Slow-cooker Sunday Sauce



40 min


8 hrs 40 min



Slow-cooker Sunday Sauce

Photo, Roberto Caruso.

What is braising? A classic method of cooking less-tender cuts of meat and vegetables, braising starts with a pan-sear so the food gains colour and flavour. It’s then cooked gently, covered, in barely bubbling liquid until exceedingly tender.


  • 2 kg beef roast , such as eye of round, blade or cross rib
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 cup diced pancetta , or 3 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion , diced (about 1 heaping cup)
  • 1 celery stalk , diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 carrot , peeled and diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 7 g pkgs sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 3 large garlic cloves , coarsely chopped
  • 156-mL can tomato paste
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 cup dry white wine , or dry vermouth
  • 796-mL can whole peeled tomatoes


  • PAT meat very dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt. Season with fresh pepper. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high. Add oil, then meat. Brown well on all sides, 3 to 4 min per side. Transfer to a slowcooker insert.
  • RETURN pan to medium. Add pancetta or bacon. Cook, stirring often, until pancetta is almost crisp, about 3 min. Add onion, celery, carrot, mushrooms and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 min. Stir in tomato paste, sugar and chili flakes and cook for 2 min. Add wine and increase heat to medium-high. Add tomatoes and their juices. Boil for 1 min, then transfer to slowcooker insert. Cover with lid and cook until fork tender, 8 to 10 hours on low.
  • USE tongs or a slotted spoon to carefully transfer the meat to a cutting board. Cover with foil to keep warm. Skim off and discard any fat from the liquid. If the sauce is watery (this depends on the cut of meat used), transfer to a large frying pan and boil for 15 min to thicken. If not, keep warm. When meat is cool enough to handle, slice and serve with sauce. Cut any remaining meat into strips or cubes and combine with remaining sauce. Toss with cooked rigatoni for another meal. Meat and sauce freeze well up to two weeks.

Easy way to peel and mince garlic

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 388,
  • Protein
  • 52 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 15 g,
  • Fat
  • 13 g,
  • Fibre
  • 3 g,
  • Sodium
  • 601 mg.
  • Excellent source of
  • vitamin B6

More of our slow cooker recipes here