Slow cooker harissa roast beef8

Posted on August 16, 2012 by ChristieDinner Time, Gluten Free

This recipe has only three ingredients and three steps. I almost didn’t post it here because it is embarrassingly simple.

But then I thought ‘hang on, plenty of people want super easy slow cooker dishes up their sleeve’. Am I right?

Today’s rant is more about the brilliance of slow cookers and how they can help you enjoy a roast beef meal in the middle of the week. Doesn’t that sound appealing? It’s such a rare occurrence to eat a roast dinner other than on a weekend due to time contraints and the old chestnut of ‘I just can’t be bothered’.

Thank you modern technology, once again I bow down to you. Slow cooker, I heart you. Big time.

Some of you might love your slow cooker because you can set it in the morning then go off to work and come home to a ready prepared meal. Others might like theirs because they save energy and ensure your meals never get burnt. I can relate to that (yes, I’m looking at you adorable time-consuming toddler).

The reason for my love? Multi-tasking. My beautiful slow cooker makes my dinner while I do a million other things – go to the bank, wipe up spilt milk, vacuum, even go to the beach! Yep, my trusty friend has got it under control. Meaning my stress levels are under control too.

Speaking of stress levels, the Fig & Cherry family took a week long break to Melbourne in June for hubby’s birthday. We stayed with our good friends Ben and Sarah who showed us around town and allowed us to rest and rejuvenate at their place.

During one of many outings we went to an amazing spice shop in Prahran called Gewurzhaus. I picked up some raw cacao powder, a chai tea mix, an indian dry curry mix and the harissa dry spice mix pictured above. The shop is a treasure trove of sweet and savoury spices, tea and more than a dozen different types of salt. I’m kicking myself now thinking back to those salts, I wish I’d bought some! Next time.

Today’s recipe uses the harissa dry spice mix. I made a rub by swooshing it in some vegetable oil and then massaging it onto the roast before plonking it into the slow cooker to let it do its thang.

The great thing about a using a spice rub on a roast in a slow cooker is that the spices can’t get burnt. In an oven, the temperature is so ferocious and dry that you would need to keep a close eye on the roast and cover it if it was getting too dark. There is no such fiddling around in a slow cooker. The air is moist and stays that way, allowing the rub to gently infuse the meat throughout the cooking time. Mmm, I’m salivating at the words ‘gently infuse’.

And even though there is no crispy fat like you would get in the oven, there is a definite tenderness and moist succulence that is hard to replicate in the oven perfectly every time – especially if you are down at the beach while it is cooking!

We ate the roast beef with baked sweet potato, potato and zucchini and it was delicious. However, it was even better the next day when sliced thinly and piled onto toast with a dollop of mayonnaise and prune and caramelised onion chutney. Thanks to Jonathan Daddia for sending me a jar of his chutney to taste! Even though I’m sure the chutney goes perfectly with roast lamb, it was absolutely delicious with this beef as the sweetness really counterbalanced the fiery heat of the harissa.

Have you ever made a roast in your slow cooker? How did it turn out?

Christie x

Slow cooker harissa roast beef

serves 8-10

  • 2 tablespoons harissa dry spice mix (or wet spice mix)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (omit this if using wet spice mix)
  • 1.5kg beef roast (I used a topside roast)

1. Mix together the dry spice mix and vegetable oil in a small bowl (skip this step if you are using a wet harissa mix).

2. Place the beef onto a plate and massage the harissa into the skin on all sides. Place into the slow cooker and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours.

3. Slice and serve with vegetables or use as a sandwich filling as pictured above.

Fig & Cherry was sent a selection of condiments to taste with compliments of Jonathan Daddia.

  • Your roast beef looks amazing. I would have that roast beef for lunch everday if I could!

  • Wow, I have never thought of making a roast in the slow cooker. This sounds like a brilliant idea! I love the slow cooker, because it never burns and i can leave it on the whole night or whole day. But doing a roast in one is new, and I would love to try it. Maybe even roast a chicken?

    • HI Mich – yes, roast chicken works too and it turns out soooo juicy! :)

  • Fantastic idea! I’ve used both my slow cooker and harissa (although as the paste) this week too. I have never made a roast in the cooker before- but I can see that changing very soon indeed :)

    • Hi IntolerantChef – glad to inspire you. Looking forward to seeing a recipe on your blog :)

  • Everyone loves a simple slow cooker recipe and this is no exception!

    • Hi Lorraine – thanks hun! :)

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