Frozen to Fabulous: Roast Beef in the Crock Pot

Don't let that buy-one-get-one roast sit in the freezer one more day.

At the risk of sounding dramatic, this roast beef recipe has changed my life.

I can’t tell you how many times I have bought the “Buy One Get One” roasts at Jewel only to stick one in the freezer for a year until it develops freezer burn.  

I just never seem to have my timing down to defrost it in the fridge and I don’t like the way it defrosts in the microwave.

What took me so long to figure out that defrosting the roast beef is not necessary?

What is even easier is that you can put the frozen roast in the crock pot with just a few simple ingredients, forget about it for six hours and come home to a glorious roast beef!

Usually six hours is plenty of time, but that will depend on the size of the roast, so to ensure the beef is cooked properly, a meat thermometer is great.  You can get one at the grocery store for a couple of bucks, and they really are life savers.  

I chose to roast my potatoes and green vegetables separately from the roast because of the vegetarians in our house.  But I am sure you could easily chop a half bag of potatoes and throw in a bag of frozen vegetables with the roast, but if you do, cook it longer.

There are endless ways to vary this recipe. Add curry, hot pepper, giardinera, carrots, red wine in place of water, you name it!  I would love for you to send me photos or recipes of your variations.

When roasting potatoes on the side, simply chop any potato into small pieces, sprinkle with olive oil, your favorite herbs and as much garlic as you can handle, and roast at 400 degrees until potatoes are tender. The smaller you chop them, the faster they cook.

Take that roast out of the freezer today and play in the snow with your kids while dinner cooks. The smell is heavenly.

  • 1 frozen roast beef
  • 1 large onion cut into quarters
  • 5+ cloves of chopped garlic
  • 1 can condensed soup (cream of chicken is nice but anything will do)
  • 1 can water
  • a handful of mushrooms sliced
  • 1 Tbsp dried herbs (I used thyme but Italian seasonings would be good too)
  • 1 tsp or more salt
  • 1 tsp or more pepper

Put frozen roast in crockpot and add all ingredients. Cover and cook on low for about six hours.  

Roast beef is well done when there is no pink left in middle, which is how most kids like it. But here are the following cooking temperatures from The Joy of Cooking:

  • Medium rare: 130-135 degrees
  • Medium well: 155-165 degrees
  • Well done: 170-185 degrees

Enjoy a night off of cooking with the roast you got for free!

Megan February 06, 2011 at 05:10 PM
What do you consider low on a crock pot? Mine is tempature(#s) controlled. Thanks.
Renee Gough February 07, 2011 at 02:30 PM
Oh that is a good question Megan. I am not sure but if you erred on the side of caution and cooked it on a mid-heat level I am sure that would be fine. I is probably fine at any medium temperature. The key is to ensure the beef is cooked all the way through in the center according to temps I listed in the recipe. I hope this helps! Please email me directly with any questions by clicking on 'contact the author' if you want a quick response. Good luck!
Lived in 5 other metro areas... February 08, 2011 at 07:14 PM
Hi, Renee! Just had to share with you a recipe that I finally think I figured out. It's a pasta primavera. My trouble has always been getting things in at the right time so that nothing is overcooked. Nothing like soggy broccoli for me. Yuck. Usually, I use what I have in the frig, but always, always, good small tomatoes, like the grape tomatoes. So, 3-4 T olive oil, med heat. First the carrots (chopped baby carrots the thickness of 2 dimes) for about 3 minutes, then add broccoli for 2 minutes, then I add the 3-4 cloves chopped or crushed garlic. Cook about a minute and add the tomatoes and red pepper and cover for about 4 minutes. Salt and pepper and a good stir and: Done! (Some of the tomatoes are popped and some are not. I like when they pop in my mouth - they're all liquid at that point.) The colors are bright and appetizing. We eat it on pasta or rice or plain. Left overs on french bread the next day with pesto or mustard. Rarely does it make it to the next day...
Renee Gough February 08, 2011 at 07:26 PM
Good grief Mary! I just finished lunch and I'm ready for dinner after reading your primavera heaven! Yes, I agree, getting the veg al dente is always tricky. Your method sounds fab! Here's a trick for getting the colors to pop but it's labor intensive. In the springtime ("primavera" in Italian) when veggies are in glorious color, blanche your veggies in salted boiling water for 2 minutes or so depending on veg. Keep a bowl of water filled with ice next to your pot and strain veggies out, plunge into cold water. not only will they stop them from cooking at perfect tender crisp point, but they will retain so much color you will want to take pictures! You can then do your onion, garlic, tomato and then toss in your green and orange veggies at the end and you will have a full bouquet of color! Thanks for getting me hungry! I'm gonna place this in Renata's Hall of Fame recipes from Mary Weiner! Stay tuned for my contest! Will post rules soon.


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