Red Wine & Butter (Slow-Cooker) Roast

When my biggest guy was a toddler, he coined a new phrase in our house.

As we paged through a coffee-table book that featured photos of lighthouses new and old from around the country, he fell upon a page that caused him pause.

The photograph was of a lighthouse silhouette back-lit by a stunning sunset of oranges, deep pinks, and hot reds. It was just the top half of the house, and around the unlit light was the glass housing, and around the housing was a smooth iron railing that ran a complete ring around the lighthouse.

It was the birds that stopped him though.

Hundreds of birds, silhouetted by the simmering sunset, were perched on the railing. They crowded against one another – some heads up, some down, some birds facing one another, some staring off into the distance – no matter what they were doing though, it appeared that there was movement and interaction between them all. They were gathered.

My son pointed and commented, “Hey! Look at those roast-beefing birds!”

I looked at him trying to decipher what he meant, and then it hit me. “You mean, bar-be-cuing?”

“Yeah,” he said, “they’re having a party!”

Ahhh. Yes. They’re having an outdoor party at sunset. Everyone is gathered outside and there is happy commotion.

And meat is involved.

A bar-be-cue.

Or, apparently a roast-beef.

Forever more, roast beef has been a “gathering food” in my heart.

We are a frequently roast-beefing family during the school-year months.

We gather around this cold-weather, comforting dish, that warms our hearts and souls.

It can serve as a fancy-ish company dish, or a school night rib sticker.

Either way, no one complains on roast-beefing nights – fancy place settings or not.

Apparently, there are magical happy-family qualities to fork-tender red meat that’s been simmering away in red wine, butter, and Italian spices all day.

Make your mashed potatoes in the morning – and whether dinnertime will be wrapping up the duties of a weeknight or kicking off the relaxation of a Sunday evening – the meal will be ready in mere minutes, and you and your family just may enjoy “roast-beefing” on a regular basis too. . . .

Red Wine & Butter, (Slow-Cooker), Roast

This roast will turn out shred-able and fork-tender. Sometimes, slow cookers can be finicky. I've provided the cooking time that works with my cooker - but yours may be different. A good rule is to allow yourself an extra hour the first time you try a recipe - then, if it finishes according to recipe, you can just keep it on the warm setting, but if it's not quite done yet, you still have an hour left to roast. A general rule of thumb is that you are never supposed to raise the lid of your crock as it's cooking, but the first time around, you may need to. It's OK - next time you'll know exactly how long you'll need to slow-cook your roast! Also - I have not provided a recipe for gravy (that's for a whole different post), but this broth is a great starter if you are a gravy person. Along with the thickener (flour and water), I just used a little extra butter, some Italian spice mix, salt, fresh ground pepper, and a dash more of wine to find the right flavors. If you are not a gravy person, just spoon a little broth over the meat before serving - it's delicious that way too!


  • 3 lb top or bottom round roast
  • 1 packet dry Italian dressing mix
  • 1 packet sodium-free beef bouillon
  • 6 oz red wine (one mini-bottle)
  • 8 oz water
  • 7 whole peppercorns
  • 3 tablespoons (pats) salted butter


Slice roast one time, horizontally, to produce two even-as-possible chunks of meat.

Place them side by side in the slow cooker.

In a medium bowl or large measuring cup, mix together Italian dressing mix, beef bouillon, wine, and water.

Pour over beef.

Sprinkle peppercorns around the meat.

Cut the butter into six pats and place randomly over the roast.

Cover crock pot and cook on high for about 4.5 hours, or on low for 6-7 hours. (You will need to know your crock-pot here, it could take more or less time.)



12 thoughts on “Red Wine & Butter (Slow-Cooker) Roast

  1. I made this tonight, Thank you for sharing it. It was so good!!! I couldn’t find the packets of bouillon, so I had to substitute 4 cubes of bouillon. Thanks again!

    • I’m so glad you liked it! Thanks for sharing! I have a question for you – because I feel like every slow cooker is different – was the timing on the recipe accurate for you?

  2. Made this for xmas dinner (delicious) ….stuck leftovers in freezer ( sauce and all)…tossed it in skillet tonight…boiled in juices an served on rolls with provolone for Roast Beast sandwiches and jus. amazing!

  3. Love this roast! its become my go-to when im dying for some comfort protien. making it for a friend today who just had a baby it makes for such a hearty meal with some veggies and rolls, just wondering if you’ve ever tried throwing in some carrots and potatoes and time wise when to do that?

    • Hi Amy! So glad you love it. I do sometimes add veggies when cooking a roast in the crock-pot, I just have never done it with this particular recipe bc I was trying to get away from the cooked veggie flavor at the time! However – it is still tasty like that, and it just depends on what you are in the mood for. You can add them right at the beginning when you are putting the meat in. Veggies go in first, under the meat, and they should be cut, because – believe it or not – veggies take longer to cook in the slow cooker than the meat!

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