This Slow Cooker Pulled Beef is incredibly easy to make and has so many uses, from tacos to burrito bowls to sandwiches or even just on rice. Melt in your mouth shredded beef in an incredible sauce - this is the kind of recipe that your slow cooker is made for. Great for feeding a crowd, and it freezes well too.
The perfect dump and leave meal - just put the beef and sauce ingredients in your slow cooker and then you can forget about it until it's ready. This slow cooker pulled beef is a great meal to batch cook and then add to meals throughout the week.
With a deliciously rich and flavour packed sauce, this is the BEST pulled beef and it only takes a few minutes to prep.
Why you will love it
- Easy - This is an easy dump and leave meal. There is no need to sear the beef first, so it takes just a couple of minutes to prepare.
- Great for feeding a crowd - You can easily double this recipe (as long as your slow cooker is big enough) so that it will feed a few people.
- Freezes well - This is a great batch cook meal, because it freezes so well.
- Versatile - This slow cooker pulled beef can be used for lots of different meals. We have shared our favourite ways to serve it below.
What you will need
- Beef - Slow cookers are great for making budget friendly meals, because you can use cheaper cuts of meat. Cooking low and slow will get cheaper cuts really tender and still full of flavour. We used braising steak for this recipe.
- Stock - This is what makes up most of the sauce. Use a really good quality beef stock pot as you will taste the difference. If you are making this for young children, then use a low salt stock.
- Red wine vinegar - This adds a lovely flavour. You could use apple cider vinegar instead.
- Onion - This adds flavour and texture - make sure you finely dice them. You could use shallots instead which adds a nice sweetness.
- Garlic - Freshly crushed is best, but you could use frozen, or ready crushed in a tube.
- Tomato puree (paste) - This helps to thicken the sauce and also add some colour.
- Worcestershire Sauce - A little bit of Worcestershire sauce goes a long way. It adds a real rich and deep flavour.
- Seasoning - As well as sea salt and black pepper, we added some paprika and dried basil and oregano and garlic granules.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
Step by step
One: Put all of the ingredients into your slow cooker. Mix well and put on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
Two: Once it is cooked, shred the beef using 2 forks.
Best beef to use
Chuck roast is definitely the best cut of meat to use for pulled beef. In the UK, this cut is referred to as braising steak. Similar to the shoulder of pork, chuck/braising steak contains a good amount of fat and marbling, making it perfect for shredding. We cut ours in to chunks for adding to the slow cooker.
When it comes to slow cooker pulled beef, there is no need for an expensive joint of meat. You can get away with using a cheap cut, as cooking it low and slow makes it really fall apart and melt in your mouth.
You could also use skirt, rump roast or brisket. Cooking times may vary though.
Health benefits of beef
Beef can definitely play an important role in a balanced diet and using lean cuts is key for this. It can provide a lean source of protein, iron and eight essential vitamins and minerals. Beef is a significant provider of protein and is naturally low in sodium and contributes towards good health and wellbeing.
To make a lighter version of this slow cooker pulled beef, make sure to trim all the visible fat off the beef.
What to serve with Slow Cooker Pulled Beef
This Slow Cooked Shredded Beef goes in so many things. Here are just a few ideas of how to use it:
- Pizza topping
- On tagilatelle or udon noodles
- Burrito bowl
- Nacho topping
- In a burger bun with coleslaw
- On rice or mashed potato
We recommend cooking it on low for 7-8 hours. However you can cook it in your slow cooker on high for 3-4 hours. It will depend on your slow cooker and the size of the chunks of beef too. If your beef isn't falling apart then it isn't tender enough and it needs some extra time.
It will also keep in the fridge for 3-4 days, but it might start to get a bit dry.
Yes, pulled beef freezes really well. You can portion it out and it will keep in the freezer for 2-3 months.
The best way to reheat pulled beef is in a pan with a little oil. It will only takes a couple of minutes.
There really is no rule here, just make sure that the beef you are using can fit in your slow cooker. We use a Crock Pot DuraCeramic Slow Cooker and we love it. What I love most about it is that you can put the bowl insert on the hob too. So, we thicken the gravy on the hob, in the slow cooker bowl. You can also sear the meat in it first. I also love that it has a clear lid, as I am so impatient that I want to keep looking and seeing what it is doing. If you don't have a clear lid, then lifting it to see will release lots of the heat and add to the cooking time.
You don't have to, but if you have the time then it adds such a depth of flavour. Basically, you want to trigger the Maillard reaction. It is a chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars that gives browned food its distinctive flavour. You don't have to though, and you can just throw everything in to the slow cooker and leave it if you are really short on
Yes, you can do some of the prep in advance. You can sear the meat and add it to the slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients and then allow it to cool fully and then put it in the fridge (in your slow cooker pot) for up to 24 hours. You can then put it on the next day, but it might take longer to cook as it will be cold straight from the fridge
• Slow cookers all cook things at different rates. You want to make sure that you don't overcook your beef as it will dry out. The beef is cooked when it easily shreds with a fork.
• If you like your food with a real kick of heat, add some extra red chilli flakes.
• If there is a lot of juice in your slow cooker after you take the joint out to shred, then you might want to remove some of the mixture before putting the shredded meat back in.
• For something different, but really easy, mix the beef with BBQ sauce rather than the stock.
More slow cooker recipes
Slow Cooked Pulled Beef
- 400 g Chuck roast/braising steak
- 1 Onion - diced
- 250 ml Beef stock
- 2 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon Garlic granules - crushed
- 0.5 teaspoon paprika - juice only
- 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper
- 0.5 teaspoon Dried basil
- 0.5 teaspoon Dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoon Tomato puree
- Put all of the ingredients into your slow cooker and stir and put on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
- Once it is cooked, shred the beef using 2 forks.
- Slow cookers all cook things at different rates. You want to make sure that you don't overcook your beef as it will dry out. The beef is cooked when it easily shreds with a fork.
- If you like your food with a real kick of heat, add some extra red chilli flakes.
- If there is a lot of juice in your slow cooker after you take the joint out to shred, then you might want to remove some of the mixture before putting the shredded meat back in.
- For some extra flavour, add a splash of Worcestershire sauce.