Seriously, as soon as the fall weather starts to set in, there’s really nothing better then roasting whole large pieces of meat (says the guy who just posted a vegan recipe). There’s just something about a comforting roast that warms the heart, mind, and soul in a way that’s not only self fulfilling, but it also has the fantastic ability to bring people together.
While I don’t really have any set recipe for a roast beef that I’m going to share, because frankly I tend to change it up every time I make one based on what I have available, I do have a fairly general technique that you can use and serve with whatever side dishes you want. It’s simple and yes, it is a roast so to do it right takes a while, but most of that time is cooking. You can hang out, relax, watch a movie, listen to a few records, drink a glass of wine or two and just patiently await the feast ahead. The prep takes almost no time at all and the end results are a thing of beauty.
Everybody should take the time to make themselves a meal like this a little more often then we tend to so please don’t be afraid. Give this a shot and you’ll find that it’ll also lend itself to other meats as well including chicken, pork, and lamb. Cooking times will very based on the type of meat and size of the roast, so I do recommend a meat thermometer if at all possible, but in general, given this particular technique, you’re looking at about 25-30 minutes per pound of beef, 30-35 minutes per pound of pork or lamb, and 35-40 minutes per pound of chicken (or turkey). Again, it’s always best to use a thermometer, but at the temperature included in this recipe, this should get you in the ballpark.
If you look at my photo above (the one that’s clearly been photoshopped onto a different background due to crappy image quality), you’ll see that there are a few lessons to be learned. First of all, you can see that the roast is cooked uneven. Despite the fact that it was perfectly juicy and pink throughout, you can see that it’s a little bit more done towards the top fat cap. I always sear my meat before roasting (as you should do as well), and I seared the top a little longer than I did the other sides which resulted in an overall hotter temperature at the top of the roast. It’s not a big deal, but it goes to show what happens if you don’t sear your meat evenly. If you want it exactly the same color throughout, sear all sides for exactly the same amount of time. Secondly, if you want to take nice photos of your food, make sure that your camera battery is charged before it’s time to take a pic, otherwise you’ll have to resort to using the camera on your phone, which might be great, but mine clearly is not.
- 1 5lbs beef chuck roast, fat cap still on
- 8 baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8's
- Carrots, celery, and onion, peeled and cut into chunks (optional)
- 1 pint of mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 quart of beef stock
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 stick of butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- Start by scoring the fat cap on the beef into a checker pattern (optional, but it helps the fat render better), and then season the beef on all sides with salt.
- Add two tablespoons of butter and two tablespoons of vegetable oil to a large skillet over medium high heat. Once butter is melted and frothy, sear the beef for 2 minute on all sides.
- Add prepared potatoes (and optional carrots, celery, and onion) to the bottom of a large roasting pan and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
- Add 1/2 cup of beef stock to the bottom of the pan.
- Place a grated baking rack over the top of the roasting pan and set the beef roast on top with the fat cap facing up directly over the vegetables. Pour remaining melted butter and oil mixture from the skillet over the top of the beef.
- Place the roast and vegetables into a preheated 250 degree oven and cook for 3 to 3 1/2 hours or until the roast is done to your desired doneness (this gets you a nice medium rare).
- Once done, but the roast aside to rest for at least 15-20 minutes.
- Add two tablespoons of butter to a medium sauce pan over medium high heat. Once the butter is melted and frothy, add in the mushrooms and saute until they're golden brown. Add in remaining butter and 4 tablespoons of flour. Stir until they become a paste and cook for about 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour in any excess beef drippings from the roast and then add the rest of your beef stock, stirring frequently. Bring to a boil. Once boiling the flour will activate and the gravy will thicken. If still to thick, add in additional beef stock or water to thin out.
- Slice the roast and serve with roasted vegetables and gravy.