One of my favorite parts of the weekend is having time to cook large and scrumptious meals, but as we go into autumn and winter, time isn’t as much of a factor since I love to pull out the slow cooker during these seasons. While it’s great to have amazing food all week long, there’s something special about Sunday that calls for a well put together meal, and nothing says dinner quite like a perfectly done roast with a side of mashed potatoes, and gravy drizzled over the top of everything.
This week’s blog post will walk you through the steps to an entire meal, from the ease of a slow cooker roast, to buttery mashed potatoes, to the techniques needed to pull off gravy just like grandma makes it. I’m sure you’ll be running to the store by the end of the week to buy your own ingredients for a Sunday Roast.
Entrée – Slow Cooker Roast Beef
The best part of a Sunday Roast Beef dinner is that while this roast is crazy tender and delicious, it takes very little time to prep. As we go into football season, everyone knows how important it is to have a low prep meal so that you can stay by the TV to watch the game.
2-3lbs Beef Rump Roast
½ Yellow Onion
1 Cup Beef Broth
1 tsp Minced Garlic
1. Chop up a yellow onion into wedges. The onion is just for flavor, so don’t worry about cutting it into edible pieces.
2. Pour one cup of beef broth into the bottom of the slow cooker. Set the roast in the middle of the pan.
Kitchen Tip 1: If possible, set the roast in so that the fatty side is on top. This will allow the juices from the fat to flow through the roast as it cooks, making it even more tender. As seen in the pictures, this isn’t always possible. Sometimes the meat is cut in such a way where it consistently tips over when trying to leave it fat side up. If this is the case, it doesn’t matter which side you set the roast in as long as the fat isn’t on the bottom.
3. Set the onion wedges all around the roast
4. Rub the minced garlic onto the meat, and then sprinkle each of the seasonings on top of the meat. There is not an exact amount of seasoning to use, because it all depends on the size of the roast. However, enough should be put on so that the top of the meat is coated thoroughly.
6. Set the slow cooker on high and cook for two and a half hours, then turn the slow cooker down to low and cook for another three and a half hours.
Kitchen Tip 2: Do not open the lid of the cooker until six hours is up. Each time the lid is lifted twenty minutes of cooking time is lost.
7. After six hours, check the roast. It should be tender enough that the meat can flake apart with a fork. If it is not yet tender enough, continue to cook on low, checking it each hour until it is ready. If it is done after six hours, leave the slow cooker on warm until it is time to eat.
While I love roast beef when it is fresh and warm, another one of my favorite parts of this meal is the leftovers! The meat tastes great cold, and I usually take the leftovers in my lunch for the next week. It is also equally delicious served on sandwiches with a little bit of buttered bread.
Side Dish – Buttery Garlic Mashed Potatoes
A Sunday Roast Dinner wouldn’t be complete without the classic side dish of creamy mashed potatoes. While it takes a bit more prep than some other sides, mashed is my absolute favorite way to eat potatoes, especially when there is gravy served on the side.
4 large Potatoes
1 tsp Minced Garlic
⅓ cup Whole Milk
¼ cup Butter
1. Wash, peel, and chop the potatoes into one inch chunks.
Kitchen Tip 3: Make sure your potato chunks are all about the same size, otherwise they will not cook evenly and some will be done faster than others.
2. Fill a large pot half full with water and bring to a roiling boil.
3. Add the garlic and the potatoes to the water, then turn the temperature down to medium high to ensure that it doesn’t boil over. Leave on the heat for 15 minutes or until a fork can cut the potato chunks in half.
Kitchen Tip 4: If you have a large wooden spoon this can be used as a boiling guard. Unless your pot is ridiculously full, a wooden spoon laid flat across the surface of the pot can prevent the water from boiling over.
4. While waiting for the potatoes to be finished, heat the milk and butter over medium low until the butter has melted into the mixture.
Kitchen Tip 5: For sake of time, I usually melt the butter and heat the milk in the microwave, but this can easily make a mess. Potential clean-up can be avoided by having patience and doing this over low heat on the stove.
5. Strain the potatoes and pour them back into the pot, but DO NOT put them back onto the hot burner.
6. Slowly add the milk/butter mixture into the potatoes while mashing.
Kitchen Tip 6: It is possible that you may not need the whole mix, so do not add it in all at once. Stop adding the mix when the potatoes have reached your desired creaminess. In my house, I leave a couple of chunks here and there because that’s the way my husband likes them, but if you prefer them completely smooth, you may have to use more of the butter mixture and mash a little longer.
While you can find recipes for mashed potatoes everywhere, I honestly believe the secret to perfect mashed potatoes is heating the butter and milk together. This is something that my grandpa taught me, and it seems to make the potatoes lighter and fluffier. If you think about it, it really does make sense to add a warm ingredient into warm potatoes instead of adding in cold milk which will cool down the temperature of the potatoes that you just boiled. Ever since I started heating up the milk before adding it in, my mashed potatoes have turned out perfectly.
Side Dish – Grandma’s Gravy
If you were to ask me what my favorite part of holiday dinners is, my answer would almost always be the gravy. So many foods that are made during a large dinner can be coated in gravy. It really is the component that ties everything together. I have tried a lot of different recipes for gravy over the years, but none of them compare to the recipe my grandma has given me. Her techniques make a thick sauce that I have never been able to achieve with any other strategy. While I added a couple of seasonings to make the recipe my own, this dish will always have a special place in my heart, since it’s one that my grandma taught me how to make.
1 cup Juice from Roast
14 oz Water – Divided
2 tsp Better Than Bouillon – Beef
4 heaping tbsp Flour
¼ tsp Salt
¼ tsp Pepper
⅛ tsp Onion Powder
⅛ tsp Garlic Powder
1. When the rump roast is finished cooking, measure out one cup of juice from the bottom of the slow cooker.
2. Combine the slow cooker juice with 7 oz of water in a small pot. Bring the mixture to a boil.
3. When the liquid is boiling, add in 2 tsp of Beef Better Than Bouillon and stir until it is dissolved in. Then turn the burner down to medium low.
4. In a container that can seal tightly, pour in the last 7 oz of water and add in 4 heaping tbsp of flour. Seal the container and shake it until the flour mixes completely into the water.
5. Pour the flour mixture into the simmering liquid on the stove. Stir until the two combine and thicken into the traditional gravy consistency.
6. Finally, add in all of the seasonings. At this point, turn the burner down to warm until dinner is ready to be served.
This gravy is so delicious. It is thick, and flavorful, and really brings the entire roast dinner together. While the meat and potatoes are delicious on their own, I personally believe the gravy brings that special component to the dinner that makes this dinner stellar.
There you have it! Three easy components to whip together a delicious beef roast dinner. While you can have it any day of the week, there is just something about this dinner that screams out Sunday to me. I hope you get a chance to try it next weekend!