February 25, 2015

Roast Beef

It occurred to me the other day that I hadn't cooked a roast beef dinner since we started eating organic. I don't buy beef very often to begin with and all they ever have in the meat case is pot roast....and I'm not a fan of pot roast. So I asked the butcher if they had any roast beef, which was a silly question, really, and of course they did. Which cut would I like? Well... as crazy as this may sound, I used to just purchase the roast at the grocery storeby shape. I had no idea what cut I was buying. My butcher took pity on me and started to edify me on all things beef. I left with a 4lb. top round roast, all tied up like a package. And on Sunday, we had an old-fashioned Sunday dinner at 2:00 in the afternoon.

Roast Beef

3-4lb. top round roast, tied
1 bulb of garlic
2 1 quart containers of beef broth (I use Pacific brand organic)
salt and freshly ground pepper (optional) to taste

Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees while you prepare the beef. (I use the roast setting on my convection oven.)

Peel an entire bulb of garlic and set aside. Cut deep slits into the roast and insert a piece of garlic into each slit. I use the whole bulb, you may choose to use less.

Place the roast in the roasting pan and pour 1-2 cups of beef broth over and around the beef. Sprinkle the beef liberally with salt. You may also decide to add a bit of freshly ground pepper, but I use just salt.

Roast for approximately 60 minutes (20 minutes per pound).

*Make sure you peek in on your roast and add more beef broth if necessary as this becomes part of your stock for the gravy.

When done, loosely wrap beef in aluminum foil and let rest for 15-20 minutes. When ready, remove beef from foil and slice into pieces. You can choose to keep the garlic in the roast or remove entirely.
Once the beef is sliced, place it on a platter, add the garlic as a garnish, and pour any juices from the foil over the beef to keep moist.

Note: I have used ready minced garlic (with juice) spread on top of beef as well as herbs, like thyme and rosemary. You can certainly do this instead. Choose fresh herbs if possible and sprinkle liberally all over.

Beef Gravy

1 quart beef broth (see above)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons onion salt
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil or butter (optional)

Heat 1 quart of beef broth in a sauce pan. Bring to a slight boil and reduce heat by half. Add seasonings and taste. I like my gravy on the salty side so you may wish to add a bit more or a bit less.

To thicken the gravy, you can either add a roux (flour and oil or butter) or mix flour and water together and combine with the broth. The idea is NOT to create any lumps. Try option 1 or 2 below.

1.  Heat the oil or butter in a pan and whisk in flour until smooth. Because you're working with a lean piece of meat and you're not working with the stock (which would contain fat and the need to use either oil or butter), it's a good idea to add fat. Slowly pour the seasoned broth over the roux and whisk constantly until smooth.

2.  Combine flour with enough warm water to create a paste. Make sure there are no lumps. Reduce seasoned broth to a simmer and slowly add flour mixture a little at a time into the pan whisking constantly until smooth.

Add any dripping from the pan into the gravy and stir.

Serve with mashed potatoes, green beans, roasted asparagus, or steamed broccoli. Serves 4-6 people.