This slow-cooker Mongolian roast beef is a new twist on the popular Mongolian beef stir fry. Instead of stir-frying the meat, this recipe calls for an entire beef joint to be slow-cooked in a delicious gravy flavoured with garlic, ginger and soy sauce. Once cooked, the meat is sliced and served on a bed of fluffy white rice with steamed vegetables on the side, covered with lashings of the amazing gravy.
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A new twist on roast beef
One of my favourite dishes to order when having a Chinese takeaway is a Mongolian beef stir fry. I love the way the sticky sweet/tangy sauce coats each piece of beef so beautifully. But I got to thinking. Why should Chinese beef dishes be confined to stir-fries? Why not cook an entire beef joint in the same sauce?
So I tried it. And I’m so glad I did. The result was amazing.
I popped a beef joint into the slow cooker with a few sliced onions, mixed up the stock and poured it over the beef and left it for a few hours. The meat turned out so tender that you could cut it with a fork and the knife sliced through it like a knife through butter. Because the beef joint had been slow-cooked for a few hours in the gravy, it was full of the delicious flavours that you expect in a dish of Mongolian beef. All I had to do was thicken the gravy with a little cornflour before serving.
I served slices of the beef on a bed of white rice, covered in the gravy with steamed vegetables on the side, but there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t serve this as a traditional beef roast with all the trimmings. Just imagine Yorkshire puddings covered in this amazing sauce – YUM!
Why I think you’ll love this recipe
I think you’ll love this slow-cooker Mongolian roast beef for so many reasons.
- First and foremost, even if I say it myself, it tastes amazing.
- The slow-cooker doesn’t heat up your kitchen, so even if you’re in the middle of a heatwave (as we currently are in the UK) you can still treat the family to a delicious roast beef dinner.
- Because the meat is cooked with the sauce in a slow-cooker you can just leave it and forget about it until it’s time to eat. There’s no standing over a hot stove stir-frying meat and vegetables.
- Roast beef can be quite dry if it’s not cooked properly, but with this recipe, the meat turns out juicy and succulent every single time.
- You can slice the leftover beef, cover it with the gravy and freeze it for an instant Mongolian beef stir fry for those nights when you don’t feel like cooking.
So let’s see how to do it.
What you will need
You will need a slow-cooker. I have this one and it has settings for low, medium and high. It doesn’t have a timer however so if you want to go out and leave the slow-cooker unattended, you may prefer one with a timer so it can switch itself off.
**You can get the complete recipe for making this slow-cooker Mongolian roast beef on the printable recipe card at the end of this post**
This recipe will serve 4 people.
Beef – I used thick rib, but you can use flank, silverside, brisket, chuck roast or even topside. Don’t use something like fillet or rump steak – these cuts are not suited to a slow-cooker. I used a small cut of beef (650 grams or just under one and a half pounds)
Onions – these should be cut into large chunks and separated into petals.
Cornflour – this is used to coat the beef, and also to thicken the gravy.
Garlic – you can use either fresh cloves of garlic or ready minced garlic from a jar.
Ginger – if you have fresh ginger you can grate it finely, otherwise ginger powder is fine. If you are using ginger powder, be careful not to add too much because it can be quite strong.
Stock – you can use either beef or vegetable stock. If you don’t have stock you can make your own with a stock cube dissolved in boiling water.
Brown sugar – for sweetness.
Vinegar – to balance out the sugar and provide a slight tang.
Soy sauce – soy sauce can be quite salty, so because there is quite a lot of soy sauce in this Mongolian beef, I would recommend a low sodium soy sauce. I used dark soy sauce.
Chilli – this is optional. I used a small amount of dried chilli flakes, but you could substitute with either sriracha sauce or cayenne pepper. If you want a spicy dish add more chilli – if you want a milder flavour you can leave it out altogether.
Sunflower oil – for browning the meat.
What to do
Coat the beef with cornflour.
Heat the sunflower oil in a frying pan and brown the beef on all sides. Use tongs to help you hold the beef in position as it browns.
Slice the onions, arrange them in the base of your slow cooker, and place the browned beef on top.
Combine the stock with the garlic, ginger, brown sugar, vinegar, soy sauce and chilli flakes and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
Pour the stock over the beef.
Cook for the times and temperatures given below.
