Well I have finally gotten around to making the roast beef dinner I have been threatening to make for days. I had seen an episode of America’s Test Kitchen entitled “Resurrecting the Roast Beef Dinner” and decided to try their method of slow roasting the beef. It’s a little more time-consuming, but the results will be worth it. The idea is to take traditionally tougher cuts of beef that the supermarkets sell for oven roasts and make them as tender as possible. I can tell you just from the salting alone, the meat was more tender than when I first bought it. They recommend using an eye round for this recipe, since most eye rounds have a uniform shape to them that lets you have nice slices of beef.
1 boneless eye round roast (3 1/2 to 4 1/2 pounds)
4 teaspoons kosher salt or 2 tablespoons table salt
2 teaspoons vegetable oil plus 1 tablespoon
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
Sprinkle all sides of the roast evenly with the salt. Wrap the roast in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 18 to 24 hours. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 225 degrees. Pat the roast dry with paper towels and rub with teaspoons of the oil and sprinkle all sides evenly with pepper. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until starting to smoke. Sear the roast until browned on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the roast to a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet. Roast the meat until an instant read thermometer inserted in the center of the roast registers 115 degrees for medium rare, 1 1/4 to 1 3/4 hours, or 125 degrees for medium, 1 3/4 to 2 1/4 hours.
Turn the oven off; leave the roast in the oven, without opening the door, until an instant read thermometer inserted in the center of the roast registers 130 degrees for medium-rare or 140 degrees for medium, 30 to 50 minutes longer. Transfer the roast to a carving board and let rest for 15 minutes. Slice the meat crosswise as thinly as possible and serve.
It’s worth the time you have to wait for this roast. Along side the roast beef, of course, you should have mashed potatoes. We eat a lot of mashed potatoes in this house (probably more than we should) so I was hoping for a variation on them for tonight since we just had them last night. Luckily for me, this episode of America’s Test Kitchen provided that as well.
Mashed Potatoes and Root Vegetables
4 tablespoons butter
8 ounces carrots, parsnips, turnips, or celery root, peeled; carrots or parsnips cut into 1/4-inch thick half-moons; turnips or celery root cut into 1/2-inch dice (I only had carrots and parsnips on hand)
1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices; rinsed well in 3 or 4 changes of cold water and drained well
1/3 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup half-and-half, warmed
3 tablespoons minced fresh chives
Ground black pepper
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. When foaming subsides, add the root vegetables and cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter is browned and the vegetables are dark brown and caramelized, 10 to 12 minutes.
Add the potatoes, broth and 3/4 teaspoon of salt and stir to combine. Cook, covered, on low heat (the broth should simmer gently; do not boil), stirring occasionally, until the potatoes fall apart easily when poked with a fork and all liquid has been absorbed, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat; remove the lid and allow the steam to escape for 2 minutes.
Gently mash the potatoes and root vegetables in the saucepan with a potato masher (do not mash too vigorously). Gently fold in the warm half-and-half and the chives. Season with salt and pepper to taste; serve immediately.
Rinsing the peeled and sliced potatoes several times will help you remove the excess starch and keep them from getting gummy once the potatoes have been cooked and mashed. try to keep all the vegetables a uniform size also, so everything cooks at the same speed.
Finally tonight, my sister had asked me that when I do the recipe for roast beef if I could put a recipe for au jus along with it. One thing I have noticed is that I don’t really use a recipe for au jus, it’s more of something I just make based on how much juice I have in the pan from the meat, plus any juice from slicing. and then it really depends on how many people I am serving as to how much beef broth and wine I add to it. Remember au jus isn’t like gravy; it shouldn’t be thick, it’s really just a juice. So here’s what I do. if anyone has a better method or recipe, please post here so we can all share.
Roast Beef Au Jus
Beef juices accumulated in the pan from the roast beef
Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat (leaving the beef juices in the pan) from the roasting pan and discard the remaining fat. Place the roasting pan on the stove over medium heat. Add the beef stock and stir to release any browned bits in the pan. Add the red wine of your choice. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until the stock is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve alongside the roast beef.
As I said, I have no set amounts of broth and wine to use; you really just have to eyeball it based on how much you want to make. Also, the au jus will only be as good as the beef broth and red wine that you use. If you use homemade broth and a good red wine, it will be great. I personally use beef broth in the rectangular “foil” containers because I rarely have homemade beef broth around. I would stay away from bouillon cubes myself; I find them way too salty and not very flavorful.
So that’s it for tonight. Tomorrow night is Chicken Fajitas for dinner around here, a recipe I have posted here before, so I am not sure if I’ll having anything to post tomorrow or not. Wednesday’s tend to be a little hectic anyway, so we’ll see how it goes. Until then, enjoy your evening and enjoy your meal!
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