Slow Cooker Roast Beef Bowls

Slow Cooker Roast Beef Bowls

first tried out this recipe with a lamb roast. Awkwardly,  though, my flatmate unplugged my slow cooker so she could use the coffee grinder (very understandable) but forgot to plug it back in (the caffeine had not yet been consumed, brain function was low). This meant that it did not succumb to the full-blown effects of 15 hours of slow-cooking action. The meat was tough, and I was sad.

Some famous person once said to not give up if at first I don’t succeed. When I managed to snatch a lean-looking bolar roast at the supermarket for a scant $12, I knew what I had to do. Come 6pm I took out my trusty slow cooker, added some meat and sauces went in there too. The next morning I walked in to my living room to find it filled with a meaty aroma. I went to rotate the meat and it just fell apart — it was perfect.

I am trying to find as many uses for this beef as possible. I have put it in a bun, made an oh-so-trendy roast “bowl” for dinner. Making sloppy burgers or tacos with it would be a good idea. Resting it on top of a pile of mashed potato also seems like a good plan.


Adapted from My Underground Kitchen by Jess Daniell

Serves 6


  • 1kg lean beef bolar roast (or similar cut)
  • 6 cloves of garlic (just leave them whole)
  • 2 tablespoons kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper

For the rest of the bowl:

  • 1 small kumara per person
  • 1 carrot per person
  • half a crown pumpkin
  • splash of oil
  • splash of balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • large handfuls of baby spinach per person
  • parsley to garnish
  • sliced almonds to garnish


  1. Trim any excess fat off the roast and place in the slow cooker with the garlic. Mix together the kecap manis, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, honey, chilli powder and beef stock, then pour this over the beef. Turn the slow cooker onto high and leave to cook for 12–15 hours, turning the meat over every few hours.
  2. Shred the beef apart with two forks. The cooking juices should be pretty reduced by this time, so pour them over the beef; it is now ready for action. 
  3. 50 minutes before dinner time, preheat the oven to 180 degrees on bake and line a baking tray with baking paper. Slice the kumara into wedges and the carrot into thick sticks, then remove the skin from the pumpkin and cube it. Toss the vegetables in the oil and balsamic vinegar. Spread onto the baking tray, then give a generous salt and pepper. Bake for 40–45 minutes until softened. Place a handful of the baby spinach into each bowl. Divide the vegetables between the bowls and gently toss to mix in with the spinach leaves. Place a portion of beef over the top and drizzle over some of the cooking juices. Garnish with chopped parsley and sliced almonds.
  4. Other serving suggestions:
    • Put it in a hotdog bun with mayonnaise, simple yet effective
    • Serve as part of your roast dinner
    • Sandwich in between brioche burger buns with a little slaw and greenery

    • Eat straight by itself right out of the slow cooker
    • Stuff it in a taco with all the taco trimmings
This article first appeared in Issue 17, 2015.
Posted 1:53pm Sunday 26th July 2015 by Sophie Edmonds.