How to Cook a Roast Low and Slow

Navarin of Spring Lamb and Baby vegetables
A plate of slow cooked beef with potatoes, baby peas and carrots. (Image: Monkey Business Images/Monkey Business/Getty Images)

Roasting beef low and slow makes even the toughest cut of beef tender and juicy. Beef that comes from the parts of the cow that get more exercise, such as the hindquarters, legs and shoulders, contains collagen and connective tissue that makes it tough, but cooking the beef for an extended period of time over a low heat or an indirect flame breaks down the collagen, making the beef fork-tender.

Oven Roasting

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 250 F. Coat the bottom of a large skillet with cooking oil, and preheat over medium heat.

Step 2

Season the roast to taste with salt and pepper. Place the roast in the hot skillet when the oil begins to shimmer. Sear it on all sides for a nicely browned crust. Put the meat in a roasting pan and place in the preheated oven.

Step 3

Cook the roast for roughly 15 minutes per pound, or until the internal temperature reaches 130 F on an instant-read thermometer.

Step 4

Increase the heat to 500 F. Cook for an additional 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 140 F for medium rare, 155 F for medium or 165 F for well done.

Step 5

Remove the roast from the oven and place it on a cutting board or serving platter. Allow the roast to rest for at least 20 minutes before serving. The roast will continue to cook during this time, increasing its internal temperature another 5 degrees. The juices that were drawn to the surface during the cooking process will absorb back into the meat, ensuring a juicy roast.

Braising

Step 1

Season the roast to taste with salt and pepper. Coat the bottom of a large skillet with cooking oil, and preheat it over medium heat. Sear the roast on all sides to give it a nicely browned crust.

Step 2

Place the roast in a Dutch oven or slow cooker. Cover with 2 to 4 cups of liquid, such as broth, wine, beer or stock.

Step 3

Cook the beef in the slow cooker on low for 8 to 9 hours. If using a Dutch oven, bring the liquid to a boil, then place it in an oven that has been preheated to 300 F. Cook for 4 hours, or until the beef is fork-tender and shreds easily.

Things You'll Need

  • Boneless beef roast

  • Kosher or sea salt

  • Coarsely ground black pepper

  • Large skillet

  • Cooking oil

  • Roasting pan

  • Dutch oven or slow-cooker

  • Braising liquid

  • Instant-read thermometer

Tip

Follow these same guidelines when cooking your roast on the grill or on a rotisserie. Make sure to use indirect heat, except when searing, and place an aluminum pan beneath the roast to catch the meat drippings. Slow-roasting in the oven works best when using a chuck, round or sirloin roast, while a brisket seems to fare the best on the grill.

Whether you are oven-roasting or using a slow cooker, place an assortment of cut-up potatoes and root vegetables on the bottom of the pan before cooking to make a flavorful and nutritious one-dish meal.

Warning

While you might feel tempted to serve your roast rare, you should rethink that idea. Beef can carry a variety of bacteria, such as E. coli, staphylococcus, salmonella and listeria, which cannot survive at high temperatures. To avoid the risk of food-borne illness, the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service recommends that you do not serve beef cooked to less than a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, which is medium rare.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Comments
PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2018 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.