Memories of Sunday dinners in my Irish childhood home always involved a roast, either roast beef, pork or chicken. My mom roasted meat in the oven, then made gravy separately on the stove top.
When I came to America my aunt, who immigrated here from Ireland back in the 1940’s, introduced me to the most wonderful American appliance, the crockpot. She made a delicious roast beef in red wine gravy, which convinced me the crockpot is the way to go for juicy, tender roast beef.
I have tweaked her recipe since it contained onions and my husband will not touch them, even if you paid him. Onion powder is my secret weapon in this recipe.
- 2 to 3 lb eye of the round beef roast
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 and 1/2 cup cold water
- 1 packet brown gravy mix
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 can mushrooms – stems and pieces (8 ounces)
- 1 tablespoon corn starch.
- 2 tablespoons cold water
Heat the canola oil in a large skillet. Sear the beef on all sides to seal in all the juices and flavor. This takes 2 to 3 minutes on each side, to attain a light brown shade on the surface of the meat.
In a large mixing bowl add the gravy powder to the cold water and whisk.
Toss in the salt.
And the pepper.
Next comes the red wine. All the alcohol is cooked out of the gravy in the crockpot. Red wine is the key ingredient for adding rich flavor.
Next add the ketchup.
Then my secret ingredient – the onion powder. If you like onion, feel free to chop one up and toss it in. It would probably be best to caramelize it in a pan for a little while before adding it to the crockpot.
Worcestershire sauce compliments the flavor of the red wine. The recipe calls for one tablespoon but feel free to add two if you like the richness and depth of flavor of worcestershire.
Dijon mustard adds even more flavor.
Finally, the gravy needs some minced garlic. Feel free to mince fresh garlic, but I like to use pre-chopped garlic just to make life easy.
Transfer the seared meat to the crockpot and toss in the can of mushrooms. Once again fresh would work out fine. Just clean and slice 8 oz of button mushrooms and use instead of the can. I went for the easy solution again for this recipe.
Pour the prepared gravy over the roast. Place the lid on the crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours. If your piece of meat is bigger than 3 lbs cooking may take an extra hour or two.
Try to resist opening the crockpot lid for at least the first four hours of cooking. This is difficult, especially as the aroma from this delicious gravy starts to invade your kitchen.
Once the meat is cooked (inner temperature of 160 F or higher), remove it from the gravy in the crockpot, and let it stand for about 10 minutes. If you slice it too quickly, the juices run all over the cutting board, and the meat often shreds as you try to cut through it.
The eye of the round is easy to slice in even portions. The meat will not be rare. I think rare roast beef would be an impossibility in a crockpot. As an Irish person, who was scared by mad cow disease, rare meat is not something I yearn for.
When the meat is resting and waiting to be sliced, it is time to thicken the gravy. Turn the crockpot to high. Mix one tablespoon of corn starch in 2 tablespoons of cold water. Whisk until smooth, then pour into the gravy mixture. Stir the gravy well, then allow it to return to simmering point.
The meat and gravy can be served straight away, or if guests are coming the sliced meat can be returned to the gravy in the crockpot, and kept warm on low setting, until everyone is ready to eat.
I like to serve my roast beef with mashed potatoes, baby carrots and yorkshire pudding. Delicious!
Hope you enjoy this recipe. It is a perfect make-ahead dinner to cook while at work, and then return to a home filled with the most delicious aroma of red wine gravy.
Here is the printable recipe.
Slán agus beannacht,
(Goodbye and blessings)
Irish American Mom