An inexpensive cut of beef can be turned into a tender and tasty meal when you take time to cook it low and slow.
Cover image: roast beef with Dutch Babies, also called Yorkshire Pudding.
Plan to Take Your Time
Uncle Smokey here to tell you about one of my favorite weekend recipes. It starts Friday morning before I head out to work – I take a chunk of beef (generally a London broil – which can be tough) out of the freezer to thaw.
Friday evening I add a rub or marinade to the beef and let it sit overnight (in the fridge) to develop the flavor. I tend to use just 2 or 3 herbs – simple flavors for my taste buds. Recently I have been using Mexican oregano, a sprinkle of cracked pepper, and a touch of onion powder. Don’t need lots of herbs – just a sprinkle because you are letting them soak into the meat. If you don’t like how it turns out there is always salsa or adobo sauce you can add when eating to help mask the flavor.
Allow Beef to Warm
Saturday morning take the beef out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature before the next step – searing.
Sear the Beef
After Saturday breakfast, sear your beef. This means allow an oiled pan to get nice and hot – then drop the room temp beef into the hot oil and allow the meat to sear. If you do this with a cold piece of beef you make it tougher not more tender! By the way – sear the fat side first.
Once seared on both sides – and the ends too if you are a purist – you are ready to cover and roast. Turn it fat side down again for roasting.
Roast the Beef
Roast at 250 degrees F until dinner, or at least five hours. Sometimes it smells so good we eat an early dinner.
I use a cast iron Dutch oven, and there are enameled versions. I like this one pot way of cooking because I am not a fan of washing dishes. If you don’t have a Dutch oven, you can sear in a frying pan and transfer your meat into a glass baking dish – just be sure to cover it with a cover made out of foil.
What About Liquid?
The beef has moisture in it. Some of it escapes as you bake it. Since you have covered the beef, the moisture will be right there to make gravy out of. If you used a frying pan – don’t be in a rush to wash it. Use the liquid at the bottom of your cooking dish and heat it in that same frying pan and make your gravy. It’s called “deglazing” the pan and the hot seared juiciness makes a rich gravy.
“We Don’t Need No Stinking”…. Gravy!
Because this cooks low and slow it generally just falls apart – as you can see in the picture. It is also generally more than juicy enough. This is great for tacos with fresh tortillas, or in a bowl with a “side” of steamed broccoli tossed atop. Great with eggs the next morning too, and for another few meals as well.”
Enjoy! Uncle Smokey
Add-Ons to Your Roast Beef
Editor Shares: Many people serve their roast beef with “Yorkshire Pudding.” We grew up calling it “Dutch Babies.” Don’t be put off by the name – its a delicious side! Here’s how to make this tasty side to your roast beef.
Traditional roast beef is often served with carrots and potatoes. You can add them to the pot – but you will need to also add some liquid for them to cook in. Generally 1 quart of liquid is enough for 4 cut up medium potatoes and 4 cut up carrots, maybe an onion too. Put the veg on the bottom so the meat is not sitting in liquid. Do not submerge the meat in liquid or it can get tough.
The Science Of Slow Roasting
The low temperatures help soften the meat, let the flavors develop, and prevent the gristle bits from becoming too tough. Pressure cookers, like the “Insta-pot,” are useful, but do not yield quite the same result as this more traditional oven roasting.
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