Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Slow Cooked Roast Beef

This is my first real post of this blog which is a step by step recipe. It's an old fashioned dish: roast beef. This is a great way to cook a cheap cut of meat but it does take all day to cook. Now I'm self-employed and work from home so I can make this recipe all the time, for those of you with 9-5 jobs you'll want to save this for a day off.

This recipe is an amalgam of a traditional roast beef recipe, few tricks I've learned, and my own experimentation.  Don't worry though, it's pretty easy and once it's in the oven you can pretty much forget about it except for checking the meat thermometer once in a while. This is my hunk o'beast: a little over 2 1/2 lbs of beef chuck roast. This is a good method for roast beef to make sandwiches.

I like to start this the night before to let the roast really soak up the seasoning mix I put on it but you can do it just before cooking. I use this same basic rub on a lot of meats, it's wonderful on pork ribs too.

Seasoning Rub Mix:
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • ground cayenne pepper (I use about 1/4 teaspoon, use more if you like more heat up to 1 teaspoon)
I spread the rub on all side of my roast and put it covered in the fridge overnight, if doing this the day of cooking let it sit on the meat at least 20 minutes.

It's the day of roasting. I don't have a roasting rack but that's okay, I like my method better. Cut up about 1/2 cup each of carrots and onions (celery too if you have any but I don't this time) and lay that down on the bottom of your roasting pan. I learned this trick from the show Good Eats but Alton Brown was using it for making roast chicken not beef.

Before putting the roast in the oven it needs to be seared, this will give the outside a lot of flavor and crust up that seasoning so it does't all fall off in the oven. I heat up about 2 tablespoons of butter (you could use oil but I like the flavor of butter) in a skillet and sear all the sides of the meat. About 2-3 minutes per side.

Now place the roast on top of the vegetables in your roasting pan, insert your meat thermometer into the center of the roast, and cover it. Place it in the oven on your lowest temperature setting (mine is 170 F). Now if you have a handy digital one you might be able to set it to beep for you when it's at 140 F but I only have an old fashioned probe so I'll need to check on it every hour or so. Minimum time to cook a roast this size is about 4 hours.

Okay here's the roast at just over 140 F. I've removed the lid and I'll fast cook it really hot for a short amount of time to brown up the outside some more. I just turned on the broiler and waited about 10 minutes. Then remove the roast from the oven and transfer it to a plate to rest covered with aluminum foil.

It;s very important to let meat, especially large pieces like roasts, rest for a while after cooking. If you immediately cut into the meat lots of the juices will run out and the meat will be dry. With this roast even after resting 20 minutes it leaked a lot of juices but not enough to dry it out.

I removed all the vegetables from the pan, they've done their job and will be going to my Dad's pig. I put the pan on the stove over medium heat, mix a tablespoon of cornstarch with a cup of water and add that to the pan. 

So here is the finished roast, you can see that even after 4 1/2 hours in the oven it is still a little pink and that is exactly what you want to see. You can see my dinner with some delicious corn to go with it and the gravy.

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