Pull out the slow cooker and make this no fuss Eye of Round Roast in Wine and Pepper Sauce for dinner this week. Simple, satisfying and you just might have all the ingredients in your pantry already!
Beef eye of round is a cut from the leg that is lean and tough. Don’t let that discourage you! That means it’s an excellent choice for braising and will be a perfect backdrop for a tasty sauce. Plus, this is one of those dishes that looks much fancier than it actually is.
Another perk is that it can be very economical, especially if you pick up the roast at your grocery store’s buy one, get one free sale. A tasty bargain? Yes, please.
To Sear or Not To Sear?
Most recipes for braised or stewed meats call for searing the meat first. If you’re unfamiliar, searing is browning your meat in a little oil in a hot pan. Recently there’s been discussion about whether this is really necessary.
It’s been a long-held belief that searing meat seals in moisture. That sounds reasonable, but I have no science to back up that idea – and don’t ask me how you’d even accurately measure that experiment, anyway.
Searing is really all about flavor and texture. When food meets high enough heat, the Maillard Reaction occurs and that, my friend, is where big flavor is. Basically, the surface of the hot pan makes amino acids and sugars come apart and go back together again forming a browned crust that we humans find tasty and delightful.
Just think about all the things we love that are browned and crusty: heels of Italian bread, fried chicken, home fried potatoes, burgers from the grill, etc. Heck, burnt ends BBQ has become popular all over the country because of our love of browned and crusty.
You’ll be glad you took the extra step and seared your roast for this recipe because it will add a deeper flavor and color to your dinner. You can read more about the Maillard Reaction, here.
What to serve with Eye of Round Roast in Wine and Pepper Sauce?
Eye of Round Roast in Wine and Bell Pepper Sauce
- Slow Cooker
- 2.5-3 lb Eye of Round beef roast
- salt and pepper
- 1-2 Tablespoons oil
- ½ cup red wine
- ½ cup beef broth
- ½ cup water
- 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1 packet beefy (or regular) onion soup mix
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon caraway seed
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 1 cup chopped green bell peppers
- Heat a large heavy skillet on med-high. Dry your roast with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Pour some oil in your skillet to coat it and sear the roast on all of its sides. (When it's ready to turn it will release and not stick to the pan.)
- Meanwhile, add all remaining ingredients except the chopped peppers to a slow cooker and stir to combine.
- Nestle the roast in the slow cooker and spoon some of the sauce over it. Put the lid on and cook for 3 hours on high or 6 hours on low. If you can, turn the roast over in the sauce every hour.
- Remove the roast to rest on a cutting board and turn the slow cooker to high. Stir the chopped peppers into the sauce and replace the lid.
- Carve the roast in ½" slices and put it back in the slow cooker to warm up for 15-20 minutes. The peppers will have cooked, but still retain their shape. Remove the bay leaf and serve.
- You can thicken your sauce to a gravy consistency if you like. Transfer the sauce to a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Thicken with a cornstarch slurry of 1 Tablespoon cornstarch stirred together with 1 Tablespoon cold water. Whisk into the sauce and cook for 1 minute then serve.
- Sometimes it can be tricky to fit a slow cooker meal into your day if you’re away from home longer than the cooking time. If you have time on your day off, make this roast while you’re cooking other things or doing chores. It will be very happy to sit in the refrigerator getting tastier for a few days so you can reheat it later in the week.
- Rushed for time? Put it all in the slow cooker and call it a day. You’ll want to strain the sauce, though, because the peppers will be dilapidated, but your sauce will have even more peppery flavor.
- Don’t like peppers? No problem, leave ’em out. Want mushrooms instead? Add them at the beginning.