Have you ever had a Beef Sundae? This tender shredded roast beef with brown gravy served over mashed potatoes has quickly become one of my kid’s favorite meals. It’s also a super fun dinner to make for April Fool’s Day as a spin-on dinner that looks like dessert. This is a fun alternative to Mom’s Sunday Pot Roast.
This meal is served at the Iowa State Fair. They call it Hot Beef Sundaes. Mashed potatoes on the bottom, Roast Beef Gravy, a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkle of shredded cheese, and a cherry tomato on top. My sister’s family introduced us to this fun meal a few years ago, and we’ve been making it ever since.
Hot Beef Sundaes or just a comforting dinner of mashed potatoes and gravy, you’ll be glad you have this fun and delicious dinner in your back pocket! If you prefer, you can use my Slow Cooker Workman’s Roast recipe in place of the Instant Pot Beef Gravy. They’re both delicious and would work great.
At the Iowa State Fair, they don’t do this, but our family has gotten into the habit of adding steamed broccoli as a layer of our Beef Sundaes. I like that it adds an extra vegetable. If you’re not a fan of broccoli, you can add green beans, corn, or anything you like.
More Dinners Your Kids will Love
- Classic Meatloaf Recipe
- Sticky Teriyaki Baked Chicken Thighs
- Amazing Spaghetti Sauce
- Broccoli Chicken Casserole with Egg Noodles
- Easy Ham Fried Rice
- Korean Beef Bowls
STEP-BY-STEP PICTURES FOR HOW TO MAKE BEEF SUNDAES
Tips for making Beef Sundaes
- To manage your time wisely, get the gravy going, and then prepare the mashed potatoes while it’s cooking.
- Make roast beef gravy by following the instructions in the recipe card or picking one of your own.
- When picking a roast, I recommend a chuck roast or a top round roast. You don’t need an expensive cut for this. It will cook long enough to be shreddable. Any cut of beef will work.
- Cook roast for 45 minutes if using a thawed beef roast and 90 minutes if using a frozen pot roast.
- As far as the potatoes go, we prefer Russet or Yukon Gold. I’m pretty sure the Iowa State Fair uses Russet potatoes. If you want your Beef Sundaes to be authentic, go with Russet mashed potatoes.
- You can use a hand mixer or a stand mixer to mash the potatoes if you prefer (or if you don’t have a potato masher).
- Another tip for mashed potatoes is to add some buttermilk when you mash them. I know that sounds weird, but it adds such a delicious flavor. You’re going to love it! I do about half buttermilk, half regular milk because I find that all buttermilk is too strong. Don’t forget the butter–lots of it!
- If the beef gravy isn’t as thick as you would like it, don’t worry, just add a little cornstarch mixed with cold water, (about 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 3-4 tablespoons water) and whisk it into the simmering sauce. If it’s still not thick enough, repeat that again until it is.
- Use whatever shredded cheese you prefer, a dollop of sour cream, and a cherry tomato to finish off the Beef Sundae look.
- If you have a lot of leftover gravy, it can be frozen in an airtight Ziploc bag for up to 3 months to use at another meal.
- 3-4 lbs beef chuck roast or your favorite cut
- 2 packets of brown gravy mix
- 3 cups cold water, divided
- 2 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 2-3 tsp cornstarch and 3 tbsp water (for thickening gravy if you would like it thicker)
- MASHED POTATOES
- 5 lbs Yukon gold, russet, or red potatoes
- 1-2 tbsp salt
- ¼ cup butter
- 1-1½ cups buttermilk
- Sour cream
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Cherry tomatoes
- FOR THE BEEF GRAVY
- To manage your time wisely, get the gravy going, and then prepare the mashed potatoes while it's cooking.
- Place the beef roast, 2 cups of water, salt, and pepper in your Instant Pot. Secure lid and set for 45 minutes if using a thawed beef roast and 90 minutes if using a frozen pot roast.
- When pressure cooking is over, you can either do a quick release or let it naturally release. If you do a quick release, put a hand towel over the release valve to catch the steam.
- Remove the pot roast and shred the meat, being careful to remove any excess fat. If the meat isn't shredding well, you can return it to the pressure cooker for an additional 15 minutes or you can just cut it into small pieces instead of shredding it.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the last cup of cold water and the two packets of beef gravy. Before returning the shredded meat to the Instant Pot that has the remaining liquid (should be about 2 cups), turn the Instant Pot to the saute setting and whisk in the water/gravy mix mixture.
- Add the meat back in the Instant Pot, stir well, and let the mixture come to a boil to see how thick it will become. If it is not as thick as you would like, whisk together the cornstarch and 3 tbsp of water and stir it into the gravy. Let it come to a simmer.
- FOR THE MASHED POTATOES
- Peel potatoes and cut them into 1-inch pieces. Place them in a large pot.
- Cover cut up potatoes with water. You want the water to come up 1 inch past the potatoes.
- Add 1 tbsp salt and taste the water. The water needs to taste salty but not crazy salty. You want it to be salty enough that the potatoes can absorb a little salty flavor.
- Bring the potatoes to a boil over high heat, and then turn it down to medium heat and continue to boil for approximately 20 minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender and break easily.
- Drain the potatoes and return to the pan. Make sure not to put it back on a hot burner.
- Add the butter and start with 1 cup of buttermilk. Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes until they are creamy. Add up to another ½ cup of buttermilk if needed.
- READY TO SERVE
- Put a layer of mashed potatoes in the bottom of a bowl or plate.
- Top with a generous amount of roast beef gravy.
- Sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese.
- Add a dollop of sour cream.
- Finish it off with a cherry tomato on top.
- Serve and enjoy!
What's for Dessert?