The last time I made a roast beef dinner was when I was in my teens – and it came out great. But, I never got around to trying it again until now. Just not sure of what cut to use – or didn’t want to buy an expensive cut and risk messing it up, etc. And, I hadn’t even considered it over the years until I got married about three years ago and started really learning about cooking meat.
BUT – I had a chance encounter at Shaw’s while shopping the other day that got me to buy a roast. There was another woman looking over the roast cuts and we got into conversation, both noting the neither of us were sure of the best cut for a roast beef, at least for a smaller dinner crowd. Then, one of the butchers showed up and we asked him. Turns out semi-boneless rib roast was on sale and, while only steak cuts were out, he told us that another butcher was cutting some roast cuts. 4.49/lb versus 8.49 or so per pound, regular price. I wandered away and when I came back there was a 2.30 lb cut there and the butcher (same one still there) said it would be perfect for two and some leftovers. I grabbed it. WELL, it was a great cut at a great deal.
It looked like a REALLY thick steak cut – wider than high, but too thick to think about grilling or broiling. I checked around for roast cooking instructions and decided to go with 450 degrees for 20 minutes, then using 13-15/lb at 325 for the rest of the time.
I also made a rub of minced garlic, kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, and crushed dried rosemary and let the roast sit at room temperature for about and hour and a half with the rub on it before putting it in the oven. Then, after the first 20 minutes of the high temperature, I added quartered red potatoes and some chunks of onion that had been tossed in olive oil, salt, and pepper – but I could have added them at the beginning, since I had to cook them further after the roast was done.
I checked the roast after another 20 minutes at 325 and the instant read thermometers (I have an analog and a digital and don’t trust either of them!) were reading lower than 100, so I let it go another 15 minutes or so after that. My instant read thermometer was then reading pretty high – in the 140s or more, but the juices were still red and, after slicing in to check, I deemed it done. And, it was great. A nice pink in the middle, tender, etc. And, given that it was not very thick, the pink middle was actually most of the meat. But the outside was nicely browned.
After the meat was done, I put it on a board covered with foil to rest and put the taters and onions back in the oven. I also added sliced fresh mushrooms and covered the pan with foil and turned up the heat back to 400. After 20 minutes, they were all cooked, but I drained the juices into a sauce pan so they could dry roast for another 20 minutes. I drained the meat juices from the cutting board into the saucepan, too. That made a nice light sauce for the meat and potato, onions, and mushrooms when I served. I steamed some asparagus at the end, and it was a lovely meal. Easy prep, good price since the roast was on sale (reminder to self – go get another roast or two to freeze while it is still on sale!) and easy clean-up, since there was only the roast pan and two easy-clean saucepans for the asparagus and the sauce.
So, next I will try some other cuts for roast beef – more economical when at regular price, and see how that goes. I wonder what cut my Mom always used….I know it had to be an economical one! But hers always came out great. Have to check out her recipe box…