Crockpot Express Italian Roast Beef

This recipe for Italian roast beef using the Crockpot Express is very fast to prepare. It has the flavors of blended Italian herbs, garlic and wine. You will fall in love with this delicious roast. I don’t want to waste a drop of the au juice or thin gravy, so I save the left over gravy and freeze it to use in other beef dishes. Taking advantage of the modern pressure cookers turns it into a meal you can serve when ever you want. Traditionally this was a Sunday dinner because it took several hours to oven roast a round roast. This recipe only takes about an hour from start to finish and you can use different cuts of beef because they all turn out tender.

I was able to find a chuck roast that was almost 2 pounds. Currently , under these historic times, my local groceries don’t have a full meat counters. The cut of the meat was thick enough to bury whole garlic cloves into cut slits to flavor the meat. There are recipes using packets of Italian dressing herbs and beef gravy that you dump into your insta-pot but this recipe only takes a few minutes longer to prepare the meat and measure out the herbs. Moreover, it gives you the traditional flavor of the dish.

You start with peeling about 5 or 6 cloves of garlic. It all depends on how large the roast is on how many cloves you need. Make slits in the roast and push the garlic cloves all the way in the slit. Space the cloves evenly in the roast about 2 inches apart. Put about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the pot and cook on the sauté setting. When the oil is hot brown the meat on both sides.

While the meat is browning. Cut up the celery, carrots and onion into chunks. I get all the spices out of the cupboard before I start to measure them into a small bowl. That way you don’t forget any. After you measure each one set them off to the side out of the way, that way you know you have used them. The cinnamon and nutmeg are spices you will find in traditional Mediterranean cooking. You won’t really taste them but they give a background flavor that brings out other spices that are being used. These spices working together is what makes this roast. You can’t get that from a commercial packet of Italian seasoning for salad dressing. Once you invest in spices to keep on hand you will find ways to use them. I find them in small packages in the Mexican section of the grocery or at the dollar store and even being sold in bulk at organic stores that are not expensive to purchase. Those little bottles of herbs and spices can be expensive when shopping at a grocery.

After the meat is brown you add all the spices, vegetables, vinegar, sugar and beef liquid. It depends on your pressure cooker and size of roast as to how much liquid you should add. I am using a 6 quart Crockpot Express so I only needed a cup and a half of liquid for my small roast. I also didn’t use the rack that came with the machine. I wanted the meat to be very flavorful. Now it is time to place the lid on and seal. I used the meat setting at 35 minutes. The size and thickness of the roast will determined how long you cook it under pressure. If you have a 4 pound top round roast you will need to cook it about 60 minutes.

Let the pressure come down naturally about 15 minutes before removing the roast. Strain the cooking juices and return the juice to the pot. Add the corn starch to slightly thicken the gravy and a splash of red wine. You may need to add more beef broth to make the au juice. Use the sauté setting to reduce the gravy while giving it an occasional stir. Usually that is when all the household members and pets show up in the kitchen to find out what smells so good. Make sure you hide the meat in the oven to keep their fingers out of it.

It is really a delicious main course that you will want to make again. Don’t for get to save some for sandwiches Chicago style.

Crockpot Express Italian Roast Beef

  • Servings: 6 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • beef roast around 2 pounds (any cut)
  • 1 bulb of fresh garlic
  • olive oil
  • 2 ribs of celery (chopped in large pieces)
  • 2 carrots (chopped in large pieces)
  • 1 onion (chopped in large pieces0
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1/2 thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
  • 1-2 cups beef broth or beef bouillon
  • 1/4 red wine
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch


Prepare the roast by making slits deep enough to bury the peeled garlic cloves enough to space 2 inches a part. Place 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the bottom of the pot. Heat on sauté. when the oil is hot brown roast on all side.

While meat is browning, mix spices and seasonings in a small bowl. When meat is brown, turn off sauté setting. Add liquid, spices, vegetables, vinegar and sugar. Seal the lid and set the top setting to pressure. On the front of the pot press meat and the timer will show 35 minutes. This is the right cooking time for a small roast. Press start.

When done cooking, let the pressure come down naturally for 15 minutes before turning the top setting to steam to release the rest of the pressure. The roast will continue to cook as the pressure comes down. Remove roast. You will have to strain the cooking liquid to make gravy. Discard what is in the strainer. Return cooking liquid to the pot and cook with the sauté setting. Stir in corn starch and a splash of wine. You may need to add more beef broth to make the au juice. Let the gravy reduce until thickened about 5 minutes. This is a light gravy not heavy thick.

Slice and serve with hot gravy. The left overs make a great sandwich.


7 Comments Add yours

  1. madeline2020 says:

    This sounds amazing. I just bottom a top round roast and i dont have a pressure cooker but 6 hours in my slowcooker while i’m busy at work (from home) will make for a delicious dinner and leftovers for the rest of the week. Never heard of inserting garlic cloves in the roast. Yummm. Looking forward to trying your blend of spices too. Thanks


    1. trkingmomoe says:

      A friend of mine’s father was an Italian Chef that had a bar/restaurant in Chicago. He always inserted garlic in his roast beef. He would make it for her but she never learned his recipe. I know he used Marcella wine. I found the recipe for it in a church fundraising cookbook from the great lakes area. I tried the recipe and we fell in love with it. I adapted to the pressure cooker. The recipe works well in the oven or slow cooked.

      Thanks for stopping in and making a comment.


  2. This sounds wonderful, I got an Instant Pot for Christmas and haven’t tried a pot roast in it yet, I am saving your recipe to try, thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. trkingmomoe says:

      It makes the meat real tender. I just made boneless country pork ribs in mine and they only took 15 min. under pressure. It took me a while to start using it. At first all I used
      it for was beans and making soup stock. Now there is lots of inspiration on the internet to use it more.

      You are always welcome.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Belladonna says:

    The best go to!!! Totally making this next week. Thank you for the motivation


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