What I’m talking about are the less expensive, underappreciated cuts. You know, chuck steak and cuts from the round (rump). For some reason, these cuts get a bad reputation: too tough or too fatty. Personally, I find these cuts to be wonderfully beefy, particularly the chuck, which I think is the best cut to use for stir-frying. Fat can be trimmed away and if properly prepared, these cuts are not at all tough.
Roast beef seasoned with garlic, smoked paprika and thyme.
Let's start with roast beef. Who says it has to be made with the tenderloin? My first choice for roast beef has always been a round roast. It’s a lean cut from the rump of the cow. It has a nice flavor, little fat and is very reasonably priced ($4.99/lb for grass-fed beef). If it’s a special occasion, I’ll spring for a tenderloin or standing rib roast, but no need for everyday roast beef. We are trying to stick to a budget, after all.
If you’ve never made a roast beef, I will tell you it’s one of the easiest things to prepare. The key to success is a meat thermometer (at least for me). I recommend something that can actually go into the oven with your roast. Even better if it’s attached to a digital display that will alarm when the target temperature is reached. I know they sell them at William Sonoma, but I got mine at Ikea for $6, which makes it one of my best kitchen buys.
One of the things I like to do is season my roast overnight before cooking it. Not everyone does this. I do it because I like the salt to penetrate the beef. Seasoning it right before cooking just salts the surface. And contrary to popular belief, seasoning meat in advance does not dry it out. People should have paid more attention to their chemistry teacher discuss osmosis and equilibria. Anyhow, feel free to experiment with different flavor combinations. I kept it simple this time and only used garlic, salt and sugar. Yes, I said sugar. No it doesn’t make the meat sweet. You’ll see.
Hubby bought me a food slicer for Christmas! Roast beef with sauteed kale, mushrooms and blue cheese on toast. An nice appetizer for a dinner party, no?
Garlicky Roast Beef
3 lb round (aka rump) roast (get a larger roast if you have more people to feed)
1 tbs kosher salt
1 tbs brown sugar
1 whole head of garlic, minced or crushed to a paste
salt and pepper to taste
Make the seasoning rub by combining the salt, sugar and garlic. Rub it all over the beef and put the roast in a Ziploc bag (push out all the air) and refrigerate overnight up to 24 hours. Turn the bag occasionally to promote even salting.
About an hour before you are ready to roast, take it out of the fridge to take the chill off. Rinse the seasonings off otherwise the garlic and sugar will burn when you sear the meat. Pat the meat dry and apply a small sprinkling of kosher salt and pepper. Sear the meat in a hot pan (like cast iron), stick your thermometer in and throw the roast into a preheated 275°F oven. (Alternatively, sear it in a very hot oven, say 450°F, for about 15 minutes, then turn down the heat to 275°). For the best results, put it on a rimmed sheet pan or even better if you have a grate or rack that will lift it slightly. You want good air convection to get even browning. For roast beef, I like to cook it until the internal temperature reaches about 125 to 130°F. When you take it out of the oven, let it rest for at least 15 to 20 minutes. During that time, don’t pull the meat thermometer out, otherwise all the wonderful beefy juices will just run out. Slice and enjoy!
I wanna know. Who makes roast beef and how do you like to eat it?