Growing up, I never understood why people loved roast. To a kid it was just a big hunka meat that required a mountain of ketchup. But now that my taste buds have evolved (although I still love ketchup on it), I have to tell ya that roast is actually pretty delicious. It’s easy. It’s flavorful. And it can be healthy! Don’t tell my mom I just admitted this!
The first time I decided I was going to make a roast, I felt like I should be wearing elastic-banded jeans and was stepping straight back into my childhood days in the ’80s. We had roast pretty regularly as a kid. (And canned beets with butter on them, but you will never ever see me write a recipe encouraging anyone to eat that!) My grandparent’s had roast even more regualarly than we did or at least I assumed because their house always smelled like roast and onions.
I don’t know what encouraged me to write “roast” on my grocery list. Maybe it was the longing for that welcoming roast cooking smell from my childhood. Maybe it was because I enjoy torturing my kids with “weird foods”. Or maybe because I’d read somewhere that roast was a good-for-you meat choice. I don’t know. But I’m glad I did.
The only thing I knew about roasts, however, was that the tastiest and most tender roasts are often the ones with more fat. So thanks to my culinary friend, the internet, I discovered the healthiest roast cut is a “round” roast. Round beef options: eye of round, top round, or bottom round.
The grocer determined my choice by what they had in stock… top round.
Boy, I got an education making this meal.
After hours of its delightful aroma escaping from the slow cooker and my anticipation of “momma made something new and delicious smelling for dinner”, I was expecting the roast to be the falling apart, juicy meat I remembered from years before.
Apparently my mom and grandma chose the fatty, melt in your mouth kind of roast. Me, on the other hand, going for a healthier version was completely oblivious to the fact that beef top round roasts lack fat and marbling which makes it moderately tough. Therefore, I was a little baffled when I pulled the roast from the slow cooker. It didn’t fall apart. Instead, I removed the whole roast and had to slice it.
I won’t lie, I was a little concerned about dinner at this point. The recipe was adapted from a flank steak recipe I made years ago. I used tomato juice like the flank steak recipe called for to tenderize the meat. However, seeing as the shape, size and cut of meats are so very different, it finally occured to me that I may have just spent an entire day slow cooking a brick.
Luckily, that was not the case. The top round roast sliced up nicely and was tender and delicious, especially with juice from the slow cooker spooned over the top. Of course, my boys still buried it under a pile of ketchup just as I had all those years ago. And being a creature of habit, I had my roast with side of ketchup too. Only this time, my pile of red sauce was much smaller.
So here it is…
Top Round Roast
- 3.5 pounds Top Round Roast
- 16 oz. tomato juice
- 2 Tbsp. minced garlic
- 1/4 cup onions, chopped
- 1/4 cup Worchestershire Sauce
- Pepper, optional
- Pour half of the tomato juice in slow cooker.
- Add roast.
- Make deep cuts across the roast about every 1.5" apart.
- Press garlic down into cuts in the roast.
- Slowly pour Worchestershire Sauce over roast, making sure it gets down into the cuts as well.
- Sprinkle onions across the top.
- Pour remaining tomato juice slowly over the top.
- Cook on high for 5-6 hours.
- Let roast sit 10 minutes before cutting.
- If desired, spoon tomato juice from slow cooker over the top and serve.
Hope this Top Round Roast recipe brings your family many our-house-smelled-like-roast memories for years to come.
Tell me… what childhood food memories do you have? Smells? Likes? Dislikes? Ketchup mountains on your plate? Please share in the comments below!