eventually. If it's obviously soft then you're ready but if it resists significantly then leave it some more to cook. I hope that helps! Thank you for asking. I hope it turns out delicious!
Thank you for the quick reply! I just took the plunge and took it out, it seems soft (resting now) just hope I haven't overcooked it if you know what I mean! But it was in lots of liquid so hope it's ok! I get that every joint and slow cooker is different so it's all learning - and recipes like this given the current energy crisis are so useful! Thanks for a great recipe!