Last week, when I went to the grocery store, I knew that I would not want to be roasting a chicken again this weekend. I like chicken and all, but I am not going to have it and all it’s leftovers two weeks in a row. So I bought a beef roast.
I have not made a beef roast before. I’ve thrown a hunk of meat in the slow cooker and followed a recipe, but never have I put a large hunk of meat in the oven. It seemed like an excellent opportunity to try something new. Oh, and I love beef. LOVE IT. Sometimes, I dream about prime rib. Juicy, fatty wonderful meaty beef. Mmm, dead cow, mmm.
I know nothing about cuts of meat. I bought something that had “roast” in the title and was on sale. A smarter person would have remembered what kind of roast it was; I am not that person. We’ll just say it was a roast and call it a day.
I started with some online research. The take home points that stuck out to me where that I cook it fatty side up and I needed to put it on a rack in a shallow pan. Easy enough.
Then I talked to Marisa. She had just gotten All About Roasting by Molly Stevens from the library. (I promise she was not looking at the recipes, she was only reading the first chapter like a text book.) She had read about the benefits of pre-salting. I love salt. Sounds good to me.
“Presalting tips: pre salt large roasts 1-2 days in advance. 8 hours minimum. Trim the roast before salting. use 1/2 to 3/4 tsp kosher salt per pound of meat. It may seem like a lot. Trust the process. Don’t rinse before cooking. Add other seasonings when you add the salt. Set pre salted roasts on a wire rack over a tray or baking sheet. Not essential, but better air circulation. Leave salted meats uncovered or loosely covered in the fridge.” -Marisa
There’s that pesky wire rack again. I don’t have a wire rack. I used to have a wire rack, and by that I mean, “I borrowed one from Marisa 9 months ago and just returned it at the end of December”. Clearly, a rack is necessary for this endeavor, so I went to Target.
You can’t buy just a rack at Target. That is not an option. I bought a three piece roasting and grilling set. Of course I did. Because I needed a rack. And now I also have a shallow roasting pan (turns out I probably needed it anyway) and a grill pan. Super.
I get home and I salt. I mixed salt, oregano, rosemary and thyme and rubbed it all over that baby. Then I put it on the rack and stuck it in the fridge. Uncovered. I won’t lie, I didn’t love the giant lump of meat sitting uncovered in there, but I did it anyway. Peer pressure. I let it sit there for 24 hours. No one died. Yet.
Cooking day. Molly Stevens also told us that we should let the roast come to room temperature before cooking. It should be out for 2-3 hours. That seems like a really long time. I did it anyway. I put that hunk of glorious beef in my microwave (protection from cats and dog) and let it come to room temperature for 2 hours. I followed the salting advice and did not rinse. I started cooking.
Step 1: Sear. High heat, a little oil in the pan and I managed to get a nice crust.
Step 2: Bacon. I was a little worried about the fat content of my roast. I didn’t think it had enough. So I put bacon over the top.
Step 3: Roast. Low heat (250) and patience.
Step 4: Sides. Potatoes and brussel sprouts. Both roasted. I used oregano, salt and cayenne on the potatoes. The sprouts went into a dressing of greek yogurt, dill, garlic, lemon and salt. I was trying to copy something a friend made, but I did not use a recipe.
It’s beautiful. Bacon makes everything better. I was very excited. Then I sliced that baby.
Oh. My. God. It’s freaking perfect. Who made that roast? It could not have been me. I didn’t even use a recipe. It’s a meat miracle.
Here’s the whole shebang.
Things I learned:
1. Pre-salting is crucial. The meat was seasoned throughout.
2. Take the meat out when it is 10 degrees less than your target temperature. It will keep cooking as it rests.
3. Let the meat rest before carving. I let it rest for 20 minutes, and probably could have gone a little longer. It was not cold like I thought it would be. That was a pleasant surprise.
4. Cutting the potatoes into smaller pieces really helps get the cooking time down and gets them nice and crispy.
5. The dressing for the brussel sprouts was not my favorite. Jamie thinks it was just too much dill. I did taste as I was putting the sauce together and thought it had come together, but it overpowered the sprouts.
On to the leftovers!