Sunday roast: Silverside in the slow cooker

24/03/2013 § Leave a comment

Slow cook silverside

Slow cook silverside

Apparently, I live in Narnia, and the White Witch’s power is at its most potent.

So as I wait for Aslan to arrive in Cheshire – hopefully before the Easter long weekend – I’ve dug out the slow cooker. After all, if the slow cooker is ever going to be dusted off, it’s going to be dusted off when half the UK is dealing with a foot of snow.

My wonderful mother paid me a visit this week bearing meat. This may be to do with the fact I’ve grumbled about the rubbish red meat at the budget supermarket where me and Mr Spoon shop. So mum rocked up with two packets of minced Aberdeen Angus rump, veal escalopes, chorizo sausage, haggis and a kilo of silverside. And a bottle of wine (love you mum!).

I’ve tried making a few beef roasts here in our flat using joints

from the budget supermarket and each one was flavourless and tough, no matter how gently I braised it or how long I marinated it. This is due to the fact the meat was not hung and was probably butchered at the abattoir – or at least that is the conclusion my dad came to.

This silverside was matured on the bone and is best slow roasted. I have tried many, many times to do the perfect medium-rare roast beef and have failed. Steak: pink as you like. Joints: disappointing. So slow roasting it is.

Slow cooker

Slow cooker


I’ve never put a roasting joint in the slow cooker. My past failings have set a nagging doubt going in my head, as I wonder if the lovely bit of seasoned meat I’ve cuddled among carrots, red onion and strewn with thyme, rosemary and garlic in a shallow red wine bath will emerge from its day-long braise a dry, grey lump.


Full up. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I can confirm that silverside is best slow cooked for an entire day. We’ve just polished off one-third of the joint between us, leaving a lovely amount for two mid-week suppers.

I took the meat out of its delicious savory broth about fifteen minutes before serving and popped it onto a plate under a loose covering of tinfoil. It was at this point I knew the slow cooker had done what it was meant to do because the meat

was already falling away.

During the resting time I mashed my sweet potato and turnip, checked my greens and strained the beef broth into a saucepan, rescuing the carrots and onions and taking out the rosemary and thyme stalks. I popped the carrots and onions back in the slow cooker (now switched off) to keep warm.

Tea time

Tea time

I added a scant teaspoon of cornflour to the broth – which is now boiling furiously on the hob – but it made little difference, staying quite loose. I don’t mind this but I know Mr Spoon

likes a thicker gravy. Quick taste and it’s perfection, so never mind.

I teased the beef apart with two forks and served. It was so good I had seconds and now we’ve shredded the rest of the beef to be used later in the week.

So if you, like me, have failed to make the perfect pink-in-the-middle roast beef one too many times, I thoroughly recommend this method of cooking silverside. Plus, there’s the added benefit of shredding rather than carving, which will come as a relief to the loved ones of cooks such as myself who have one carving setting: doorwedge.




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