2 cups fat-free, low-sodium beef broth
1 cup water
1 cup cider vinegar
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cloves
1 (4 pound) top round roast or eye-of-round roast, all visible fat discarded
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 medium Vidalia onion, thinly sliced and quartered
5 cups shredded red cabbage
2 large semitart apples, such as Gala or Jonathan, sliced
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Water as needed plus ¼ cup cold water, divided use
⅓ cup crushed low-fat ginger snaps
1. In a glass or other nonmetallic bowl large enough to hold the beef, stir together the broth, 1 cup water, the vinegar, sugar, allspice, ginger, and cloves. Add the beef, turning to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 8 to 24 hours, turning occasionally. At cooking time, drain the beef and pat dry, reserving the marinade.
2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat, swirling to coat the bottom. Cook the beef for 10 minutes, or until browned on all sides.
3. Spread the onion in the slow cooker. Place the beef on the onion. Pour 2 cups of reserved marinade over the beef. Cover and refrigerate the remaining marinade.
4. Cook, covered, on low for 4 to 5 hours or on high for 2 to 2 ½ hours.
5. Quickly arrange the cabbage and apples around the beef and re-cover the slow cooker. Cook on low for 4 to 5 hours or on high for 2 to 2 ½ hours, or until the beef is tender and registers 155°F to 160°F on an instant-read thermometer.
6. If using the high setting, change it to low. Quickly transfer the beef to a cutting board, leaving the cabbage mixture in the slow cooker. Re-cover the slow cooker. Let the beef stand, covered, for about 15 minutes, or until it registers 160°F to 165°F on the thermometer. Slice the beef.
7. During the standing time, pour the 2 cups refrigerated marinade into a medium saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Boil for 5 minutes. Pour into a liquid measuring cup. Add enough water to measure 1 ¾ cups. Pour into the pan. Reduce the heat to medium.
8. Put the cornstarch in a small bowl. Add the remaining ¼ cup cold water, whisking to dissolve. Gradually stir into the gravy. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Whisk in the ginger snaps.
9. Transfer the sliced beef and cabbage mixture to plates. Spoon the gravy over the beef.