- Low – 5 to 6 hours
- Medium – 4 to 5 hours
- High – 3 to 4 hours
The actual cooking time will vary depending on the size, as well as the cut of meat you are using. My small piece of thick-rib was cooked on a low setting and it was ready after 4 and a half hours.
The meat will be cooked when you can insert a fork into the beef with no resistance.
Consult your slow-cooker manual for the recommended cooking time for your own particular size and cut of beef.
Thicken the sauce
Once the meat has cooked, pour all the cooking liquid into a saucepan and bring it to the boil.
Make a slurry with 1 tablespoon of cornflour/cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water.
Drizzle it slowly into the cooking liquid until it thickens, stirring continuously. You may not need all the cornflour mixture.
Slice the meat, arrange it on a bed of white rice and pour on the sauce. Serve any remaining sauce on the side.
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I like to serve Mongolian beef with a dish of white rice so that I don’t miss a drop of the delicious gravy. See this post for how to cook rice in the microwave for a quick and easy way to cook no-fail rice every single time.
Because there are not a lot of vegetables in this dish (other than the onions) you might like to serve it alongside a dish of steamed vegetables.
Broccoli in oyster sauce is one of my favourite ways to prepare broccoli, and it goes really well with Mongolian beef. Rinse broccoli florets under cold running water and place the wet broccoli in a saucepan. Stir in one or two tablespoons of oyster sauce, cover the saucepan with a lid, and leave it on a very low heat for 8 to 12 minutes (depending on the size of the florets) until the broccoli is tender.
If all else fails, a fresh leafy green salad with shredded cucumber and sliced tomatoes makes a great accompaniment.
Yes, Mongolian beef freezes very well.
I normally slice leftover beef, put it in a plastic container and cover it with the leftover sauce. You can keep it in the freezer for up to three months.
When I need a quick and easy meal I just defrost the beef in the microwave (or if I remember to take it out of the freezer, defrost it in the fridge overnight) then reheat it in a saucepan until it is piping hot.
I freeze leftover rice in a separate container so that I have a complete meal.
Save for later
If you would like to try this slow-cooker Mongolian beef for yourself, why not save the recipe to one of your Pinterest boards so you can find it later. Just click on the image below.
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If you enjoyed this Mongolian beef, you may like to try some of my other slow-cooker recipes:
- Slow-cooker beef topside with horseradish
- Slow-cooker beef Trinchado – a spicy South African peri-peri flavoured dish
- Slow-cooker oxtail stew
- Slow-cooker beef and kidney stew
- Slow-cooker Irish lamb stew with barley
- Slow-cooker lamb shanks in red wine gravy
Slow-cooker Mongolian beef roast
(Click the stars to rate this recipe)
- 1½ pounds / 650 grams beef roasting joint thick rib, brisket, flank, chuck, topside
- 2 medium onions coarsely chopped and separated into petals
- 2 to 3 tablespoons cornflour plus extra for thickening the sauce
- 2 cloves garlic (minced) or use from a jar
- ½ teaspoon ginger powder or grate a 1" piece of fresh ginger
- 1 cup / 240 ml beef or vegetable stock or make it with a stock cube
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- ½ cup low sodium soy sauce
- dried chilli flakes to your own taste (optional)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
- Coat the beef with the cornflour1½ pounds / 650 grams beef roasting joint, 2 to 3 tablespoons cornflour
- Heat the sunflower oil in a frying pan and brown the beef on all sides. Use tongs to help you hold the beef in position as it browns.1 to 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
- Cut the onions coarsely and place them in the base of the slow cooker. Place the browned beef on top.2 medium onions
- Combine the stock with the garlic, ginger, brown sugar, vinegar, soy sauce and chilli flakes and stir until the sugar has dissolved.Pour the stock over the beef.2 cloves garlic (minced), ½ teaspoon ginger powder, 1 cup / 240 ml beef or vegetable stock, 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar, ½ cup low sodium soy sauce, dried chilli flakes
- Cook as follows:Low – 5 to 6 hoursMedium – 4 to 5 hoursHigh – 3 to 4 hours
- Once the meat has cooked, pour all the cooking liquid into a saucepan and bring it to the boil. Make a slurry with 1 tablespoon of cornflour/cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water.Drizzle it slowly into the cooking liquid until it thickens, stirring continuously. You may not need all the cornflour mixture.
- Slice the meat, arrange it on a bed of white rice and pour on the sauce. Serve with a fresh green salad and a bowl of steamed vegetables
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.
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