Crock Pot Italian Beef

I am a lot of things to many people. In fact, most of the time I’m amazed that I still only have two hands and one brain because so much is going on at once any given day. I am blessed with kids that are not boring, a husband that loves the bejeezus out of me, friends who keep me laughing, coaches at my gym who show me what I’m really capable of, people who like my food and tell me about it (THANK YOU!) and I’m blessed with… a crock pot.

Do you know how simple this recipe is? If it wasn’t so darn good, I’d almost feel silly posting it. But I believe in food like this. Paleo food is simple food and this is quintessential simple food.


Ingredients:
2.5 – 3 pounds of beef (the good stuff… you know the drill)
2 cups chopped carrots
1 small white or yellow onion, sliced
4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of red chili flakes
1.5 cups organic crushed tomatoes
2 cups beef stock
1 TBSP tomato paste

Prep:
Break out your slow cooker. Trim your beef of excess fat, cut into 3-4 inch chunks and set in the pot… crock pot, that is.

Peel and chop the carrots, slice the onion and chop the garlic. Add these to the pot with the beef along with the seasonings: salt, garlic powder, basil, oregano, thyme, cinnamon and red chili flakes.

Footnote: You know that the secret to great tomato-based Italian sauces is a dash of cinnamon and a pinch of red chili flakes, right? Try it and see for yourself!


Pour in the beef stock and crushed tomatoes. Add the tomato paste and give everything a good stir. Note: This portion of liquid will produce a fair amount of sauce. If you plan to serve the beef sections whole, you may want to reduce the liquid to 1 cup beef stock, 1 cup crushed tomatoes.  If you would like to shred the beef in the sauce before serving, keep the liquid measurements as is.

Cover the slow cooker, set to low for 5-6 hours.  My crock pot is an over-achiever and cooks everything faster than it should. My beef was perfect at four and a half hours, so 5-6 should work for you.

When it comes to serving this, my mind immediately went to spaghetti squash (I’m a little obsessed, I know).  However, you don’t have to treat this like a bolognese necessarily. This would be great served with the beef whole alongside green beans, sautéed kale, chard or spinach. Treat the sauce more like a gravy for the beef — delish!

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This recipe is so darn easy to make thanks to the favorite tool of cooks everywhere: the slow cooker. There are many varieties to choose from — you don’t have to spend a whole lot to find a decent one. Look at these options:

There’s even this super cute to-go style crock pot for keeping lunches warm at the office:

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Comments

  1. Sarah says

    OK, this was good stuff. I had a little time so I browned the beef in bacon fat prior to throwing it all in the crockpot. As recommended for serving the beef in whole chunks, I reduced the liquid a bit. There are leftovers in the fridge that I’m hiding for myself…..

  2. claudia says

    Hi! For the person that needed a substitute for tomatoes, I follow strict AIP (auto immune paleo) because I have an auto immune condition. We cannot have any nightshades (tomatoes, eggplants, etc) I make this same beef but I add squash to it…YUM YUM it gives it body, substance and soo much flavor! Try it!

  3. karen hernandez says

    This was fantastic and easy. even my non-paleo husband liked it! I will definitely make this again

    • popularpaleo says

      Gah, I’m sorry! It’s visible on my devices… :-(

      Here are the ingredients:

      Ingredients:
      2.5 – 3 pounds of beef (the good stuff… you know the drill)
      2 cups chopped carrots
      1 small white or yellow onion, sliced
      4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
      1 tsp kosher salt
      1 tsp garlic powder
      1 tsp dried basil
      1 tsp dried oregano
      1/2 tsp dried thyme
      1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
      pinch of red chili flakes
      1.5 cups organic crushed tomatoes
      2 cups beef stock
      1 TBSP tomato paste

    • popularpaleo says

      That’s a 6-quart crock pot filled to the top… That should give you an idea of the volume. Serving sizes vary so much depending on who you’re feeding and what you’re serving alongside the dish, so I don’t bother estimating that stuff.

  4. Lisa says

    I’m new to gluten free, low carb, paleo and I’m wondering what I could substitute for the tomatoes. They are too acidic for me. Thanks!!!

    • popularpaleo says

      I’m thinking that you could probably omit it altogether if you had to. The recipe is fairly “saucy” as is, so pulling out the crushed tomatoes would just let the beef stock come through. It won’t taste bad at all! It’ll just lose some body to the sauce. :-)

  5. says

    I’m new to your blog so I don’t know the drill. . .yet :) When you say ‘the good stuff’ beef, do you mean grass fed or is there a certain cut you use?

    • says

      Hey Maevis! You guessed it – beef from grass-fed, organic, pasture-raised, chemical-free happy cows! I wasn’t specific on cut because I think this could be made with several different ones (a thick tri-tip would probably work just the same as a roast). Nice to have you here!

  6. Christina says

    Wow!!! This turned out AMAZING! Yumm!! I browned the meat and salted with Himalayan salt and fresh cracked pepper, and sautéed the veggies a tad before mixing altogether in crockpot… Let simmer 7 hours (because that is when I got home), and is a rich, complea, tasty sauce!!! Thank you so much! This is probably the easiest crockpot meal I have made that tastes this good! Going to cook up a spaghetti squash for next time (was too hungry when I got home to wait!)! Highly recommended!

    • says

      You rock!!! Thank you for writing me! I love hearing about how these recipes turn out for others and also hearing the different ways people prep it. I tend to sear my meat before tossing in the crock pot too. Does good things. And good call on the Himalayan salt-yum! :-) So glad you enjoyed this!!

    • says

      I wondered how people did that! (Clearly not enough to google it, but still… the thought has crossed my mind!) For some reason, I had the idea of cashews. I bet cauli would be fantastic — especially with the Paleo Pasta recipe!

      • meatified says

        That’s what I was thinking… and then laziness got the better of me. Cashews could work, there are miracle workers turning that stuff into cheeeeeeeez all the time!

        • says

          I had a vegan friend show me a recipe once for turning the pulp from homemade almond milk into cheese! Mind. Blown. Honestly, I think I’m fine with grabbing the real thing if it came down to it… That’s a TON of work! hahaha!

  7. meatified says

    I totally made a crockpot shredded beef and ate it today on romaine faux-tacos. But now I want to eat this. Looks fantastic!

    • says

      You’ve just reminded me that it’s been far too long since my BFF carnitas and I have had a date together. I have a serious love affair with Mexican food… Have you tried a cauliflower tortilla idea at all? I’m curious how it’d work out.

      • meatified says

        I haven’t, but I have heard RAVE reviews on Slim Palate’s cauliflower tortillas! Keep meaning to get around to it, but… haven’t quite made it myself!

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