Weekday Sunday Gravy

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

Slow Cook Modern

Slow Cook Modern

By Liana Krissoff

Published 2017

  • About

There’s truly no better way to make “gravy” than in a slow cooker. I like the lean round roast here—it’s what my boss at the Italian restaurant always used, ending up with a pot of deeply flavorful marinara and a softball-size hunk of beef that would almost crumble as you sliced it—but a thick chuck roast would be good too.


  • 1 (3-pound/1.4-kg) beef round roast
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 (28-ounce/794-g) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 large sprig fresh basil
  • Dried pasta



Season the roast all over with salt and pepper. In a large skillet or sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, add the roast and cook, turning with tongs, until browned on most of the sides, about 7 minutes total. Transfer to the slow cooker.

Return the skillet to medium heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, the onion, and garlic; cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent, 5 to 7 minutes, then pour in ½ cup (120 ml) water and stir to scrape up any browned bits. Pour the liquid over the roast and add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and basil sprig. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente; drain.

Transfer the roast to a carving board and slice it against the grain or pull it apart. Season the sauce with salt and pepper. If you’d like, puree the sauce with an immersion blender. Return the meat to the sauce, or serve the meat on its own and toss the pasta with sauce to coat.